The Engage-O-Meter

You’re getting ready to lead or facilitate a session and you want have an engaged group. 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏽‍♂️🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏾‍♂️

Here are my 6 tips on keeping your audience involved.

  1. When possible, say the person’s name. (We all want to feel recognised and special🤩, and it starts when someone remembers your name😍)

  2. Every few minutes, get people talking or 🗣saying something. (The brain and muscles are activated)

  3. ASK a question first before TELLING. (You want to give the answer…don’t! Give your audience a chance to be involved, if they dont know, then give it)

  4. Say: ☞ “THIS IS IMPORTANT”(When needed, instantly gets focus)

  5. Make links, bring back previous examples (Think of the session as telling a story, everything connects- “Remember when we spoke about…”💭)

  6. And finally, PAUSE ! (Mixes up the pace, and lets introverts catch up)

"Can We Talk?" - 3 words that can cause a FIGHT or FLIGHT reaction

“Can We Talk”

Lower the temperature before giving feedback

You say the words “Can we talk?”- and it’s likely the other person is now going into a ‘fight or flight’ mode. And at this heightened state, it’s going to take 50% longer for their cortisol level to return to its baseline.

There are 4 steps we can use to lower the temperature.

In this transmission, let’s focus on step 1-Mindset.


  • Mindset

  • Observe

  • Validate

  • Engage

3 quick tips you can apply:

#1 -Flood your brain with Oxygen!

The brain uses 3x more oxygen than our muscles do. When the brain is not getting enough oxygen it affects your mood, concentration and emotions.

Remember to breathe when the stakes are high so you will have more control over your thoughts and reactions!

Inhale for 3, through your nose, exhale for 5 through your mouth

Actor’s tip: Actors do lots of breathing exercises for a more confident voice and decrease anxiety.

#2- What’s your intention?

Feedback is often focused on your objective: “You’re going to change”. Shift your focus instead to your intention:

  • What do you want from this relationship? Dialogue, trust, long-term communication….

  • What do you want them to feel at the end of the session? Reassured, motivated, engaged, encouraged…

When your intention is clear, it creates more trust and has a positive effect on your voice, body language and choice of words.

Actor’s tip: An actor’s job is to move the other character in the scene and if not genuine, the scene does not move forward.

#3- Change your self-talk

Get your self-talk working for you. When faced with a difficult situation or problem, Dan Pink suggests switching pronouns’ when talking to yourself:

  • 1st person “I can do it” (good self-talk)

  • 2nd person “You can do it” (even better)

  • 3rd person “Joel Silverstone can do it!” (best!)

“It always seems easier to give advice to a friend.”

Actor’s tip: Just like an actor, self-distance yourself from the character you play.

What's the Deal with EMPATHY?

In my over 20 years of going into different companies around the world and working with their teams, EMPATHY is the one trait/skill that is misunderstood and therefore NOT USED or AVOIDED!

I'm going to try to demystify empathy: Empathy is simply acknowledging (not agreeing, judging or sympathizing) the EMOTION of the other person(s). -If paraphrasing is acknowledging the FACTS. -EMPATHY is acknowledging the emotion(s). If like me, you're slightly uncomfortable saying: "I see you're frustrated" Try commenting on the emotion of the situation rather than the person. "It sounds like IT (situation) was frustrating" (or whatever feels genuine for you to say at that moment- yucky, not good, sucks, ugh ...)

Of course, LISTENING and NOT solving is also a form of empathy.

The 3 payoffs of using empathy:

1. Shifts the conversation-it's a turning point- true collaboration begins

2.Builds your ability to be more aware, therefore being more present.

3. You show real and genuine interest, you are making that other person feel safe and more open to sharing.