All posts tagged Communication

Listening as a Management Strategy

Published May 29, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

The word Summer written on a sandy beach, with scuba mask, beach towel, starfish and flip flops (studio shot - warm color and directional light are intentional).


(Originally posted October 2014)

For the most part, people are good listeners; however, many do not use their listening skills effectively. In his book Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) postulates that the following three different styles of listening affect how a message is received and transmitted: (a) empathetic, (b) active, and (c) content listening. Active listeners listen with a reason, while empathetic listeners, for instance, combine active listening with critical thinking skills to comprehend a message while having compassion towards the messenger’s needs, wants, and feelings. Content listening on the other hand, is when the receiver makes an attempt to comprehend and retain in memory, the data presented by the transmitter (Baack, 2012). When individuals are able to identify the kind of listening they need to engage in for every situation, it will help enhance their communication skills.


A level one listener, for instance, is the most engaged and authentic listener. A level two listener in the meantime, is less engaged and tends to miss important components like nonverbal cues. Finally, level three listeners are those who are too preoccupied with self-concerns. This can prevent them from engaging as an active listener or  receiving the message clearly.


In the eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers, (2013) my research work revealed how effective active listening skills can play a significant role in the communication process. For example, when we are in the work place, we learn the importance of engaging in clear communication strategies because a message transmitted improperly can have dire consequences; and in a worst case scenario, that can result in an employee’s termination. To help employees, some leaders offer staff members communication workshops. Others develop programs that include activities to strengthen communication skills. Then there are companies that choose to distribute educational material to help improve and remind employees about the significance of good listening skills for clear communication, as well as how effective communication skills can help them achieve higher performance levels. In short, good listening skills provide clarification in receiving messages which is effective for breaching communication barriers.

culture oil

For an employee of a team of twenty people, for example, in addition to engaging in active listening, that staff member may also have to learn how to communicate effectively with different components like ethnicity, cultures, and other diversities. They may also need to understand how to be sympathetic and understanding under different circumstances like when shaking someone’s hand can transmit a message of disrespect to a dignitary when bowing is the accepted traditional custom. One tactic may be to ask for clarification before delivering a message, or repeating a sentence from the conversation. This can be done to clarify the individual was engaged in active listening and enthusiastic to confirm that the transmission was received as it was meant to be delivered. In conclusion, to achieve the best outcomes in the communication process, individuals must also apply skills like active listening. The key to ongoing success however, is an awareness that the enhancement of communication skills is an ongoing learning experience that continues to evolve because of advancements in technology that provide new methods of transmitting those messages.

That’s a wrap for this week’s summer break edition. Until next time … stay organized!


“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” — Turkish Proverb


Graduation Ad Ethics and Mission

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Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Communication Skills of Top Performers

Published December 3, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair


In a business arena, the key to transmitting information effectively lies in recognizing the target audience. In his book, Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) contends that in addition to identifying the receiver, the communicator must also comprehend and implement the correct protocol in addressing each staff member whether of elite status or in a supporting role. In other words, transmitting messages may require a conscious effort to engage in a different level of communication to those in upper management, than the casual rapport that is commonly expected among peers and entry level staff members (Baack, 2012). This means that one effective leadership skill top performers put their focus on, is their ability to include effective communication by developing a great degree of self-awareness.

Breaching Cover Art MA Berry rev

It is this level of awareness that can play a big role in how managers can communicate and respond within a work environment. In my ebook, Breaching Communication Barriers (2014), I shared my personal experiences at Capitol Records with respect to transmitting messages within the hierarchy of that corporate structure. Because it was an arena where many of the music industry’s biggest superstars converged for various reasons, behavior that was inappropriate could result in permanent termination. In addition, when communication breaks down in the workplace, the environment can quickly become hostile and toxic. An employee that feels they have been treated unfairly, for instance, can tear down a company’s good reputation. A breakdown in communication between staff can also create irreparable damage if not handled properly.


Managers that are effective leaders, possess high levels of communication skills. They use their skills as a tool to help get corporate teams enthusiastic and excited about their goals. In other words, top communicators achieve successful outcomes because they consciously transmit messages that: (a) help staff members feel confident about themselves, (b) allow employees to embrace who they are, and (c) focus on staff members’ strengths and talents by commending them for the hard work and effort they bring to the workplace, but also finding ways to help them address their weaknesses without breaking their spirits. To briefly sum up, strong leaders with good communication skills, transmit messages to employees (that are also supported by their actions), that they not only acknowledge and value their staff members, but that they understand their needs and actively look for ways to help their employees with their weaknesses, and in doing so, managers are in a better position to assist them, by working through those obstacles with dignity and grace.


Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true. – Charles Dickens


organizational management business skills publications nov 2014

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life titles, please visit’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s author page


Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.


Internal Communication Revisited

Published November 5, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair


(Note: This is a re-edited version of an article Mayr posted on LinkedIn).

In a business arena the key to effective communication is in recognizing your target audience. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina stated that leadership requires a great degree of self-awareness. That kind of awareness plays a big role in our responsiveness within the corporate arena and how we transmit messages to others. For instance, the protocol required in addressing an organizational staff member of elite status requires a conscious effort to engage in a more formal respectful manner, while an informal casual exchange is expected among peers and subordinates.


When I was employed at Capitol-EMI Records I learned quickly that I needed to establish a level of professionalism in dealing with individuals of elite status, which in the music industry includes people like Bob Seger, David Bowie, and Harry Belafonte. Not only were they considered dignitaries, to many of us who grew up listening to their music, they were also our music heroes. Learning how to interact with top performers in any industry requires a certain level of knowledge in communication skills. I mean after all, who wants to appear like a fool, stumbling over words in an effort to construct a coherent sentence? What would you say to music legend Neil Diamond if you ran into him at a coffee shop the day after he performed in concert? What is the appropriate protocol in communication when you are walking to your car at the Warner Brothers Studio parking lot and the tall man that is walking towards you is Clint Eastwood?


Experience in communication skills can play a big role in how we respond in situations like these. Because let’s face it, many of us become overwhelmed with heightened emotions when we are confronted suddenly and asked to interact professionally with people who are in a dignitary position. Learning how to communicate within an organization is just as important as developing skills to communicate outside of an organization because it is a reflection on you and the organization you represent.

business life ad Oc 2014

For more information on developing and building communication skills check out our eBook Breaching Communication Barriers (also available in audiobook) or to purchase any of our other accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

 Media Magic Publishing.


The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. – Peter Drucker


Management Communication

Published June 13, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair


Earlier this week we identified that Business Communication consists of the total set of channels utilized by an organization to transmit messages. Today’s blog is focused on Management Communication, another vital component to an organization’s outcomes; one which experts in the business arena agree, is the energy that drives an organization. In his book, Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) defines this process as all the efforts to systematically plan, implement, monitor, and upgrade the channels of transmitting messages in and outside the firm. This means that Management Communication has an impact on the firm’s internal operations (Baack, 2012).  It also includes the activities and functions of the management team.

Management Communication, however, is an ongoing process that goes beyond just implementing various systems. It also relies on the oversight of communication systems and the constant monitor and evolution of their functions. In addition, it involves the implementation of effective communication technologies that can provide better outcomes in quality products and services, as well as the cultivation of a nurturing environment for staff members. Management Communication also consists of two key channels that are available for transmitting messages: (a) the outlets that transmit information within the organization and (b) the channels to outside groups that affect the organization’s functioning processes.


For example, my research work in Breaching Communication Barriers (2013),  revealed that recruiters actively seek leaders with highly developed levels of communication skills because they believe these are the leaders that are capable of building staff confidence by developing methods that focus on the teams’ strengths and talents (Berry, 2013). In short, Management Communication consists of all the systems that are established to plan, implement, monitor, and upgrade the outlets of message transmission that affect a company’s internal operations.

This is similar to Business Communication in that they both consist of: (a) internal activities and connections, (b) external communication with publics and stakeholders; (c) implementing written, verbal and nonverbal communication; and (d) the requirement of effective communication skills. The primary difference, however, between Business and Management Communication, is contingent upon the range of an organization’s functioning processes. For instance, Business Communication typically consists of every part of a firm’s operations. This includes activities like filling out an invoice for a customer which has nothing to do with the managerial component. Therefore, the primary difference between the Business and Management Communication process is that Business Communication does not rely on managerial input.


In conclusion, leaders that have a comprehensive understanding of these important communication concepts are in a better position to develop effective means of transmitting messages which in turn, can help them to run an organization more efficiently with higher chances of achieving successful outcomes.

Well, that’s it for this week. Have a great weekend and Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads (including moms who step in for absent fathers) that work hard to make a difference by showing up as an active participant in their children’s lives!


Love is a better teacher than duty. – Albert Einstein


arriving soon


Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Success in Management and Communication

Published June 9, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair


There are two themes that are relevant in the world of communication, learning communication skills to help navigate a successful career and adapting these skills to succeed in a leadership or managerial position. Baack (2012) suggests that leaders with superior communication skills not only gather information, they comprehend and communicate that information in a way that empowers others while earning their respect and loyalty. These are the architects that establish new career models as a framework that can be applied to any industry (Baack, 2012). In other words, these leaders have developed a strong set of principles to guide their interpersonal relationships as well as the communication constructs that motivates them to achieve successful outcomes.


In my eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers (2013), I reveal how communication problems in the workplace can become hostile and toxic as well as the role employees play in tearing down a company’s reputation (Berry, 2013). In the meantime, employees that communicate a positive view of their organization are also happy to offer their loyalty to a firm. For example, Southwest Airlines, (SWA) one of America’s success stories, provides an ideal example of how effective communication played an integral role in helping them build a successful business model. Herb Kelleher, the firm’s leader, worked hard with his employees to build and maintain a reputation influenced by his management style which included the following concepts: (a) revealing the company’s purpose, vision and values, (b) making people heroes, (c) being honest and consistent with communication, (d) maintaining a flow of open communication between all divisions, and (e) providing staff members with applicable information to help them make the most effective decisions.


While many leaders focus their strategies by keeping the customer happy, the SWA leader focused his model on keeping the employees happy. He believed this was the most effect method to succeed in the aviation industry because employees that are content and valued at the workplace are also motivated to perform at higher levels.

On Wednesday we will take a closer look at the similarities and differences in business and management communication. Until then … keep working on reaching your highest potential!


A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem. – Albert Einstein


arriving soon


Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.




The Role of Communication

Published May 30, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair


Communication affects every element in an organizational environment. When an organization is in the early stages of development the need for quality communication is essential for every step of the journey. It can affect, for example, how an organization is introduced, how it grows, how it matures, and it can affect whether or not it succeeds or fails. Baack (2012) suggests that communication in an organizational environment is important because messages transmitted inefficiently can affect outcomes with suppliers, retailers, government officials, special interest groups, and a variety of individuals the organization interacts with (Baack, 2012). That’s because the different delivery methods of communication include: letters, reports, statements, interpersonal contacts, public relations statements, and marketing messages that can be transmitted in a way that either builds relationships or breaks them. In other words an organization cannot survive unless quality interactions take place between these individuals and the groups they transmit to.


The two major levels of communication takes place on: (a) an interpersonal level, and (b) within the organization itself. Also, the methods and systems of communication and technologies that transmit information vary from organization to organization. These systems include the dynamics of intra-group (within) and inter-groups (between). It also includes more sophisticated methods of moving information throughout an organization. For example, interpersonal communication takes place between individuals as in the following examples: (a) supervisor to employee, (b) employee to employee, and (c) supervisor to a team of staff members. Organizational communication systems, on the other hand, take place as follows: (a) between members of the team or group, (b) between two or more groups, (c) formal management channels, and (d) informal channels through gossip and rumor. These are the most common levels of business communication.


The more training and experience an individual develops in communicating, the more effective they will be in broadcasting their message efficiently. In my eBooklet, Breaching Communication Barriers (2013), I revealed that charismatic people like motivational teacher Anthony Robbins, make communicating information seem effortless and fun. What most people are not aware of however, are the years he spent practicing and perfecting his communication skills so that now he can communicate his messages more effectively without tainting his working or personal relationships (Berry, 2013).

When an organization is in the early stages of development, they invest a great deal of money and effort to communicate to potential customers, suppliers, and staff members of their existence. As the organization grows, the channels of communication also grow because of the number of groups that require attention. Established organizations, in the meantime, have developed more sophisticated communication systems to conduct operations efficiently. In other words, enhanced skills in the areas of communication and the management of those systems are vital to each operation. In short, the messages that are sent out as an organization experiences the various stages of its life cycle, can either contribute or contaminate the organization’s outcomes. For more information on effective methods to break the communication gap, pick up a copy of my eBooklet on by clicking on the image below, where this business life eBook was recently featured as a great gift idea for Father’s Day!


That wraps up things for this week. Have a great weekend everyone … and remember keep working on your channels of communication and stay organized!

Breaching Audio book coming soon


Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death. – Albert Einstein



Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.). USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

What is Communication?

Published May 28, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair


Communication is a part of every aspect of our life. From the time we are born until the end of our lives, communication shapes what and how we learn, how we connect with others, and how we make our livelihood. Individuals that have difficulty communicating for whatever the reason, will find themselves at a disadvantage. On the other hand, those who are gifted and possess high levels of communication skills, and more than likely to achieve greater levels of success in the workplace as well as in their personal lives.

Baack (2012) defines communication as the transmission, receipt, and the processing of information we receive. He also postulates that this information must consist of any item that elicits meaning. Communication, therefore, consists of the transfer of data with meaning from one individual or group to others. In addition, it can be transmitted in a variety of forms including: (a) terms or words, (b) symbols, (c) figures or numbers, (d) a single concept, or (e) a set of concepts combined. The recipient, on the other hand, must comprehend them for any of these concepts to make sense (Baack, 2012). For example, most people younger than 25 years of age who grew up in the United States understand the following combination of letters: OMG. A senior citizen who does not use computers or smart phones on the other hand, most likely does not have a clue what that combination of letters means.


In the business arena, a great deal of information is transmitted on a daily basis. Some is acknowledged and has meaning, while some of it is just jibber jabber. One thing is for sure, people who can frame information in such a way that the intended recipient understands the true meaning, are the better communicators. In short, the communication process is important because if information is not transmitted correctly, it can be misinterpreted and present challenges beyond repair.

In my article, “Breaching Communication Barriers” (2013), I revealed that employment recruiters will intentionally seek out potential leaders for executive positions with effective communication skills because they know these are the kind of leaders that are top performers. In other words, they specifically seek these candidates because they are cognizant that prospects that possess high levels of communication skills are in a better position to help the organization and its staff members reach their highest potential. Plus, successful communicators are better at building strong teams because they can transmit instructions more effectively in a way that motivates and inspires employees to perform at higher levels, rather than offending or alienating them (Berry, 2013).


On Friday’s post we will take a closer look at the various levels of organizational communication including: (a) interpersonal communication that takes place between individuals or one individual with a small group of people; and (b) communication within the organization itself to better comprehend the role it plays in achieving organizational goals.

Until then … keep those channels of communication open and stay organized!


With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing. – Catherine de Hueck Doherty



Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) Henderson, NV: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Breaching the Communication Gap

Published January 24, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

Broken Communication

Communication skills are an integral component in the organizational management process because it influences how we receive as well as how we deliver messages. This in turn helps us understand our organization’s purpose, the culture, as well as how we respond to and support our colleagues. Knowing how to communicate concisely, without criticizing or setting off the defense mechanisms of others, is an important element in organizational management. Highly successful leaders, for example, engage in a level of communication that motivates top performances and inspires team members and partners to become better people. The most effective leaders, in fact, are those that lead by example, delegating responsibilities and duties in a way that motivates and values staff members.


Recruiters target their search for effective leaders with good communication skills because they know these are the potential ring masters who will lead their team enthusiastically to successful outcomes. In addition, top recruiters seek individuals in leadership positions with the potential to help staff members: (a) feel confident about themselves;, (b) accept them for who they are, (c) focus on their strengths and talents, (d) praise them for their hard work, and (e) value their talents and what they bring to the organization. In other words, companies are looking for strong leaders that are not only compassionate in their acknowledgement of weaknesses in others, but they also help them work through their challenges with dignity while praising their strengths.

To read more about breaching the communication gap, please read the article at the link below:

Thanks everyone! In the meantime, be on the lookout next Friday for another article!

Until then … stay organized!

Virtual Organizations

Published December 28, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair


Technology and globalization play an increasingly important role in the evolution of today’s business environment. Although office face-time played a critical role in corporate settings in the past, the once-rigid boundaries of geography, time and even organizations are now quickly vanishing as members of almost any workplace team are communicating and collaborating regardless of physical location (Duarte & Snyder, 2006). For example, teams that are geographically dispersed rely on technology-mediated communication to accomplish tasks and the degree of virtuality can vary from slight to extreme. Teams that conduct their work through the following three technological devices: (a) email, (b) text messages, and (c) teleconferences never meeting face-to-face, are considered more virtual than a team that meets monthly in person. Teams that span multiple time zones and continents are more virtual than one whose members are located within the same city (Gibson, et al., 2003). These new components in the virtual work environment add complexities that require the development of new managerial skills.


Virtual teams (VT) work across time, space and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technologies. VT are useful because they can be rapidly brought together to realize a business objective within limited time and resources. VT services are becoming more important today as a result of variety in their underlying business process models (Fong, 2005). Virtual enterprises (VE) share data, information as files, directories, internet bookmarks, databases and more sophisticated tools of knowledge management or a combination of all.


Organizations that do not utilize virtual team technology may effectively be fighting an uphill battle in global competition in a swiftly changing environment. Institutions will find success in today’s business environment by finding new ways of working across boundaries through systems, processes, technology, and people. VE make technology a valued partner by developing and distributing competitive solutions (Duarte & Snyder, 2006). People working on virtual teams need special skills which include: (a) comprehending human dynamic and performance without the benefit of normal social cues, (b) knowledge of how to manage across functional areas and national cultures, (c) skill in managing their careers and others without the advantage of face-to-face interaction, and (d) the ability to use leverage and electronic communication technology as their primary means of collaboration and communication.

Monitor Handshake

The technology to enable VE is here. The acceptance of it depends on the willingness of the individuals and organizations to understand the concept and transition in this new approach to organizational management. Coordinating systems that address work practices, management oversight, organizational and cultural influences, are key components in building strategic alliances that will contribute to a company’s growth and success within the virtual organization environment.



Duarte, D., & Snyder, N. T. (2006). Mastering virtual teams (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Fong, M. (2005). E-Collaborations and virtual organizations. Hershey PA: IRM Press.

Gibson, C., Cohen, S., Alcordo, T., Athanassiou, N., Baba, M., Blackburn, R., . . . Tyran, C. (2003). Teams that work (1st ed.). (C. Gibson, & S. Cohen, Eds.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Entertaining Business Presentations

Published December 23, 2012 by Mayrbear's Lair


In order to build rapport with an audience in a business presentation try to make it as entertaining as you can. First, establish who your audience is and what the potential barriers may be. Next, implement different motivational strategies that include maintaining eye contact, telling stories to personalize the presentation, and employ effective language (Baack, 2012). Also include music as a soundscape with visual aid, use hand gestures, and a variety of vocal intonations; particularly when emphasizing issues of importance. In addition, utilize the entire stage as well as the house to encourage audience participation and feedback.


On several occasions, I have been hired as a consultant and special effects artist to enrich presentations for other motivational speakers making their events more theatrical and entertaining. For example, around 1990, I was part of a special effects team hired to wow the crowds at one of Tony Robbins two week motivational retreats in Maui.


As one of the world’s foremost motivational speakers Tony is a dynamic personality and can engage an audience just with his energy and the power of his words. At this particular event, he wanted to make the experience more spectacular for his audience by adding stage theatrics. We set him up with some easy to perform magic tricks to help emphasize a point in certain segments. In other sections we included the use of pyrotechnics and special effects for more dramatic emphasis. To create an unforgettable introduction, we incorporated the use of uplifting music and staged his entrance to make it seem like he appeared out of thin air under the misdirection of the laser lights and a billow of clouds produced from strategically placed smoke machines. Making a presentation theatrical is to me, one of the highlights of putting on a show.

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. In D. Baack, Management Communication. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.