How Can I Say This...
By Beth Buelow
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The “How Can I Say This…” podcast offers tips and advice for real-world communications challenges, such as difficult conversations, conflict, giving and receiving feedback, negotiating, and other situations where what you say and how you say it makes a difference. Your host is Beth Buelow, PCC, founder of ZOPA Consulting and author of “The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms.” As a credentialed professional coach, she’s spent the past 10 years offering support to entrepreneurs and leaders, holding space for them to explore their strengths, fears, and very often, their communication challenges. Beth’s also a trained mediator and loves finding the “Zone of Possible Agreement” (ZOPA!) in any situation that comes her way. She’s hosted The Introvert Entrepreneur Podcast since 2010. In every episode of "How Can I Say This...", you’ll find ideas about how to handle your communication conundrums; tips on feeling more confident and comfortable with conflict; opportunities to learn from real-life situations through questions shared by listeners; and ultimately, gain skills and techniques for dealing with sticky situations at work and home. Of course, we can’t be all talk and no action; each show will end with an invitation to try a particular technique or approach that came up in the episode. Episodes will feature listener questions, as well as expert guest interviews and contributions. The scope of conversation will evolve over time… we’re open to seeing where this goes. Thanks for joining us on the journey!
||CleanEp28: Self-Awareness and Authority with Caryn Lee||"There are three things extremely hard: Steel, a Diamond, and to know one's self." With those words from the 1750 edition of Poor Richard’s Almanac, Benjamin Franklin shared a maxim that has been around since the ancient Greeks: know thyself. Long before Franklin, Socrates gave us the oft-quoted saying “The unexamined life is not worth living.” In addition to giving life meaning, examining our lives and knowing ourselves helps us to be in relationship with other people. When we know who we are, we can be better communicators. Our question this episode: how do our personality and preferences influence our communication with others? I’m pleased to be welcoming Narrative founder Caryn Lee to the show to talk about how deepening our self-awareness can support us in figuring out how to best communicate with others, especially in sticky situations. We also respond to a listener question about asserting one’s authority in the face of resistance. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More info at howcanisaythis.com||3/22/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp27: The Fragile Bully as Narcissist with Laurie Helgoe||When a word or phrase rises to prominence in the collective conversation, there’s a danger of it becoming diluted or distorted so much that it strays from its original meaning. That’s happening now with the word “narcissist.” Everyone from the arrogant boss to the selfie-loving teenager becomes a narcissist. The truth is, we all have a touch of narcissist in us, but not everyone deserves that label. Our questions this episode: what’s the true definition, and how do we interact with people who sit at different places on the spectrum? I’m pleased to be welcoming Dr. Laurie Helgoe back to the podcast for a continuation of our episode 2 conversation about narcissists and bullies. In this episode, we dive a bit deeper into the nuances of narcissistic traits, including how to take care of yourself when talking with a narcissist and how narcissism shows up individually and collectively. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More info at howcanisaythis.com||3/14/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp26: Your Questions: Resolving Conflict Within Community with Judy Hissong||It’s the rare environment when we’re completely alone with no one else to consider. Whether it’s home, work, school, or social situations, our choices and actions have a ripple effect, even if we aren’t aware of it. Sometimes it’s easy to fit in and our impact is minimal. Other times, our behavior isn’t just a ripple, it’s a tsunami, and that’s when a challenging conversation might be in our future. Our question this episode: how do we diffuse conflict while staying in community with one another? We have a terrific listener question to respond to, and my guest, Judy Hissong, is the first person who came to mind as being ideally suited to offer her perspective. I'll preface this by saying that while the context of the listener question is sports, what she asks applies in almost any environment where people are expected to respect one another, be accommodating, and collaborate. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More info at howcanisaythis.com||3/7/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp25: Communication Lessons from the Animal Kingdom||I’m all for consulting the experts to learn more about how to be more present, more mindful, more anything that I want to be in my life. They have research and strategies that contribute to making us healthy, wealthy, and wise human beings. But sometimes it helps to absorb lessons from experts that don’t have a single book, podcast, blog, or Facebook page to their name. Our question this episode: what do our pets have to teach us about being better communicators? This episode is a reflection on the communication and relationship lessons we can glean from our four-legged family members. While I’m using animals to illustrate my points, my goal is to take that information and translate it into tips on how to have better communication with our fellow human beings. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. Learn more at howcanisaythis.com||3/1/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp24: Talking to Your Doctor with Tami Stackelhouse||When it comes to challenging communication situations, few match the difficulty of talking to highly trained professionals who have expertise we don’t have. This is especially true when we’re seen by doctors. We’re in a vulnerable position, and it’s not always easy to assert ourselves and make our concerns fully understood. Our question this episode: how can we set ourselves up for successful interactions when there’s an imbalance of power? This episode topic is inspired by a recent experience I had going to the doctor. Over the course of two days, I saw three different doctors about a problem I was having with my leg. While they were all pleasant to deal with and well-meaning, they also talked really fast, seemed to focus on one part of my story without hearing the whole thing, and scared me a bit with words like “surgery.” I felt a bit frustrated because I wished I’d had the wherewithal to ask them to slow down their explanations and ask more questions. It occurred to me that I can’t be alone in feeling this way, so I decided to seek out someone who could give us some tips on advocating for ourselves in those very stressful situations. Even though our focus is on talking with your doctor, the information applies to almost any conversation with someone with expertise, which could be a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor, veterinarian, or others with authority and specialized knowledge. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More information at howcanisaythis.com||2/21/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp23: Complainers and Energy Drainers with Linda Swindling||There’s at least one in every office, family, or group: the person who says things like, “Why do we have to do this?” “This is too complicated!” “No one ever helps me.” They seem to be focused on whatever is wrong about a situation but rarely offer up any solutions. And they seem get suck the energy out of the room in the process. Our question this episode: how do we best communicate with the complainers and energy drainers in our lives? This episode features a conversation with author and negotiation expert Linda Swindling. Together, we dig into the different types of complainers that you might encounter at work or at home, looking at what motivates them and how we can use that information to improve our relationships with them. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More information at howcanisaythis.com||2/14/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp22: Money: Make the Case, Make the Ask with Grace Judson||When I was in grad school for arts administration, we learned a basic fact in our fundraising course that I’ve never forgotten: the number one reason people don’t give money to charity is because they aren’t asked. That goes not only for donations, but for raises, for project funds, or any other situation where direct ask has to happen in order for money to change hands. Our question this episode: how do we frame a request for money so that we increase our chances of success? I’m pleased to welcome Grace Judson back to the show for a conversation about something many of us get tied up in knots about: asking for money. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More information and resources at HowCanISayThis.com||2/7/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanResponding When Bad Things Happen to Good People||The phone rings. It’s your friend who says, “I have cancer.” An email pops into your inbox. The subject line? “Bad news.” Your Facebook feed consistently shares stories of pets who have crossed the rainbow bridge, people who unexpectedly lose their jobs, or parents, spouses, or siblings who are having a rough time. Our question this episode: how do you respond to hard situations when you don’t know what to say or are afraid of saying the wrong thing? Hosted by Beth Buelow, PCC. More information and episodes available at howcanisaythis.com||1/31/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp20: Parker J. Palmer on Connection and Community||How we talk to one another is directly connected to how we feel about ourselves: our self-worth, our willingness to be open and vulnerable, and our self-compassion. We can show up more fully for others when we show up fully to ourselves. But unhealthy ego, fear of humiliation, and isolation can stop us in our tracks. The antidote is community and connection. Our question this episode: how can we hold conflict creatively in order to build stronger relationships? You’re in for a super big treat today in the form of a wide-ranging discussion with writer, speaker, and activist Parker J. Palmer. Podcast hosted by Beth Buelow, PCC. More information at howcanisaythis.com.||1/23/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanUsing the Ladder of Inference to Reframe Conflict||We’ve all heard the phrase “jumping to conclusions,” but have we really stopped to think about how that jumping happens? It’s a phenomenon that we’ve all experienced: We see something, our brains quickly search for evidence that supports or refutes what we see, and we draw a conclusion. All of this happens in a split second, without even being conscious of it. The end result is often an assumption, which can lead to misunderstandings, communication breakdowns, or worse. Our question this episode: how can understanding our thought processes help us manage conflict? We look at the Ladder of Inference as a tool to shed light on how we move from reality to beliefs to action. Hosted by Beth Buelow, PCC. More information at howcanisaythis.com.||1/15/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYour Questions: When Someone is Gaslighting You||We all know people who exaggerate, or take liberty with the facts or know how to bluff their way through a topic they know nothing about. There are times when we might even be that person! After all, our memory isn’t perfect, and we do the best we can to remember things as they happened. But there are some people who don’t have that same desire for truth. They create their own truth, and they’re set on convincing you that you’re the one who’s wrong. There’s a term for it: gaslighting. Our question this episode: what do we do when someone is clearly and repeatedly lying to us? This episode looks at the challenge of handling a situation where the truth is being manipulated. I also offer you a New Year’s invitation designed to stretch your communication capacity in 2019. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More information and resource links at howcanisaythis.com||1/1/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYour Questions: How to Rein in a Disruptive Colleague||It doesn’t matter what kind of group it is. It could be members of a family, office, church, book group, or knitting circle. All of us have at one point experienced the person who sucks the oxygen out of the room by taking over the conversation and basically holding court. Our question this episode: how can we break the spell of the dominant talker without causing conflict? This is the question submitted through the online form by Suky, who wrote: I would consider myself an introvert, especially around colleagues who are not. Currently I work with a colleague who I find is over powering, takes over any conversation, discussion or debate. She always wants to know who I’m talking to and why, and she really worries that she will miss out on something. This leaves me feeling I have no voice - when she is there, and we share the same office - I find myself fading in the background. As an example, somebody will walk into the office to ask me a question, and she will actually take over the conversation either by interrupting or jumping in and taking over. There are times I get so frustrated that I end up walking out of the office. How can I address this without causing conflict? Hosted by Beth Buelow, PCC. More information at howcanisaythis.com||12/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp16: Busyness and Negative Framing||We all know that the words we choose to describe situations and experiences tell a story about how we see the world. Are you a partly cloudy or partly sunny type of person? Is the glass half-empty, or half-full? Are you "so busy" or "keeping busy"? The words we use might shift depending on our mood, but most of us have a leaning towards either optimism or pessimism. While I don’t want to say one is better than the other, I’m going to say it anyway: healthy optimism, combined with a dose of healthy pessimism – or one might call that realism – is worth trying to cultivate and sustain. Our questions this episode: what are some ways that we put a negative spin on things, and how does that hold us back? This episode highlights two language habits - automatic "I'm so busy" responses and negative framing - that can undermine our success.||12/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCharlotte Parsons, Modeling Healthy Conflict for Kids||Many years ago, I was chatting with a work colleague when she brought up that she and her husband were separating. The relationship had several challenges, but guess what was an ah-ha moment for her about the root of their problems? Neither of them knew how to argue. Growing up, they rarely, if ever, saw their parents in conflict, so they thought conflict was to be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, the cost was their marriage. How can we learn to model healthy conflict for the benefit of our family relationships? In this episode, we’re going to explore how adults can normalize conflict for one another and their kids. Even if you’re like me and don’t have children, what my guest shares is applicable to the work place, since there are similar authority/subordinate hierarchies at play, just as there are in the home. I’m joined in this episode by mediator Charlotte Parsons. Charlotte is a parenting coordinator, parent educator, an empty-nest mom and wife of 29 years in Columbus, OH. Like many mediators, she comes from a variety of backgrounds with previous careers in journalism, healthcare and parent education, with degrees from The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Hosted by Beth Buelow, PCC. More information at howcanisaythis.com||11/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBarbara McAfee, Using Your Full Voice||Watch your tone… it’s advice we’ve all received at some point, most likely when we were children and saying, “I don’t want to” to a parent, or “give it back,” to a sibling. As adults we still have to watch our tone, as how we say something is as important as what we say. Tone takes on new meaning, not just the attitude, but the pitch and timbre. How can we be powerful communicators by using our words and our tone? How you convey your message is just as important as the message itself. Voice Coach Barbara McAfee teaches us how to powerfully express ourselves using our full voice. Barbara McAfee is a voice coach, singer/songwriter, keynote speaker, and author who merges lessons from 12 years in organization development with the transformational power of sound. Her book, Full Voice: The Art & Practice of Vocal Presence, is based on her 25+ years as a voice coach, supporting people from many professions in learning how to access the full power and expression of the voice in service to their work and relationships. Hosted by Beth Buelow, PCC. More resources and information at howcanisaythis.com||11/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanKwame Christian, Compassionate Curiosity||There are times when we feel stuck in our communications, that no matter what we say or how we plead our case, we make zero headway with the other person. We’re so fixated on what we need and want, we forget to consider the other person and their needs and wants. What are some ways we can turn that around and create a situation where everyone gets what they need? This episode features my lively conversation with guest Kwame Christian, who offers us some awesome insights on how to connect on a meaningful level with someone – even a 2-year old! – and have a persuasive conversation. Kwame Christian is Director of the American Negotiation Institute, where he puts on workshops designed to make difficult conversations easier. As an attorney and mediator with a bachelors of arts in Psychology, a Master of Public Policy, and a law degree, Kwame brings a unique multidisciplinary approach to the topic of conflict management and negotiation. He’s the author of Nobody Will Play With Me and his TEDx Talk, Finding Confidence in Conflict, was the most popular TED Talk on the topic of conflict of 2017. He also hosts the top negotiation podcast in the world, Negotiate Anything. He’s also been a repeat guest on my other podcast, The Introvert Entrepreneur; links to those shows can be found on the page for this episode at howcanisaythis.com.||11/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYour Questions: How to Stop Rambling||When I get nervous, I can talk… and talk and talk and talk. It’s really embarrassing sometimes, and I don’t know how to stop myself once I get going. I’m sure the other person is bored to tears or wishing I’d just shut up already. But I can’t help it. Or can I? Is it possible to gracefully stop our rambling and get the conversation back on track? In this episode, I respond to a listener question about what to do when you find yourself talking too much, as well as start an exploration of what really gets in our way when we’re having difficulty being in conversation with someone we disagree with. I also share an insight from Alan Alda about the importance of empathy in conversation. Hosted by Beth Buelow, PCC. More information at www.howcanisaythis.com||10/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDerek Pratt, Tips for Neighbor Conflicts||It doesn’t matter if they’re down the hall or across the street: being in community with other people can be hard work. We’ve probably all experienced a noisy neighbor or inconsiderate coworker who doesn’t seem to be aware of how their actions affect others. How do we address those problems with the people we live and work with in a way that doesn’t make things worse? My guest is Derek Pratt, founder of 4ward With Progress Inc. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More information at www.howcanisaythis.com.||10/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYour Questions: Negative People, Protecting Colleagues||There are times in most relationships when we’re faced with one of two situations: we feel a need to protect ourselves, or we feel a need to protect someone else. Every once in a while, especially when it comes to giving feedback, those two things can happen at the same time! How can we act in a way that establishes boundaries while still being kind? In this episode, we take a look at two listener questions: dealing with negative people and sharing difficult feedback with a colleague who’s having personal issues. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More information and resources at howcanisaythis.com.||10/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYour Questions: Creating Closure from a Distance||In an ideal world, relationships that end would do so clearly and with no loose ends. Each person would walk away feeling like they’d tied a nice neat bow on the matter. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and endings can be messy and feel incomplete. What do we do when we are left with lots of loose ends and no one to help us tie them up? In this episode, we’re going to do a deep dive into a listener question about how to find relationship closure alone when it’s not possible to do it together. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. Learn more, submit your questions, and subscribe at howcanisaythis.com||10/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEp008: Veronica Cravener, Determining Your Interests and Wants||We’ve all found ourselves in arguments where we reach a stalemate. Neither person seems willing to budge on what they need, and frustration builds instead of goes away. After all, what I want is what I want! Isn’t that what I’m arguing for? Well, it turns out there’s more at stake than what we think. And one way to get past the frustration is to find out what that is. What are some ways we can get at what really matters in a disagreement? In this episode, I’m joined by mediator Veronica Cravener, who provides insights about what gets in our way in difficult conversations and how we can best share our needs, wants and interests with others. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. Learn more at howcanisaythis.com||10/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGrace Judson, Empathy in Conversations||There’s a time and place for everything, and that includes emotion and intimacy. Most of the time it’s clear when we can show emotion and wear our heart on our sleeve. But sometimes, especially in professional environments, it can be more challenging to know how to respond when a clear need for empathy presents itself. We want to connect as human beings while still respecting boundaries. What’s a healthy way to walk that line with people we care about? Leadership Coach Grace Judson joins to me to discuss this and more. Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More information and resources at www.howcanisaythis.com||9/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYour Questions: Friendship Challenges, Generational Differences||How can we offer our perspective in a thoughtful way that doesn’t put someone on the defensive? In this episode, we’ll be looking at some listener questions about telling it like it is to someone you care about, intergenerational conversations, and lopsided friendships. Submit your question and find more information about this podcast can be found at howcanisaythis.com. Hosted by Beth Buelow, PCC.||9/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanArden Clise, Tricky Feedback, Establishing Boundaries (Ep005)||I welcome etiquette consultant Arden Clise to the show, and together we respond to listener questions on giving and receiving sensitive feedback, as well as how to establish boundaries when you value your privacy.||9/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCinnie Noble, Navigating Conflict and Passive-Aggressiveness||Conflict coach Cinnie Noble joins me in conversation about what constitutes healthy and unhealthy conflict. We also offer some perspectives to a listener that's dealing with passive-aggressive behavior.||9/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYour Questions: TMI, Unsolicited Help, Releasing a Client||This episode features listener questions about how to gracefully exit a client relationship, tell someone their help isn’t needed, and extract yourself from a TMI conversation.||9/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLaurie Helgoe, How to Handle Bullies and Narcissists||Psychologist and author Laurie Helgoe joins me to talk about dealing with bullies and narcissistic types. We also respond to listener questions about someone who won't take "no" for an answer and how to connect with others as an introvert.||9/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBridging Political Divides with Kern Beare||In this debut episode, we jump right into the fray with a conversation about how to bridge the political divide when you're talking with someone who thinks very differently than you do. My guest is Kern Beare, founder of Pop the Bubble, an initiative born in the wake of the 2016 election. After taking a cross-country “conversation road trip” with his son Will to better understand the source of our divide, Kern created a workshop called “Difficult Conversations: The art and science of thinking (and living) together.” He’s been traveling the country leading the workshop since October of 2017.||9/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Beth is a master at crafting what to say- if you are ever struggling with finding the right words, this is an excellent short form podcast to help you with ideas- it is one of her superpowers!
Thank you addressing my submitted question
I am thankful that you included my question on your podcast (regarding giving feedback about hygiene) and appreciate the dynamic and multifaceted discussion that ensued.
As a massage teacher (and massage practitioner) for 26 years the multiple layers of considerations you and your colleague unpacked on your podcast shed light on the matter with nuanced compassion and insight.
Oftentimes, that which is central to this communication can become even more ‘charged’ due to power differentials whether within the classroom (teacher/student) or in the massage therapy context (provider/massage recipient) not to mention in ‘egalitarian’ relationships.
It is not easy to model the communication for others to appreciate let alone stay present in the flow of the communication itself when directly conveying the sensitive feedback in the actual situation.
Beth Buelow and her guest refreshingly brainstorm a variety of points of view with mental poise and acumen.
The audio quality of this podcast is
top-notch — transitions are seamless and smooth and engenders an aesthetically appealing sound-space; it creates an ambience that fosters the listeners’ capacity to ‘tune in’ in both mind and heart.
The subject matters that are addressed are fecund and it is difficult not to digress while unpacking these topics— and the editing prowess that goes into streamlining these dynamic discussions can not be taken for granted. Not an easy task when grappling with content as richly layered as Beth Buelow and her guests tackle.
I hope your podcast continues to gain momentum and a broad listenership.
Excellent podcast and interviewer
Wow! I really love this podcast, and I'm extremely choosy when it comes to podcasts. Super helpful, excellent content, and just what the world needs right now. Beth is a fantastic interviewer. I subscribed so I won't miss anything!