Your Communication Toolbox


What’s in your communication toolbox? Why not pick your top list of communication tools, from our Talk2Me training classes, to take along with you to use when the traffic is jammed up on the two-way communication highway? On what tool will you rely most heavily? When you hop into your blue Empathizer or burnt orange Instigator communicator car, what tools are important to carry with you to ensure safe travel?


Much like a spare tire or a GPS device, daily use of your chosen keys for effective communication can save the day when times are tough. Here’s what a recent class of “precision communicators” decided to use:

▪ APPLY GOOD COMMUNICATION TOOLS AT HOME. Use good communication 24/7 at home and work. I don’t want to take anyone for granted, because being unhappy at home carries over to being less productive and less positive at work. Turn the headlights on during dark times, and bring everything full circle.

▪ COMPLIMENT PEOPLE. Compliment people more than I do, and I won’t always assume other people know how good a job they do.

▪ LISTEN WITHOUT AN AGENDA. I’m going to really listen and not listen with an agenda. I’m going to start really thinking about what the other person is really saying. Then you can figure out the core of the problem and solve it.

▪ APPLY IT…YOU’LL LIKE IT. Apply what works for you to better communicate. If I don’t buy into the T2M program and use all of the tools, then nobody else will, and everything will stay the same.

▪ GENUINE RELATIONSHIPS. I’m learning to utilize the different ways to communicate with Empathizers and Instigators and work on that to build a better and genuine relationship with each person. That’s the only way we both can reliably get something productive out of the interchange.

▪ ACCESSIBILITY. I’m becoming more available and accessible, and I’m listening more. I’ll listen to what my crew and family are actually saying. Don’t just wait until they’re quiet to jump into the fray.

▪ BE WHO YOU ARE. Be genuine instead of fake. If you are a good listener and have the traits of a leader, just feel free to be who you are, and it will all fall into place.

▪ USE THE COMPLIMENT SANDWICH. The one thing I’m going to mainly focus on is “The Compliment Sandwich,” which I feel will get me lots of results. When I must criticize, I’ll try to lead with a positive and insert the negative in the middle and end with a positive (+/-/+). Instead of only dishing out constant negatives, compliments will speed up results.

▪ GAIN RESPECT AND TRUST. Listening is gaining respect and trust. All communication begins with building bridges of trustworthy communication. Listen to the type of talker and apply-apply-apply good talk tools.

▪ TAKE TIME TO SIT DOWN AND TALK. It all starts with making yourself accessible. A classic example is taking the time to sit down with everyone. Make yourself open and available to begin talking around the Communication Table.


Don’t flip out about needing to change. We’re not really CHANGING…we’re simply ADDING tools to your tool box. You don’t have to change but do add new tools to use to make life better for you and yours.


Dr. Dennis O’Grady is the “Talk Doc” and president of the Dayton Area Psychological Association, as well as the developer of the TALK TO ME© positive and effective corporate communication training system. Why invest in a process that will improve your communication skills fast, in both personal and work relationships? When you use the tools and strategies detailed in Talk to Me: Communication Moves to Get Along With Anyone, you’ll find that it’s easy to keep your car in the center of Talk Highway, leaving the ditch to those communicators who shout out “It’s my way or the highway!”

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