Are you using the right COMMUNICATION tools for the job?

Or are you making a mess?

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In 2005, I bought my first house. I was 28 years old, working as a teacher and probably had no business buying a house, but I saw it as an investment opportunity–a way of making some money down the road to supplement my meager teacher’s salary.

Inevitably, the only house that I could really afford, even with my parents financial support, was a fixer-upper. And it was indeed a fixer upper.

The house had been a rental for the 30 years and needed A LOT of work. The porch was rotting out, the foundation had cracked and settled, so the whole front of the house leaned forward, there were rats in the basement, and on-and-on.

I was young, energetic, maybe a bit naive, but all in all ready for the challenge.

Thanks to books, the internet, lots of trips to the hardware store, some willing boyfriends, hired help, and significant loans, I turned the house completely around in 3 years.

One of the key lessons I learned was–YOU GOTTA USE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB.

If you don’t use the right tools for the job, you end up making a mess of things, and you have to go back and do some major repairs, or you have to start all over buying new.

This concept of using the right tools for the job is a major component of my work with clients, and one that I learned in my remodel, but didn’t apply to my relationships until I had a long list of repairs to make.

Our presence and our voices are multi-faceted tools, that can be used in many different ways for many different purposes, and if we use them well, we can create connections, but if we use them poorly, or use the wrong ones, they can do the exact opposite.

There are times when it’s best to keep quiet.
There are times when it’s best to speak up.
There are times when it’s best to walk away.
There are times when it’s best to stay put.
There are times when it’s best to apologize.
There are times when it’s best NOT to apologize.

And on and on I could go.

Unfortunately, many of us (me included) sometimes chose a tool from our toolbox that is a bad fit. A tool that leads to greater discord and greater distrust.

There are other times when we reach into our toolbox and realize that something is missing. We know that this tool won’t work because we have tried it before, or that this other one won’t work either.

So then what do we do?

Well, we go shopping for new tools, or we learn to use the tools we have differently or more effectively.

If you have some relationships that are in need of repair and you aren’t sure if you have the right tools, let’s jump on a call together to see what you might be missing or what you can use in a new way.

Keep creating connections,

Courage. Compassion. Connection.

Originally published at

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