How To Communications

Have you ever been so impacted by someone’s words that they stick with you for days and even months? You know, those conversations that keep playing over in your head and you can clearly hear the person speaking when confronted with a situation.

A few months ago, I was talking with my business coach, Isabelle Mercier, about the various opportunities that were being presented to me. Some were exciting, others were nice to do and others weren’t overly interesting.

Before I could babble on, Isabelle looked me in the eye and said “if you don’t say no to what you…


Being the sister of an autistic man, I thought I knew a lot about autism. After all, I had grown up watching my brother struggle through the education system in the 1980s and was familiar with his stimming as well as challenges with changes to routine. But this ‘lived experience’ still didn’t prepare me for raising a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

In honour of World Autism Awareness Day (April 2), I’m sharing some life lessons I’ve learned from raising an autistic child. This journey has not only made me a better mom, but a better person. …


Leadership is a pretty big buzz word. Many organizations use the term leadership team and talking about leadership skills while still holding onto the control. Too often they are using the word leadership when they are actually talking about management. As a result, there tends to be a lot of confusion about how leadership differs from management.

Simple put, management is about controlling and/or supervising individuals and is often task driven. Leadership is about inspiring, motivating and working to bring out the best in people to move the organization forward.

I’ve worked for many organizations that had a lot of…


I want to share a story about how one Tweet can make a difference. A difference in the words used, the respect given to people with developmental disabilities and how families are treated by large organizations.

I recently was asked to complete an intake form in advance of an assessment at a healthcare centre. I printed off the form, made a cup of coffee and sat down to fill out this lengthy document. As I came to the section related to family medical history, my eyes popped out of my head.

Sitting on my couch in 2021, the R word…


I remember a time when online meetings were a rarity, used infrequently or by a few trendy organizations. My how times have changed. Yet, despite all the time we spend online, many people continue to struggle with how to host engaging online meetings.

This was the topic of a presentation I recently gave to a group of leaders looking for ways to increase participation, with less people having their cameras turned off.

Many of these tips are lessons I’ve learned along the way — either as a meeting facilitator or an attendee.

1. Conversational opening

Think back to in-person meetings. People would wander…


Uggh. Just reading the title of this article weighs me down. Yet as a mom of a child with special needs, I feel it’s a topic we don’t talk about enough — the emotional load parents carry.

Every time I give a workshop on How to Advocate for Kids with Special Needs , parents and caregivers talk about how they’re emotionally and physically drained. They share how exhausting it is managing appointments, going for assessments or therapies, advocating at school, dealing with their child’s emotional challenges, food sensitivities or sleeping patterns. The list goes on with no break in sight.


As an entrepreneur, I’m often asked for career advice from clients and friends. This can be as simple as listening to someone who’s struggling with a work task or diving in and helping a friend figure out the next step on their career path. While I give this advice freely, I recently had a friend ask why I’m so willing to help.

I help because I know I’ve gotten to where I am in my career as a result of the support of other women. …


A friend recently called me to get advice on a project that had gone sideways. Although she felt she had done what was asked of her, the submitted project was not received well. The client lambasted her for missing the mark. In dissecting what went wrong, it came down to miscommunications.

I expect miscommunications is at the root of many conflicts in the workplace — and even in our personal lives. Add the fact there are now limited opportunities for face-to-face meetings, miscommunications will likely raise its head more often.

Talking through the project and what went wrong with my…


Every year I take time to pause and evaluate how and where I spend my time — as a professional, volunteer, community member and mom. I feel it’s important to treat your time as a precious resource, being intentional on where it’s spent.

After taking a closer look at all the various volunteer roles I hold, I realized it was time to cut ties with an organization I had been a part of for 3 years.

I thought I would share some of my reasons for stepping away from this role to help you as you reflect on how you…


I’ve been working from home long before the pandemic. As a consultant, speaker and writer, I work with organizations that are spread across the country. Sometimes I’m part of a virtual team, other times I partner with other consultants, and occasionally I work independently on my own projects.

Being self-employed and not having a consistent work team, I’ve learned how to get the most of my collaborations. I admit, some of the lessons have come out of challenging situations.

Whether you’re self-employed or work in an organization, many of these tips will help you not only get the most out…

Cynthia Lockrey

Writer, communications professional, speaker and patient advocate. Visit www.howtocommunications.com for free communications tools to help share your stories.

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