Use Clarity to Get What You Want – When They’re Not Getting It. What Do I Say, What Do I Do?

You get what they think they heard

The value of clarity in communication

It’s possible that, all by itself, the title of this blog could eliminate the need for the entire blog. Read it again. The title actually spells out two of the most powerful and effective tools for getting THEM to get YOU: Communication (clarity) and Action!

That was NOT a spoiler alert. I simply told you what I was going to tell you ‘cuz that’s good communication. When I truly care about having someone accurately and fully receive my communication which, I must admit, is most of the time, I tell them what I’m going to tell them. Then I tell ‘em. And finally I tell them what I told them.

Okay, it’s possible that, by following this formula, you could over-talk a topic to its early demise, I’ll give you that… but when I want to get a point across or it’s important for me to have someone do something by a certain time or in a particular way, this works. Whether I’m coaching, teaching, training – or making an important request – I do all this PLUS I add another vital step. I have the listener repeat back what they heard.

I didn’t always follow this formula… and I didn’t always get the results I wanted, either. When I had my event and party business it was not unusual for me to say, “Somebody grab some tools, please (politeness was one of my boss-virtues)”.  And then, when a fully stocked toolbox didn’t show up on the job and I didn’t have my desperately needed scissors, wrench or clips, guess who was stressed and furious…  but where could I point that fury? Who was supposed to grab the toolbox? Right, I had assigned the job to “Somebody”. Where the heck was “Somebody” and why didn’t she do what I asked her to do?

Doesn’t the problem, my mega-mistake, seem so obvious to you? You can clearly see that assigning the task to a specific person, not making a general, non-specific public request/announcement, would have made a huge difference to my end result, can’t you? Because it was me and my screw up – and you’re listening to this story in retrospect, it’s easy to identify the error of my ways. Much easier than it might have been to actually get it right in the first place. At this moment, it’s easy to see that I didn’t actually assign the task to anyone – though I didn’t realize that at the time. And, yet, I was surprised when what I wanted and needed didn’t get done and upset when there was no one to hold accountable… except me!

Now, don’t be feeling all superior and stuff. I’m not the only one here who’s ever been vague, unspecific or incomplete with my requests, directions or instructions, am I? Come on, I know there have been times when the recipe didn’t come out quite right because you forgot to tell them about that one important ingredient or you didn’t show up for something because you misheard the time.

Life is a game of telephone. It’s only by being clear and specific and repeating back what we heard that we can even begin to expect the results we’re after. So often we give only partial instruction or explanation and expect people to get the whole story by mind reading… Newsflash: THEY WON’T because they CAN’T!

And then there’s ACTION! That’s the follow through; the accountability. Where you are ultimately responsible for the outcome it’s to your advantage to make sure that you do everything possible to make sure that the outcome is favorable. My taking action started by writing out a check list and assigning one person to see that we never left on a job without having everything we needed.  (And there was always a compliment for a job well done!)

When you use full and complete communication to ask for what you want and then actively follow it up with some checks and balances, you do get what you want and need. Communication and Action… two tools that belong in every personal toolbox!



So You’re Ready to Cull the Herd… Now What?

meme cull the herd

cull the herd – NO toxic people!

Culling is very important in any herding operation because it’s how you get rid of those with inferior genetic qualities, those that are no longer productive, and those that have no value being in the herd any more. Each ‘wrangler’ has a unique set of culling standards; some more stringent than others. But in the end, all wranglers have the same ultimate objective when it comes to culling: The herd is to consist of ONLY healthy, productive, value adders .   ~Sandye Linnetz, Herd Wrangler

Why don’t we cull the herd as soon as we have the thought, “Something’s not right here – this is not working for me.”? Sure, risking the unknown can be uncomfortable – even scary, but still what keeps us stuck when deep down we know they should go? What has us hold on when it makes us unhappy and maybe even miserable? Why do we allow people to stay in our herd when they not only don’t add value, they actually take it away? Methinks that knowing the answer (which is likely to be different in each situation) will actually spur us on to action and get us to cull the herd.

Here, then, is a list of possible reasons that we stay stuck in relationships that don’t seem serve us. There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned rationalization, so get ready, for ‘excuses R us’.

First the ‘out loud’ excuses that we might share with someone who asks us the big WHY?

  • The timing is off. I can’t do it right now; but I will do it some day.
  • I’m too stressed. I have to take care of me- then I’ll handle that.
  • It might be me. Maybe I’m making too much out of this.
  • I don’t want to hurt her.
  • But he needs me.

And now the silent reasons:

But I can’t dump that client, I need the money.

She’s horrible and mean but she reminds me of my mother and that’s oddly comforting.

If I dump her I won’t get to _________________________ (fill in the blank with something like “use her pool” or “hang out with her friends”).

So, my friends, what do you want????







Spring Cleaning Your Relationships: Part 3 – Cull the Herd!

Relationship Issues

Bad relationship? Cull the Herd!


cull the herd

  1. Literally, to separate or remove (and usually kill) inferior animals out of a herd so as to reduce numbers or remove undesirable traits from the group as a whole.
  2. By extension, to separate or remove people from a larger group.

The usual blog about letting go of relationships, i.e., Culling the Herd, tells the world to dump the toxic and move on… I’m not there. There is value in every relationship – even if it’s just to learn a lesson about what we DON’T want in our lives. I’m not a hoarder, but I am a saver when it comes to friends and family. I believe in giving ‘another chance’… even if it turns out to be another chance to hurt me, ‘cuz more often than not, if I’m speaking from my heart and willing to hear what is being said to me, relationships that once had value for me… can have value again. Case in point:

I turned a guy down and, hurt and angry, he disappeared from my life for almost 40 years. He was a really close friend when we were kids and I absolutely loved him (but not ‘that’ way). Yes, we did have a long ‘break’, but when I extended the friendship flag he jumped to play! And now he’s back in my life and a really special friend again; with lots of great history.

Then there’s this woman (another friend from childhood) who, while not exactly toxic, was certainly annoying, depressive and negative. I take a break from her every few years, but the shared history and the surety that she’d totally be there for me if I needed her, keep bringing me back. And I’m not sorry.

Yes, there are the toxic relationships, too. I’ve had my share. Still, I don’t cut the cord until I’ve given it everything I’ve got. I cherish the people in my life and I’m slow to release.

Consider what your possibly cull-able friend brings to your life. You didn’t start the relationship to be hurt, angry, disappointed or miserable. What did you see that hooked you? For me, a true friend laughs with me and cries with me. We each value the happiness of the other. We respect each other’s principles, and encourage each other to be the very best possible version of ourselves.

If you each do all that (and possibly more) for each other – regardless of what issues you are facing in your relationship now, your friendship is probably worth fixing. On the other hand, if you feel happier, more content and more relaxed without this friend in your life; if it’s been quite a while since the friendship has had value for you and lifted you ‘up’, you have a pretty clear sign that you should go your separate ways – at least for now.

Admittedly, there are some situations where a friendship may be beyond repair and even a ‘vacation’ won’t work for you. If your friend has done something that you view as unforgivable, a deal breaker, it’s unlikely that your friendship is fixable. We all have different boundaries, limits and deal-breakers; oftentimes unspoken. And that, my friends, is the BIG PROBLEM! Know your boundaries and speak them – it will save you a lot of clean up time later! Don’t wait until they have pushed them too far.

Oh, and if perhaps you are the one who has failed to behave as a good friend should and you have tried to make amends and your ex-friend has made it clear that he or she is just not interested in working things out, you need to respect their wishes and move on. Well, at least until you think it’s safe to try for a do-over!






When I have what I consider to be a really good idea – I mean a really good idea, I create a plan and jump into action. Sometimes this results in ‘a really good idea that didn’t quite work out to be what I envisioned’. My short foray into the world of Yardles (surprise decorating of front yards for all occasions) is still high on my list of really clever ideas that never made it big.  Other times the results have been simply off the charts. When I was barely thirty I created a business writing gag lines on latex balloons; decorating with them and delivering them in bouquets. An article featuring ME in Time Magazine and guest appearances on crazy numbers of radio and TV shows attest to the success of that idea. It supported my family for over 30 years!

So what, I’ve asked myself, what made one idea fail and the other blossom into an internationally known 7-figure company? Same creator, generally appealing to the same audience…  what was different? Me, I realized. It was me and my attitude toward the project. When people didn’t immediately rush to order a Yardle, I questioned the feasibility of my idea. When one was ordered that had to be done between 4 am and 5 am, the job was turned down. Yardles was a ‘good idea’. Balloon Affair was a commitment.

This gal does not offer up the words “I’m committed” flippantly. When I do commit to anything (a project, person, idea, task or bacon ‘n eggs breakfast) you can count on me – like death, taxes and Trump’s comb-over. I will do it. I will make it happen. NO MATTER WHAT.

No Reasons – Just Results! That’s how the balloon biz grew. I believed in it and I worked it. There was simply no quitting… even when people laughed at the idea of building a business with rubber balloons… even when ‘head’quarters was in my girlfriend’s guest bathroom… even when I carelessly opened the trunk of my car and lost 100 balloons to the wild blue yonder! Stuff happens, right? And when you are committed you just keep moving forward. NO MATTER WHAT.

Commitment meant working every holiday from dawn to exhaustion… because I said so. Commitment meant sticking with it when I was the only worker who didn’t get paid that week.

Commitment meant cutting myself off from any possibility outside of achieving my results.

Commitment meant EXPECTING it to all work – knowing down deep inside that I would not -could not fail. I was 100% dedicated to my company… ask my children who almost never saw their mom on weekends unless they were with her being ‘ballonatics’!

It seems silly to say 100% dedicated. Saying that you can be anything but 100% committed is like saying you’re just a ‘little’ pregnant… Either you are, or you’re not – all in or all out.