Real Communication. Real Results.

Author, speaker, and coach, Betty Lochner is a passionate leader, with over 25 years of experience specializing in improving interpersonal skills, building and leading teams, training supervisors, and working with different communication styles and generations. 

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Improving Relationships: Just Ride the Wheel

by Betty Lochner on September 1, 2015

The Seattle Big WheelWhen my husband, Ken,  asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I new what I wanted – to spend the day in Seattle and take my first ride on the Big Wheel.

So, the morning of my birthday he had compiled a fun itinerary for the day which included lunch at the market, dinner with my kids, and yes, a ride on the big Seattle Ferris wheel, also known as The Great Wheel, (though I prefer Big Wheel).

What made this gift even more special is that Ken went with me.  He is afraid of heights and a bit claustrophobic, and this was way out of his comfort zone.  But, he put on his brave face and got in that little enclosed capsule with me.  It was so much fun – for me.  For Ken, not so much.  He said things like “there’s nothing to hold on to” and “how many more turns?” and “don’t move around so much,” while I happily enjoyed the incredible view and moved around to see the different sights and take some pictures.

I realized when I was done that the best part of the gift was the testimony it gave as to how much he loves me.  He went way out of his comfort zone because he knew that it would make me happy.  Simple, but huge.

The experience reminded me of how easily it is to get in a rut and not try new things because we are fearful of something.  Fearful we may fall, fearful it may not work out, or that we may be embarrassed. But when we step out of comfort zone, the rewards can be great.

Remember that small things can make a big difference in a relationship.  And, well sometimes you just have to be brave and try those new small things.

What are you holding back on doing for someone else?  I challenge you to take a small step.  Get out of your comfort zone and get on that Big Wheel!

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2015-08-26 15.12.24 HDRBetty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on Amazon.com.

 

 

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Mommy Camp: Relationships Enduring the Test of Time

by Betty Lochner on August 24, 2015

2015-08-23 22.28.36

This weekend, two girlfriends and I headed to the beach. Some would think it a typcial girl get-away. But this trip was far from that. This trip marked nineteen years of the three of us heading off to “Mommy Camp” together. It started when our children went to church camp together and it made more sense to stay over for the weekend then drive back and forth.  Our girls stopped going to camp about 7 years ago. But, Mommy Camp continues.

The picture here shows Georganne, Karen and me at Pacific Beach in Oregon.  We have a picture from each year, and we usually end up with a bargain shopping item that we carry from year to year.  The coat I’m wearing in this picture was purchased on our very first trip.  We all have one.

In addition to beach hiking and shopping, there are many things that are special about spending a long weekend together with two of your best friends. One of the most significant being that we have never missed a year. Even though life has altered our planning and who could stay the entire weekend  (this year I had to cut my trip a day short), we always make it there together.

We have a few unwritten rules we abide by. (We have a few written rules as well, which you can read about in an earlier post).

First, we give each other grace. We don’t guilt each other or judge each other. Some years we are fatter, or healthier, or happier than others. It doesn’t matter. We just have fun and support and encourage each other.

Second, we give equal air time.  We all have our opportunity to give as long as an update on our life as we want and ask/offer advice.

Third, we do life together.  These ladies have helped me with all the important stuff in my life including my daughter’s wedding and my sister’s funeral.  Last year, I was in Orlando on a business trip and visited Georganne’s daughter when she got some scary health news on the same day that Georganne was back here sitting in for me while my daughter was having  a pre-wedding hair crisis.  It was perfectly appropriate for both of us.

Mommy Camp reminds me of what’s going right in my world.  And for that, I am so very blessed.

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2015-08-21 16.10.25Betty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on Amazon.com.

 

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Weekend Shadows: Babysitting Grandpups

by Betty Lochner on August 13, 2015

4dogsMy husband, Ken, and I spent 10 days on vacation away from home, and from our two very high maintenance dogs, Penny and Ruben. They have special routines – food, pills, shots… and to make it worse, they can tell time. If you are late with a morning snack or, heaven forbid, dinner, you will hear about it.

So, a break was good. We sort of started missing them toward the end of our trip. Just about the time when the texts started coming from our adult kids: “ Can you dog-sit this weekend?”

We rolled our eyes, and said “Yes, of course.“

We were picked up from the airport by our son with his dog, Jager, who immediately made himself at home on Ken’s lap. Then we were driven to our daughter’s house where we were greeted by her dog, Bella, who did a very impressive happy dance for us.

Then we came home. Our dogs were not impressed that we arrived with two dogs in tow.  Their looks said, “Really? This is what you left us for?”  Ruben retreated to hide under our bed to pout and penny tried to adjust.  End result – 4 dogs who followed me everywhere.

I had to remind myself that:

  • Our kids trust us with their babies;
  • these are lucky dogs. We have A/C and our kids don’t;
  • it’s nice to be needed by your kids, no matter how old they are; and finally,
  • maybe if we do a good job they will let us babysit real grandkids someday;

That’s my story anyway.   We were glad when the weekend was over and we went back to having just two dogs instead of four, but I have to admit – and don’t tell anyone – I sort of enjoyed having my grandpups around.

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penny, ruben and the hydrangeaBetty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on Amazon.com.

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Communication Tips We Can Learn From Our Pets

by Betty Lochner on July 15, 2015

2015-06-12 21.58.52My husband and I had a really great date night when we redeemed a certificate my son gave me to take a paint class to learn to “Paint Your Pet.”  Who knew that 2 hours and a glass of wine would make me an artist?  But, as you can see by our displayed masterpieces here, that’s all it took!  It was a fun evening of meeting other dog lovers and indulging in our creative side.

Spending time talking about and painting our four-legged family members reminded me of some of my best and favorite communication tips I have learned from our family dogs, Penny and Ruben.

Top Commuication Tips Can Learn from Our Pets

1. Listen first. Listen with every bone in your body and as if your next snack depends on it.

2. Make a lot of noise when you need to. When you need to say something, say it.  Don’t withhold communicating because you are uncomfortable.  Be brace, and practice saying what you need to say, when you need to say it.

3. Say you’re sorry when you’ve done something bad. We all make mistakes, so just snuggle up and be cute and say (and mean) you are truly sorry.

4. Don’t bite people. Don’t be mean spirited or sarcastic when you communicate.  It will get you no respect and it’s not worth the consequences. You may even end up in a really bad place.

5. Wag your tail. Show appreciation and gratitude to those around you. It’s a very powerful communication tool and works every time.

6. Pay attention.  Pay attention to what you are paying attention to.

7. Live a balanced life. Enjoy the simple things in life. Learn some and think some and sing and dance and paint and play and work every day some!

I don’t ever remember taking a “Paint Your Child” art class.  Probably because when our kids were young, our goal was simply to get through the day.   Now that we are empty nesters with a less demanding family schedule we can take time to do something new and reflect.  Something I highly recommend doing every chance you get.

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Betty, Ruben and Penny Betty, Ruben and Penny

 

Betty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on Amazon.com.

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Making Authentic Leadership Real

Here’s a quick overview and three keys way you can better understand and do the work you need to do to become a more authenic leader.

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Finding Common Connections: Meeting Alizza

I have found that, no matter where you are, if you look people in the eye and smile, and point out something you have in common with them right away, you can make connections quickly.

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