Learn To Be Yourself

This summer I took my kids to see Rio in theaters.

We own the DVD of the movie and have seen it hundreds of times. I thought it would be the perfect way to introduce my young children to the movie going experience without producing too much anxiety about the big screen, dim lighting, and loud sound. As the movie started, the anxiety of the unknown left my kids and they melted into the familiarity of the characters, music, and lines they knew all too well.

I too experienced the movie in a new way. 

Here are 3 ways you can learn to be yourself...Rio style!


Leaderships Lessons Learned in the Ladies' Room

Image courtesy of Keattikorn, freedigitalphotos.net
The line to the ladies room is infamously known for being long.  Most women have opened the door only to have the line meeting us there. So we wait. 

One time I entered a movie theater’s ladies room and had a different response. I entered to find a line of 5 women before me. They were chatting happily with each other and just waiting.

Instead of settling into my place at line, as usual, I had a thought. “There are close to 15 stalls in this room. Surely, they can’t all be occupied.” So I got out  of line, walked past the other ladies and went to see if indeed all the stalls where occupied. 


Profiles in BRAVERY: Carrie Evans...Standing Up Against Opposition

"ProfilesInBRAVERY" is a segment that highlights everyday people using the communication skills they have to do amazing things. The world may not know their name but their bravery and skill has changed someone's world. If you know someone who should be featured, contact me

Carrie Evans
Name:  Carrie Evans
Title or position:  Director of Baby and Me - Tobacco Free; Zumba Fitness Instructor
Business/Agency:  Union Hospital; Booker T. Washington Community Center
Contact: www.facebook.com/ZumbaFitnesswithCarrie

Describe a time you had to be BRAVE.

I think the situation that stands out to me as necessitating BRAVE communication was a City Council meeting in January 2011.  I had been the director of the Vigo County Tobacco Coalition for over 6 years.  During that time, I had worked hard on securing a Clean Indoor Air Ordinance that would make smoking inside public places illegal.  


Communication Lessons Learned From Riding A Bike

I mentioned I was going to be a regular contributor to Adam Smith Blog every Sunday. My first post goes live today! Here is a snippet:

"Our communication skills are like riding a bike. We think we know how to do it because we learned "it" once. We know the mechanics of mounting the bike, pedaling, steering, breaking, and balance. But just because we know the mechanics does not mean we can do it well let alone teach another.
My husband and I discovered this recently when we gave our young kids their first bike lesson. We were just as excited as the kids. We imagined all the doors that would open once the kids learned to ride a bike. We pictured ourselves sitting on the porch watching the kids whiz by shouting," Mom? Dad? Watch this!" We imagined taking long family bike rides to and through the park. All we needed to do was teach them and then "oh the places we'd go".
The problem was we didn't realize that teaching our kids how to ride a bike would be so DIFFICULT. You would think since we knew how to ride a bike, we could teach our kids the fundamentals of riding a bike, right? WRONG!"

We makes these same assumptions about our communication skills. Read how the story ends over on Adam's blog


Why Respect Doesn't Have to be Earned

Our greatest communication struggle comes when we demand other people to see things the way we do and then disrespect them when they don't. 

I recently saw Lee Daniel's The Butler starring Forest Whitaker as a White House butler who served eight presidential administrations. 

Though unsure what to expect of the film, I assumed it would be a movie about race in America. To my surprise, it wasn't a movie about race. It was a movie about the complexity of human communication.

In the mosaic interconnect of communication, passion, and people, this film presented two powerful communication lessons we can learn.

Before we get there, allow me to take you on a fictitious journey into the thoughts of Cecil Gaines, the butler, and his college aged son, Louis. 


Respect: The Foundation To Good Communication

"Respect is a communication skill that bring the world together

~Leslie Dickson, CEO of ProVoice Inc, a leadership skills development company

Aretha Franklin asked for a little respect in her iconic 1967 hit song. It earned her 2 Grammys and eventually an induction into the Grammy hall of fame. Fast forward to present day and people are still asking for respect. 

The hallmark of a BRAVE Communicator is that respect is the foundation of all her or his communication activity.

First, you have to respect yourself, your reputation, and your growth enough to be as honest and guilt free as possible when you exchange ideas with others.

Second, you have to respect other people enough to learn how to listen, and  accommodate their communication needs.


60 Second BRAVE Brief: Are you a BRAVE Communicator?

This is Julia! Your BRAVE Communication consultant here with your 60 second BRAVE Brief. Today's topic: Are you a BRAVE Communicator?

Communication in its purest form is sending, receiving and interpreting messages. 

BRAVE Communication have is making deliberate, strategic choices in how you send, receive, and interpret those messages.

BRAVE Communicators have 3 distinct traits.

1. BRAVE Communicators are skilled. They learn, practice, and refine their communication techniques.

2. BRAVE Communicators use respect as the foundation for all communication activity.They say what needs to be said in a way that is respectful to themselves and to others.

3. BRAVE Communicators are change agents. Their interactions inspire people to make better choices.

I challenge you to learn a new communication skill, practice it, be respectful in how you use it and watch it ignite change in your circle of influence.

Follow me on Twitter @BraveCommLLC and like me on facebook/Bravecommunicationllc

Until next time, Live BRAVE!


What's REALLY Bothering You?

A huge part of my job is highlighting habits that we all do that cause interpersonal conflict. 

Rarely does intense interpersonal  conflict rise from a singular event. Most often it comes from a series of events that have been compounded. 

When you yelled at your husband because he left his socks left on the floor, I bet it wasn't the first time. I will also bet that the misplacement of those garments is not really the issue. Most likely you are feeling unappreciated, tired, unheard, threatened or some related  sentiment.

People ask me all the time why I  deal in the "touchy feel-ly" or "soft" skills. Someone once described soft skills  as a set of personal qualities  habits, attitudes, and social graces that make  someone compatible to work with. 


Exciting News! Guest Blogging on Adam Smith

I am really excited to announce that I will be a regular contributor to the Adam Smith Blog beginning Aug 19, 2013.

Adam's is a leadership blog that inspires and directs you in living a purposeful life. Subjects include relationships, communication, creativity, focus/time management through discipline in your life and how you can more effectively share your story and valuable information to your readers through social media.

I have really enjoyed reading his content over the last few months and was honored when he asked if I would join his team!

Adam has collected a team of writers to post daily on subjects like leadership, time management, relationships, social media, creativity, and my personal favorite, COMMUNICATION!

Now you can get even more great communication tips from me every Sunday on Adam's blog. Of course I will be re-posting them here as well :)

Check out his introductory post on all of his new writers (including me) at the link below.


Exciting times ahead!


3 Ways to Help Your Kids Become Better Communicators

Today was the first day of kindergarten for my oldest son. This is a rite of passage for both parent and child. He is going be spending a lot of time with people we really don't know. I admit, I was a little freaked out. 

What if the teacher misinterprets his nuances? What if some bigger kids bully him? What if he bullies some other kid? What if doesn't tell me if something bad happens? 

As I was running through my list of concerns, I realized that aside from his physical safety, my other concerns really boiled down to one thing. Communication.

At the heart of my fears was how will he communicate with others? And how will others communicate with him?


Want BIG success? Think Small!

I read an article called Why Thinking Small is the Secret to Big Success by Lewis Howes. The premise was that in order to have success you should consider starting small.

Howes doesn't suggest breaking down big goals into the smaller pieces. This writer suggested beginning with a small unrelated goal. Why? To build confidence and momentum.

This article intrigued me because in order to live BRAVE sometimes we need to debunk the common cliches and common ways of thinking. 


BRAVE-ly Back It Giveaway: And the WINNER is....

The winner of the $50 Target gift card is

Debbie S. from Mason, OH


Debbie you have until 12:30pm CST on Aug 10th to claim your prize! If you don't claim your prize another winner will be announced.
Look for an email from me and do what it says :)

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!
You all made it a fun week!

What's next?

1. Now we get into the meat of the blog. Two to three times a week I'll post some ooey gooey goodness that will make you think.

2. Don't unsubscribe because you didn't win! Stick around to keep getting the emails. They are chocked full of useful tips.

3. TALK to me! If you like a post say so...on the post. Comment! Comment! Your thoughts don't encourage me to keep going, your WORDS do!
If think my content is really, REALLY good, share it on facebook, twitter, pinterest, linkedin, google+, tumblr etc.!

I got some great features coming that I can't wait for you to see!

Regular posting schedule resumes Monday!

Lessons Learned From Hosting My First Giveaway!

It takes BRAVERY to come outside your comfort zone to do something different. One of my favorite sayings is

 "If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done."

The "BRAVE-ly Back At It Giveaway" was such an experience for me. I had never hosted a giveaway before. I wasn't sure how it would turn out.

But as I always say, you can learn lessons in unexpected places...if you are looking.

Here are the lessons I learned hosting my first giveaway:

1. Make flexible plans!

Planning is essential in any endeavor. Without a road map, you don't know where to go. But the interesting thing about a map is that it has more than one route to get to your destination. I planned the daily questions for the giveaway but mid week I had to change course. I agonized over whether I should do it. But decided it was for the best and I went forth. Finding another route to your destination is OK.

2. Learn as you do!

Instead of waiting until everything is perfect, do what you know you can and learn what you need along the way. I had to learn more HTML code (ugh!) during this giveaway. But the learning stuck because I was doing it along the way. Learn as you go and keep going.

3. Take a break when you can't afford to!

Take time to clear your head. I know this sounds contradictory to lesson 2 but it not. Don't buy into the hype that you can't or shouldn't take a break...especially if you think you can't. After going to bed too late several nights in a row, one day I took a break in the middle of the day. I decided to put everything aside and had some fun. Did I feel guilty? Absolutely...for the first 10 minutes. Then my shoulders relaxed, my muscles tension eased, and I felt at peace. When I returned to my work, I was more efficient and saw better results.

4. Know from the beginning, what you want in the end!

Before you start doing anything, you need to know the why, the method, and how you'll measure success. I set a numeric goal for the giveaway. My goal was to increase my exposure. Not many people knew I had a business let alone a blog. I tracked and measured my stats. In some areas, I exceeded my goal. In others, I didn't even meet it. It is good data for future campaigns.

So now that it is over, who won?! Winner will be announced at 12:30p CST! 


BRAVE-ly Back At It Giveaway Day 8 LAST DAY!!

It is Day 8 of the BRAVE-ly Back At it Giveaway! 
Giveaway ends at 11:59p CST TONIGHT!


BRAVE-ly Back At It Giveaway Day 7

It is Day 7 of the BRAVE-ly Back At it Giveaway! 
Giveaway ends in day!


BRAVE-ly Back At It Giveaway Day 6

It is Day 6 of the BRAVE-ly Back At it Giveaway! 
Giveaway ends in days!


BRAVE-ly Back At It Giveaway Day 5

It is Day 5 of the BRAVE-ly Back At it Giveaway! 
Giveaway ends in days!


BRAVE-ly Back At It GIveaway Day 4

It is Day 4 of the BRAVE-ly Back At it Giveaway! 
Giveaway ends in days!


BRAVE-ly Back At It Giveaway Day 3

It is Day 3 of the BRAVE-ly Back At it Giveaway! 
Giveaway ends in 5 days!
Click here to enter

Enter to win! 

Already entered? Increase your chances by 

1. Following me on Twitter
2. Liking my Facebook page
3. Answering my daily giveaway questions.

Did you miss a day? Go back and comment on Day 1Day 2.

Leave a comment answering today's question:

What does having good communication skills mean to you?

The Living BRAVE Blog is all about bringing an awareness to the importance of good communication skills. But what are communication skills? What do they look like? What function do they serve?

Giveaway starts 12:01am CST on Thursday August 1, 2013 and ends 11:59p CST on August 8, 2013. Winner will be announced 12p on August 9, 2013. Click here for official rules. 


BRAVE-ly Back At It Giveaway Day 2

It is Day 2 of the BRAVE-ly Back At it Giveaway! 
Giveaway ends in 6 days!


BRAVE-ly Back At It Giveaway Day 1

The BRAVE-ly Back At It Giveaways begins today! 
                      Giveaway ends in days!