“speak up” articles archive


Tell me “why”?

The importance of explaining “why” when communicating. The ability to explain “Why” could well prove to be your most valuable super-power. A recent Harvard Business Review article1 claimed that good leadership is about doing precisely this, particularly in a crisis. How very topical! Although it seemed to lean quite heavily on the essence of Simon […]


Resolving Conflict – at home and at work

Models for dealing with conflict in one-to-one communication settings Over the past few months, we may have been managing conflict in many guises, given the current extraordinary circumstances of Covid-19 lockdown in the UK and around the world, and the challenges that proximity…or the opposite…  has brought.  We all have our individual coping mechanisms; I’ve […]


Half-time oranges in a slow start to the year

The year is half completed and a deadline for an extension to the Transition Period looms. It may have been a madly hectic and massively changing six months for most of us – and the world economy – due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, but it’s been a slow half year for one set of the […]


And now for something completely different…

Negotiators need to prepare well (phase 1) in advance of opening the dialogue (phase 2). Not everyone does… Round 2 of the Brexit talks got under way officially on 2nd March1, with the discussions no longer about the ‘divorce’ but about the deal/s that will exist between the UK and the EU after 31st December […]


Breaking down the breakdown of communication

Richard discusses the illusion of transparency and the need for clear and impactful communication techniques. There is a quote in our business often attributed to George Bernard Shaw: ‘the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’ Whilst running a presentation skills workshop earlier this week I found myself saying […]


Striking the Balance

Lynda considers some aspects of effective communication which need care and preparation. If you can, in these turbulent times, cast your mind back to a time when you were going about your normal, daily routine.  It’s likely that, at some point over the last month or two, you were on public transport; a train, a […]


Long live the telephone, the modern saviour

How to communicate effectively on telephone and video conference calls. ‘The telephone gives us the happiness of being together yet safely apart.’1 Mason Cooley. How apt just now… We’re not sure about all of you, but within two weeks we have entirely switched from face-to-face to communicating by phone and video conference. Emails of course […]


‘They that have the voice of lions’… and of lionesses

Desmond discusses the effect of pitch heights and other vocal aspects in both genders. Shakespeare’s Cressida1 refers us to an animal admired for its authoritative ‘voice’. Both male and female lions deploy ‘very loud and low-frequency vocalization’2 to communicate effectively over long distances. While lion cubs, by contrast, make quieter, higher-pitched sounds. These cub vocalisations […]


The ‘How’ is as Important as the ‘What’

The delivery of a presentation should optimise all vocal and visual aspects Earlier this year, I attended an entertaining and informative lecture at Gresham College London, delivered by an illustrious musical accompanist.  His talk was wonderfully engaging, peppered with pieces of piano playing, accompanying a soprano soloist,  and contrasting the differences between  highly-skilled and average […]


How shall I address thee?

The rapid change to society, and the avoidance of offence at this time of good cheer among men I was at a DIAL meeting recently. DIAL stands for ‘Diverse, Inclusive, Aspirational Leaders’, and is a newish business providing workshops and supporting online services on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) for such leaders. DIAL asked me to […]