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I'm Marie

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I just wrapped up a three day visit with my parents here in Los Angeles — we had sooo many laughs and good times.

One of the things I appreciate most about my mom, in particular, is how painfully direct she is.

“I don’t want to go on rides.” “I want that clam chowder — now.” “This show is boring. Let’s go.”

There’s no upset or drama. Just the simple truth of how she feels about any particular subject, in real time.

She’s a living demonstration of the phrase “give it to me straight.” While you may not always like what she has to say, you always know exactly where she stands.

Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. - Isaac Newton Click To Tweet

Saying what you mean, directly and plainly, isn’t a skill that comes naturally for many of us.

Especially when it comes to having delicate conversations that involve both business and friendship.

Unfortunately, many of us pretend nothing is wrong (although we’re truly upset inside) or even worse…

Resort to passive aggressive tactics that leave everyone feeling frustrated and misunderstood.

In this brand new episode of MarieTV, learn four simple steps to being more direct with your colleagues and friends so you can tackle tough situations with grace and tact.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

Is there something you’ve been meaning to say to someone, but you haven’t been able to say it in a direct, yet kind, way?

If so, in the comments below use step three from above: Say What You Mean.

Write the “unedited version” of what you want to say (be straight – but respectful) and then write the “cleaned up” version underneath it, in the same comment.

Of course, if you have more to say on the topic of being direct with friends and business partners, I’d love to hear that too.

Thank you, as always, for reading, watching and sharing your experience with our community.

With love,

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241 comments

  1. Step 3 – Say What You Mean

    Well, saying what I mean is rarely the problem.. but cultivating tact is definitely a trait I work on.

    I like that you mentioned “being safe” because if we get defensive or make excuses when people try and talk to us.. they will not open up and be themselves.. and our relationships stay “surface.”

    ~ darlene

    • That is so true. Sometimes we need to start off with “lets take the emotions out of it and lets looks at the facts”. This allows us to speak honestly and openly to our partners. Also it helps us develop our relationship with them.

  2. Been here too often!

    Unedited: You are not doing what you agreed to do.

    Edited: So how about we set deadlines for when we have this thing
    done? Does Monday at noon work for you?

    Awesome episode as always

    • Oh right. Deadlines.. Why didn’t I think of that? Lol.

      Just wrote up my edited version below and I think adding deadlines to it will really help.

    • Great job Vesna. I like this tip because we can first vent out our frustration to ourselves and then be specific, constructive and say what we really need to say in our edited version. Without emotions getting in the way of course.

    • Myre

      I like this approach however it’s difficult when the culprit is a direct supervisor. How would someone approach that one. Especially if the deadlines are set, the task is set, however the follow through is very rarely completed and then falls back on my lap? Advice is appreciated.

  3. My friend and I have been working on film projects and our film guy is driving me nuts! I’m actually looking to totally and absolutely replace him. Yesterday, I wanted to say:

    You know how important these projects are to us and we have been waiting and relying on YOU for the footage. I think its funny how you complain that none of your friends take this seriously when it seems you YOURSELF don’t take it seriously. I’m tired of our footage and progress resting in your hands. We’re through!

    And the edited version is:

    Look, we had a great time working with you on past film projects, but it seems like you are really too busy to give these projects the kind of attention they require. We’re going to start working with someone else who has more time on his hands, but when you feel you’re ready to commit again, let us know. In the mean time, we need to take our footage from you so we can start making progress on the project again.

    Nmm, what do you think?

    • Your edited response is perfect!

      • chrysalis04

        Being on the other end of this recently, I was dismissed, as a friend, for failing to keep some commitments during a certain time frame. I had good reasons which I won’t go into but failed to communicate them to this friend (out of embarrassment) who had really reached out and was trying to develop a friendship with me. I am broken-hearted over losing this relationship, but was also a little blind-sided as I was given no warning. I thought we were good – I was too focused on my own pain and had no clue. Now I feel stupid and really sad but there is nothing I can say as he had already made up his mind. I would have so appreciated a little directness. I would not have been in any way offended and would have welcomed the opportunity to step up where I needed to. Wish he would have told me.

        • Michael D.

          How about be you bring your Smile and start with I’m sorry how can we make this situation better for Us and our children and bring up the MORal of everyone Around. There is an i in Team and We Thit.

    • Get the footage first. Otherwise, he has an opportunity to sabotage everything you’ve worked on to this point. When you fire someone (which is basically what you’re doing), they can have a way of “forgetting” to give you the materials and info you need.

    • Candace Bertotti

      Hi – It sounds like you’ve held court in your head and found him guilty without any dialogue. If you value this relationship then I’d highly recommend starting with facts and ending with a question “I noticed you said three times today that you have no time for editing. It seems like you may be too busy to give these projects the kind of attention they require. I don’t want to come to an unfair conclusion. Help me understand what’s going on.” and then stop and listen. Also, make sure that the second sentence is really honest. Is it really that you think he’s too busy? or is it that he doesn’t prioritize your work? Also, if you care about this relationship — I consider starting with you good intentions “I want to have a great working relationship with you where we both produce our best work. I noticed that….” Otherwise you message above is a big assumption and could say “I don’t care about our relationship enough to hear your side — I am blameless and I’ve already decided for us. Bye.”

      My intention in sending this is just to be helpful, I realize you know much more about the situation that would affect what I wrote above. Good luck!

      • Val Noble

        Good point Candace, I felt the edited version was a bit abrupt, like the friend had no previous warning or understanding of how you have been feeling. But I could be way off 🙂 Good Luck!

    • Hi.
      I like your edited response. You say “when you feel you’re ready to commit again, let us know”. Do you really want to work with him again? Is he really good at what he does? If so, great. If not, and you don’t want to work with him again, don’t leave the door open. Also, I would give him a deadline in regards to getting your footage back. Perhaps saying, “I would like to make arrangements to pick up the footage either Monday at noon or Tuesday at 2pm. Which time works good for you?” You want to be in control of getting the footage back and not the other way around. Good luck!!

    • Udo, I would be careful with this. You are doing two things here that might potentially give you headaches:

      1. You are “firing” him before he gave you the finished product. That means he might sabotage it, or just not give you even what he has at the moment, and this would mean a lot of wasted time for the person picking up the work.

      2. You are judging him from the get go, without having a chat with him.

      It’s important not to assume things in communication. When you say “looks like you are really too busy” you are assuming something about him. I could easily see how he might get offended or defensive when you tell him that.

      Instead of telling him your “verdict”, why not instead sit him down for a friendly conversation and tell him:
      “Hey, look, we’re trying to get this done here, and it seems to be you’re a bit a distracted. What’s going on? Is there anything you want to talk about? Are you getting all of the support you need to do this well and in due time? What can I do to help you do your best work here?”

      You are achieving two things this way:

      1. You are asking yourself (and him) the right kinds of questions. These questions are constructive, and will help you both move forward and figure out a mutually agreeable solution.

      2. You are avoiding offending him or stirring defensiveness in him. What’s more, by asking him these questions and showing him that you trust he is capable of doing the work well but just doesn’t have what he needs, you are instilling trust in him, which might just “guilt” him into getting his butt in gear and getting this thing done more quickly.

      Finally, I would encourage you to set up a deadline with him. Something like, “when do you think you will have this done by? By when do you think we need to talk if you don’t have this almost done by? When can I expect a draft from you?” etc.

      Good luck!

  4. Loved this! As a people-pleaser, I have a difficult time saying things, but the more I say, I realise the more people respect me and my time!! Bang, and now I cannot get enough of saying things straight away. Such a powerful TIME SAVER – no more wondering what I should say or not… THANKS!! 🙂

  5. 4 fab tips…. My “say what you mean” is often around money. It took me a long time to be able to just ask for what i deserve.

    Tip 5 for me would be to choose your “battles” – sometimes things that rile me in “real time” are so insignificant once the heat of the emotion has passed.

    Have a great week all x

    • Jadah | Simple Green Smoothies

      I love your tip #5! I got this advice to choose your own battles, and it is really helpful.

    • Yeah that’s a great tip. Sometimes we have to step away and get perspective on some issues. So long as we are not sweeping under the rug things that are really bothering us in a way of avoiding the issue.

    • YES. I totally agree on tip # 5!

    • YES I completely agree on your tip #5. It’s so easy to get riled up over something in the moment and really want to just “say it straight” (and I don’t mean nice, lol), but then once I calm down it all feels so insignificant, or I realize that there are so many things I could have done better too… hindsight is 20/20, most times it’s best to step back and take some time before “saying it straight”.

    • Salsita

      Great tip 5 Emma I haven’t been good at this but am getting there! thanks!

    • Lorraine

      A tip about tip #5- Recently I discovered that if I put a little space between my initial reaction and my response that the things that I get really upset about are not often about a real time problem but a long history. For example, if I’m thinking “this always happens to me” or “he always ignores me” then I know that there is a wounded little person inside me that needs a lot of love and speaking to the current situation will likely go badly until I do. Current problems just don’t seem to get me that rilled up.

  6. Loooove your look on today’s video: you look gorgeous Marie.
    (I want that top!)

    I love how clear and frank you are in this video Marie; message clear.
    10-4.

    I love step #2 : Own your Feelings: über importante, no?
    Breathing this one out (especially if you are ticked off) is key to not letting your emotions run the show and sound too harsh.

    • Andrea

      Caroline – SO true.

      I often feel my emotions welling up in my chest when someone does something I don’t like. My initial reaction is that they are doing something to me and they need to STOP it. But if I take a breath and look outside of myself, I can see they are just doing their own thing and it has absolutely zero to do with me and my expectations.

    • Hi Marie, Great tips, as always. So I’m going to use one of them here (real time tip-very meta of me-:). I absolutely love you and this is such an important and helpful video. And will be sharing this immediately with a friend who was struggling with this a few days ago.
      I do think it is good idea to try and be direct when something happens and address it quickly and move on, but I would add that if you are really sensing there might be too much anger or other negative emotion that might seep through in that moment, to wait a bit. I feel it’s best to move on to addressing the problem when both parties are in more of a neutral emotional zone. I know for myself, I might need to vent a bit personally by writing it out or working through the heavier emotions before approaching them. And also I think it’s important to take the temperature of the situation to make sure the person is in a receptive mood or environment to addressing it in the moment because if it feels like there aren’t, they could possibly get defensive. Things might need to air out a bit, and then be addressed at a more neutral time.

      And, I just love that top! Love you, Marie!

  7. This is such an important topic Marie, thank you! It always amazes me how many business strategies could help us in our personal lives and vice-versa. Relationships are relationships! And communication is always key to fostering and mantaining them.

  8. I totally had this situation with my assistant coach for basketball. She was always coming to my house to ride together to practice but would come late. I finally addressed it to her because we had parents waiting and the director of our basketball association happened to be there when we arrived late. I than told her I know you are having trouble being on time, but we are the girls role models we need to set good examples that carry down throughout the team. If we are late it is showing them we don’t value the team. She got it and arrived on time after that.

  9. This is so priceless (just like B-school)! And where can I get that shirt?

    • Ditto! It’s the first thing I noticed. Very cute.

    • hey Eileen + Megan!

      Marie’s top is from H&M 🙂

      xx,
      Elsa
      Fashion + Image Stylist

    • Salsita

      Eileen, you went to the B-school? I just ‘found’ Marie and was wondering about that…. seems like I’m too late for this years one…

  10. Teri

    Marie this couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m in Bschool and although I have support from my husband he has dropped the ball lately in helping me take care of other responsibilities so that I can invest more time in Bschool. Yesterday I completely clammed up because I care about him too much to give him the unedited version of how I was feeling, but being silent also drives a wedge between us. So frustrated! I’m so happy you said these things, they are not only helpful in business but in PERSONAL relationships as well! I think this is a pure lesson in communication… LOVE!

  11. Ellen

    Great advice. When I was a sales manager it was importnat to me to create a safe environment for direct feedback; I “rewarded” reps in front of the group by sharing what they told me, thanking them and discussing if, how and WHY I could or could not change/adjust/modify to accomodate them. This approach built trust and made for a fun workplace – another must!

    • Ellen, just wanted to say – I would have loved working with you. Really good managers are SO rare nowadays, and it’s incredible how little it takes to keep your employees happy – just a little attention! It’s all about the small things.

  12. Susan

    You must me in my head this morning. I had just sent an email to my business partner and then got your video email. To make a long story short, I asked him to take off his blog on our new website. Yesterday, he called his blog “personal property.” That didn’t sit well with me all night. How can I pitch other bloggers to join our information hub and collaborate with us when my own business partner is being a selfish jerk. Guess you’re teaching me how to be direct before the fact. Thanks!

  13. Yeaaa, I can’t relate. I am pretty honest when it comes to things like this…which is why I am a solopreneur. LOL

      • Likewise~ Business partnerships never worked out for me. What’s up with the Pink(actually more of a Magenta on my screen) handles? Is that an attribute of being in B-school? ” If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” ~Mark Twain

  14. Thanks, Marie. This was exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve been so passive aggressive and unclear with my partner. Well, he’s not actually a partner yet, but he wants to be. The only problem is, his commitment doesn’t suggest he should be.

    I know I need to have a proper conversation with him this week, but I was dreading it. You’ve made it seem like a rational, manageable conversation.

    Thanks again!
    Natasa

  15. Oh my god Marie, I have just cooked a clam showder for lunch! (I am in the UK 5 hours ahaed of you) did your mum try the recipe from Alice Waters Chez Panisse restaurant? !
    xxx
    estelle

  16. This was perfect, thanks so much Marie! Being a people pleaser, I sometimes struggle with saying exactly what I mean and in effect don’t get what I want out of something at times. I’ve found that asking and being REAL upfront is such an important step.

  17. Tamiko Garner

    This was fantastic! I love the energy in your videos.

    The tactic of writing it out before actually saying or sending is something I have done for a while and it is very helpful to put out all those frustrations initially, then speak from a place of calm.

  18. See, I’m a bit different. I’m always direct, and straight-to-the-point.

    My issue was running into people that were too sensitive, and would literally tell me “You could be a little nicer about it”; In reality, I wasn’t being nice, or mean; I was being honest.

    I would never insult people, or take an aggressive tone. I would just say “You haven’t done this, and I need it by 7PM; are you going to be able to get it for me? I dont mind doing it myself, just let me know. ”

    And what would happen? Well, they would flake. Or lie. Or say they forgot, and on top of that claim I was being “mean” by mentioning it.

    I’ve always been able to detach my emotions from partnerships, or projects; so there is no real “mean” or “nice”.

    Now, I just make sure the people I am working with are straight-shooters like I am; individuals that value honesty, logic, and kindness over niceness.

    Kindness = Being honest in a humble fashion.

    Niceness = Socially accepted flattery.

    Working with individuals that share your character traits, and basic goals is the best way to handle this in the long-run.

    • Actually, I can see how people would see that as “mean,” Trent. I’ve found over the years that I have to soften my approach when being direct or it backfires. Personally, I would see the above as slightly haughty and as if you don’t believe I’m capable. My response would be, “Well just go do it yourself then.”

      Something like, “This project is due at 7 pm today. Are you on-track to meet the deadline, or do you need any support with it?” would probably work better. You could also ask, “how can I support you in completing the project?”

      • Tiffany Rashel

        I definitely agree with Amethyst.As a fellow straight shooter, I understand the importance of temperance. Taking a moment to “shape” your delivery does not mean you are not being “straight”anymore, it just means that you TRULY care about a resolution and not just about pointing out the person’s errors or your ability to “save the day”. It is sometimes a delicate balancing act that I especially try to practice as a Life Coach.

      • I find it odd that you see that as mean.

        And personally I think your response to it is “mean” spirited.

        If we are working on a project together it means that you should be able to pull your weight. I dont mind doing someone a favor, but first I have to know if they are up for the challenge of the current job.

        That’s life.

        Personally, I think it is a personality issue.

        Once again, the people I collaborate with now are just like me; and if they can’t handle something they come directly to me, so 90% I dont have to ask if they are up to date.

        Pointing out someone error would be saying “You didnt do X, is there why didnt you do it?”

        I don’t do that. My approach is very laid back.

        If you need help, tell me. I’ll gladly help you out.

        But don’t flake. Don’t miss deadlines. And dont get mean when I ask a simple question, in a way that is appropriate for any business partner or friend.

        I think we also may have different views of what a friend is.

        My friends have always told me the truth, in a very kind, open, and straight way.

        They would never lie to soften the blow. Because they know I dont want to hear all of the “Well, you kind of, just a little, did something wrong…but it’s OK”

        By being soft for no reason you dilute your message, and fall into the pit that she (The woman who asked the question) is in.

        If you are soft, work with soft people.

        If you value honesty, and find that you don’t need sugar-coated messages, go with the more laid back, logical types.

        It is very simple, when you break it down.

        • Ngoc Khong

          How we approach someone depends on his/her personalities. Just be flexible and switch our communication strategies if necessary.

          In the end, no matter what we do, the goal is always that results are well-delivered and our relationships are still healthy.

    • Renae

      I agree with Amethyst. I see how your approach could come across as mean. By your own admission it hasn’t been effective in getting your desired outcome. This leads me to believe that it would be better for you and your business if you tried to be kinder and more honest about how you feel.

      For example, when you say, “…I don’t mind doing it myself…” I get the feeling you do mind doing it yourself, or you wouldn’t even bother to ask the person about the task in question.

      We often think that in business its best to leave emotions out of it. I disagree. Our emotions are important indicators of whether our needs/expectations are being met. We can pay attention to them without being controlled by how we feel.

      • Janie

        I also agree with Renae and Amethyst. While it’s hard to totally judge the response without hearing it said, to me, on the screen it comes across as both accusatory and passive aggressive. Watch out for starting a conversation like this with “You…” Also, “…I don’t mind doing it myself…” My first reaction was, “Ouch, yes you do mind and you’re guilting her into getting her project done!” I am also very direct and enjoy working with people who are open with me, but Amethyst’s response was just as direct and much kinder. If this person is not doing their job, another response could be, “I noticed no work has been done on the …project and I’m concerned about meeting our 7 pm deadline. Can you fill me in on your progress?” Give them a chance to answer and then base your response on their answer. If they’ve run into a snafu, you can offer to help. If they’ve just been lazy, you can address it.

        • Trent, I’m a fellow straight-shooter and tend to talk to people in the same way. But that really can be offensive to them. Part of that is because it sounds like you’re assuming they won’t finish. Another part of that is because you’re saying “I don’t mind doing it myself.” Obviously, you asked them to do it because you think they can do the job well and do it on time.

          There is a big difference between lying to people and being supportive to them. By asking them “is there anything I can do to support you better in this?”, for instance, you are showing them that you care about them, and that you’re standing behind them and want them to do their best jobs. Most importantly, you’re showing them that you trust them, and that’s really important. In my opinion, the biggest offense people will feel from what you say is that you don’t trust them or value them enough.

  19. Great topic today, as always!

    I think honesty is very scary to people, whether it’s in our personal or professional lives. Sometimes we’re so worried about hurting someone’s feelings that, instead of saying something, we say nothing…and this often ends up hurting even more. Because, as you mention, people can often resort to passive aggressive tactics.

    I’ve always said (and believed) that saying something constructively (and that’s the key) is always better than saying nothing.

    Love this topic, and I hope it inspires many to choose to say something for now on.

  20. Thanks for this video, Marie! I’m a natural people-pleaser, and I used to automatically resort to passive aggressiveness when I was frustrated and upset. I’ve been consciously trying to be more direct, which I thought would make me feel like a jerk, but I’m actually connecting so much better with people! You’re right — it’s all about tact.

    Thanks for the great reminder!

  21. Dale Rogerson

    Great video and so necessary…I totally have to start using the edited version tactic!

  22. Oooh this is a greaaaaaaat episode Marie. It’s sometime a big problem for me as I don’t want to be mean with anybody. I sometimes feel that saying “no” to new project because it’s just not right for me or my business will make people angry at me or whatever.

    My boyfriend has this ability to be really down to earth and every time he says: “Well… why don’t you just say “no”?” And it always works just fine after that. People might be disappointed, but they’re never angry. It’s always such a release to truly say what you have in mind!!

  23. Step 3 – Say What You Mean

    Dear friend & partner I really feel that you are asking me too much, am the one who’s out there getting us both business and the one who is risking more from this partnership. I wish you could at least show some gratitude and let me know that you value my work, my time and the things that I do for this project.

    On the other hand, I totally hate that you are taking this person to the trip we planned. It was supposed to be a trip to share with our team, and all of the sudden this girl wants to go with us and you support her? I really feel dissapointed as I feel that you’d rather share this trip with her instead of me. It really pisses me off that she is not from our team, she is not even our friend and that she is coming along with us. Why?

    ============================================

    Clean version:
    MT please notice that it is very important for me that as part of the feedback that you regularly give me, you include the successes and good things that I do for our business. I need this to keep growing the business. I know this is not something that you give out naturally and that in the begining I did not stressed how important this point is for me. So now that I am saying it, can I count on you to be a source of recognition and celebration for the good things that I am accomplishing?

    On an other note, I’d like to tell you that I do not appreciate the fact that a person who is not from our team, and who is not our friend at all, is going to our team retreat. I feel really sad that this trip is not going to fulfill my expectations and I also feel that you do not care if I go to this trip at all. Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong, but the truth is that I expected that at least you had the confidence to tell it to me. I need you to tell me things straight. Can I expect that from you?
    Thank you.

    ============================================

    What do you think?

    • Beth

      Hey Karla,

      It sounds like you are dealing with a bunch of difficult situations here. I think the first part of your cleaned up version is good. The second half, about the retreat, feels like there is still a lot of (understandable) anger in it. I would suggest dealing with these two things at different times, and working to sound more neutral when dealing with the retreat.

      Best of luck – hope it all works out.

    • Karla,

      Like Beth, I like the first part of your edited version much better than the second part. In the second part you use the word “you” a lot and still come across as pretty angry.

      Let’s break it down.

      I do not appreciate the fact that a person who is not from our team, and who is not our friend at all, is going to our team retreat. – OK, and honestly this is OK if it’s all you say about this topic.

      I feel really sad that this trip is not going to fulfill my expectations – if you really want to talk about your expectations, then perhaps you should start by defining them first. It also sounds like you’re blaming her here, when she really has no control over your expectations.

      and I also feel that you do not care if I go to this trip at all. – again, this sounds like you’re blaming her, and I’m not sure where it’s coming from. It might be a separate issue, and you might want to address it separately. Or, you might want to just accept that some people want you there more than others – that would probably be the easiest thing, to just let it go.

      the truth is that I expected that at least you had the confidence to tell it to me – this is related to her not wanting you to go on the trip (the way I understood it), and once again talks about your expectation of her, not to mention that it throws in an insult about her not having confidence and not being straight with you. I would scratch this completely, as it can feel offensive on multiple levels – or reword it and include it in a separate statement.

      I need you to tell me things straight. Can I expect that from you? – also OK!

      Sometimes it just takes more than one try to let go of resentment and say things straight without hurting feelings and relationships. Good luck!

  24. Great topic! I believe that we’ve got to be willing to have difficult conversations where we express how we feel (without making the other person wrong, of course). AND it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. I’m still working on this–more often than not my first reaction is not to do it, because I want people to like me. But, I notice, as my confidence grows, so it my being okay with expressing how I feel about something.

  25. Wow.. This is crazy. I was just about to submit a question 2 days ago about this very topic. I’ve been having trouble communicating exactly what I mean with my friend who hasn’t committed to our project the way I thought he would.

    He takes forever to get things done. Even though we’re going half on the expenses, the majority of the work has been done by me. I admit I am a workaholic and I like to get things done fast, but I even gave him stuff to do and …. lets just say the execution isn’t up to my standards.

    So what I really wanna say is:
    “You said you were going to do XYZ and it’s not done… How are we suppose to grow this thing if you’re being lazy? You suck as a business partner. I shouldn’t be doing all the work!”

    Edited:
    “I’m feeling overwhelmed lately with the amount of work I’ve been doing. I find myself doing the things you said you were going to do and It’s really bothering me. I just want to clear the air because I would hate for this partnership to end over something that can be fixed easily. How can we fix this?”

    Wow this exercise reay helped. I think I can actually say that without punching him in the face lol

    Thanks for all you do Marie

    • Dee Brown

      “No punching”, that’s progress but more editing is needed!

      Easily fixed? ie: he needs to change. Yes, that’s easy for you!
      Your work flow expectations need to be established and agree upon. This is not easy, but certainly possible.

      • Easy way out right? “Hey you gotta change!!!” Problem solved lol.. Yea right.. I’m working on a list of responsibilities and setting deadlines. If we’re both aware of (and agree to) the expectations then we should be ok. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

    • Hector:
      Do you both have concrete lines of responsibility, timelines and deadlines for actions and deliverables?
      Is “not up to your standards” a reasonable expectation? I ask this because it is easy for us to find fault with things. In fact it is psychologically natural. It is part of our survival mechanisms. However, it is possible that what he is producing is good enough to get the job done, to look reasonably professional, move things along. We all want things to stunningly perfect so there is no room for fault finding on the part of our “public” but that is an impossible goal. There is always someone out there who will find fault.

      With this in mind, are there metrics in place to measure “good enough” that you can both use to determine when something is ready to ship?

      A couple of weeks ago Marie did a post about planning and the use of calendars so that people can organize their deadlines for their individual actions. This helps people to see what is due when and what they have to do meet that deadline.

      On another aspect of your post you said “I admit I am a workaholic and I like to get things done fast”. Speaking from the point of view of a “turtle” who is not a workaholic, who likes to work slowly, I would suggest that you find a way to use your various strengths, speed and volume vs slow and deliberate plus what ever other strengths his “slow non-workaholic” and your fast workaholic personalities might display to move your business forward to its best level. No matter how hard you try, you will never get him to work as fast as you like to and that doesn’t mean he is lazy at all. It means he has a different work style. Trying to make him work like a race horse when he isn’t is going to put stress on your business and your friendship to the point that they can both fail under the strain.

      I hope this is helpful.

      • Hey Beth, thanks for the response. I see your point and maybe I’m just finding faults in his output because his style is different. One thing I do admit is that we haven’t set deadlines for specifics tasks so that’s where I’m going to start.

        It’s funny.. I took a Family Development Credential course and all we spoke about was taking a strength based approach when trying to help families become self reliant.. (Part of my day job) ..basically finding the best in people and starting from there. I can see how this can be applied to our situation.

        I’ll definitely give it more thought before approaching him. Thanks so much for your help.

    • julie kucinski

      This is pretty close — but saying “I’d hate to have our partnership end” seems like a bit of veiled threat. I work quickly too and set a pretty high bar so I realize that can stress other people out. Maybe he’s intimidated. Maybe he’s just slower.

      how about:
      “I’m feeling overwhelmed lately with the amount of work I’ve been doing. I find myself doing the things you said you were going to do and it’s really bothering me. We both have different workstyles and strengths so maybe there’s a different way for us to split up the responsibilities. How can we fix this?”

      Just a thought. Good luck and tell us how it goes!

      • I like that Julie. You put into words what Beth was saying. I’m definitely going to start with a list of responsibilities and deadlines and then talk about our strengths. This should work out… I might find out that he wants to do more but I take on all the work.

    • Hey Hector! Just wanted to say that it’s nice to see you here at Marie’s website because I am a fan of yours too! I signed up for the free inbound marketing course and loved it 🙂 You deserve a big thank you as well!

  26. Beth

    Unedited: I don’t like having you as my roommate, and I think you should move out in the fall.

    Background: I’ve had this apartment for 5+ years and am on the lease. My roommate has been around for about a year, and I would like to live with someone a bit more social and friendly.

    EDITED: ???? I’m at a loss. Anyone want to help in the comments? THANKS!

    • Wow that’s a tough one. How do you tell someone to find somewhere else to live without having them get defensive? Hope you find your answer.

    • Lori

      Beth,

      It’s a bit hard to know the exact situation, but you mentioned that you would like to live with someone who is more social and friendly. Is the situation that you want to have people over more often and your roommate doesn’t? Or that when you have someone over your roommate is unfriendly/rude to them?

      If that’s the case, you might say something along the lines of, “This past year has been interesting and I’ve enjoyed being your roommate. But I really want to have more parties/social events, and it seems to me like you’re not very comfortable when I invite people over. Do you think this living situation is still the best for us, since we seem to have such different social appetites?”

      Or something like that – maybe! I struggle with being direct, too, so I kind of used your example as a bit of practice for myself! I hope it helps (at least a little)!

      • Beth

        Lori, this is so useful! Thank you for your feedback!

    • Hi Beth,
      there is always a trigger for an emotion. So try to find these triggers. Maybe it is not cleaning the bathroom, music too loud or whatever.
      Than you can start describing what you observed and afterwards you add what feeling you get (that makes me angry) and than continue what you really want your roommate to do or you want to do, like I want to speak with you about this to find a good solution or I would like to take care on … According to your roommates reaction you can continue in a second step. Something like: You know we talked about this but I cannot see any improvement. As I am responsible for …. I would like to discuss with you how we can finish our rental agreement in a way that a good fit for both of us. If relationship does not matter and it is easy to cancel the rental contract, just be straight and say that.

      • Beth

        Great advice. Thank you!

    • Tai

      I had to have this conversation a couple of year back. It is not easy, but we were able to maintain friendship.

      Maybe something like….

      Hey ____, Can we talk? This is kind of awkward to bring up, but I am needing to talk to you about our living situation. This has been hard for me lately. I was hoping to have meshed with you on a social front easier. That is really what I was looking for when I had you move in. I have enjoyed getting to know you, but what we have as roommates, isn’t what I was hoping for. This is really hard to talk about, but I am going to need you to find a new place. I wanted to give you plenty of time to find something new, so that’s why I am bringing it up now. I really hope we can enjoy these last few months, and I want you to know that if you find something sooner, don’t feel like you have to stay til then.

      — Don’t expect her to be totally happy at first, but as she realizes you aren’t going to treat her any different, it should ease the tension. Plus, when I asked, I offered my friend some money to help with the new down payment on her place. Even if you don’t do that, kindness goes a long way.

      • Beth

        I may use some this verbatim. Thank you!

    • Why, specifically, don’t you want this person as a roommate? In Marie’s example she spoke to specific reasons and actionable behaviors.

      How do you define sociable and friendly? Are you the kind of person that can work in an energetic, social environment all day and come home charged and ready for more? What does your roommate do and what are your feelings about that? The key thing is to focus on behaviors and owning the feelings you have. It’s hard to provide suggestions to help you without knowing why you feel that your roommate is not social and friendly and what you want to feel. Also, what are some of the things your roommate does that have a positive contribution to the situation, like maybe they are neat and always pay their bills on time.

    • Wow, that really is a tough one. There is no easy way to ask someone to move out without hurting their feelings. Probably the best thing to do is to sit down with her and have an honest chat. Tell her you have really enjoyed living with her, and start out with the things you appreciate about her. Then move on to talk about your differences. It will be easier if you keep it strictly about yourself. Maybe it would help if you write down exactly what you want to tell her and then we can help you refine it. In the end you probably just have to accept that things will be tense at least for a while. But you can definitely minimize the damage by keeping it more about yourself and less about her.

  27. This is a good one. I admit it’s hard for me when it comes to confrontation, or saying something someone else might not like 🙂

    I’m from the South, so what most people do is smile and nod and then 2 seconds later (and behind that person’s sweet little back) it goes something like this, “can you believe that crazy bitch….dot dot dot”!

    OK- that is SO bad and I decided long ago that’s not my style, but what I do is sort of just let it simmer under the surface- also not good.

    Example of what I want to say:
    I’m pretty sure I just caught you in a bold face lie. That makes me not want to trust your sorry ass.

    Reformed, with an out:
    It was my understand that…., is that the message you were hoping to convey?

    Thanks for sharing Marie, great as always!
    Desha

  28. Oh My God… the unedited version is soooo funny! I used to be so unedited in my corporate life because I was effing miserable and worked with like-miserable people. Thanks GOD I’ve learned to edit, huh?!

  29. I usually keep things bottled up and then lash out when I can’t take it anymore. These steps are awesome, thank you Marie!

  30. This is such an important subject. I am reminded of a Marianne Williamson cassette (that’s right) on Communication I listened to years ago while walking on the beach in Venice, CA.

    She was talking about being that place that is safe for the other person to communicate with directly and honestly. So the folks in our lives do have an impact on how we communicate. If the person on the other side tends to take things personally and is reactive rather than responsive, it can be quite challenging to speak our mind in full disclosure. And no, it is not an excuse not to… but it is a different playing field.

    As an introvert, I process a lot before I speak. This can be useful and time consuming. Sometimes it is too edited!

    Appreciate you and your approach to this dynamic.

    Dr. Nicki

  31. I keep having this experience with someone in my group, and it’s been really hard to put my finger on exactly what is wrong, but I’ve finally figured out why I can’t stand to be around her. Thankfully, I never got involved in partnership with her.

    My version is, “Wow – you just took a big dump on my dreams! Why don’t you go apply your mega-unattainable and unrealistic goals to your own damn business and leave me alone? I never gave you permission to sh–t here.

    My edited version is something along the lines of, “I just don’t feel like our energy is compatible. Your goals are different from mine, and your ideal clients have different needs than mine.”

    Maybe not as direct as I’d like, but it is true that her energy is completely different, and I really have no need to get into conversation about it with her as I’m around her as little as possible. Perhaps that’s a different video. 🙂

  32. Hey Marie…as usual…awesome information. I’m cool at the moment and have kept this stored away for my next challenge when it arrives…I will be ready 🙂

  33. This is a great topic. I always have such a hard time being direct but it’s something I’m actively working on. On a related note, I’m working really hard on receiving feedback too! 🙂 Thanks Marie! You rock!

  34. WOW!!! Ok so I with Teri. For me…I am dealing with this right now with my husband!!! Although this Q&A Tuesday came right on time. The thing is I have already tried the edited version and it doesn’t seem to be sinking in. But I guess God sent this Q&A Tuesday message for me to not give up and trust that one day after many edited versions things will eventually change. Marie, keep letting God use you in this mighty way.

    Unedited: You are pissing me off because you are stubborn, prideful and not willing to do the work necessary to heal yourself of your past demons so that our marriage can be better. This marriage is doomed!

    Edited: I really love you and believe that God brought us together. We all have baggage that we bring to our relationships and it would be very helpful to our marriage if you would consider counseling to pinpoint any that you may still be carrying. I am willing to go as well.

    • Stacey,

      This is tough, and I totally feel for you. Perhaps the biggest thing you can do for yourself is recognize that you cannot control what he is doing and how he is feeling. It is his choice how he feels, how he acts, and what he decides to do about it. You told him that you’re open and willing to work with him through this. That’s all that you can really do about this concretely.

      In my experience, the best thing to do is say it straight, accept, trust, and take care of yourself.

      Now that you’ve told him what you need, you need to accept that it’s his choice, and you can’t make him change or fight his demons. Sometimes men will actually take action only when we stop telling them to, and trust them to instead. So just consciously decide to trust him and believe in him, and accept him as he is at the same time. I know, it sounds a bit contradictory, but it will make sense once you start doing it.

      Also, you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Are you relying on him to make you happy? Be honest answering this question, and make sure that you are making yourself happy first, and are able to be the best wife to him as well. My general rule for couples is, if you’re treating him as he would want you to treat him, then you can ask him to treat you as you would like to be treated.

      In your cleaned-up version you’re talking about him, what he’s doing and what he’s feeling and what he should do. Instead, maybe you could flip the perspective over to yourself. What are you missing in this relationship? What do you need more of? Is it something you can fix, like stress or baggage? What can he do more of? Once you’ve identified these things, you can tell him in pretty clear ways how YOU feel and what YOU need from him.

      Try to keep it positive and refrain from criticizing. I’ve found that men are much more likely to work on themselves and the relationship if you reward them for what they do right, rather than tell them everything they’re doing wrong.

      If you’re interested in reading a book to learn more about this, I would recommend The dance of anger or The dance of intimacy by Harriet Lerner.

      I wish you the best of luck!

  35. I just love you! You are awesome! This was a really good video because so many people do not want to or scared of being candid. So this was a great reinforcement of 4 easy steps. These videos are great because we get to feel your energy which is professional and fun!

    You really do rock!
    Joanne

  36. Spoken like an Italian! haha. I’m Italian American as well, and can sometimes come off as too direct… Over the years I’ve had to learn to tone it down and become more tactful. 😉 Being direct certainly is important, but it’s even better to say it with tact and grace. Loved this video, thanks Marie!

  37. Marie, you never cease to amaze me and teach me something new!! I am guilty of the passive aggressive thing and the examples you provided were really helpful. It’s always a challenge to find that balance between being honest to yourself and considerate of another. thank you- i love you!!

  38. Love your TV clip! Your # 1 in my book!!

  39. Rebecca

    Great tips, overall, and very timely for me– there’s a situation I was just thinking this morning about how to handle that very much requires being direct in order to resolve it.

    The one thing I’d add is that it’s easy to go overboard with the padding when you’re trying to be kind. Too much, “hey, I need you to ____– is that cool? I’d love that soooo super much, thanks!” and you start to sound like Bill Lumberg from Office Space: “Hey, if you could just go ahead and work all weekend, that’d be greaaaaaaat.” Sometimes being direct means respecting the other person enough to just say it no-frills; sometimes the “kindness” ends up sounding patronizing or even its own kind of passive-aggressive.

    Two of my best relationships– my guy and my best friend– are so good in part because we learned how to say, “I’m mad at you right now about X, so I want to talk about X but I’m not going to vent my mad at you while we talk about it.” Just unvarnished honesty. And we also know how to say, “You’re right, I was a jerk about that and I’m sorry,” and then we figure out how to fix it, and then we *acknowledge* stuff like “thank you for telling me” and “thank you for hearing me and trying to fix it” and “still best buds, right?” And then we can let it go. Not every relationship is like that, but let me tell you, I never have to be afraid that they’re secretly mad at me, and vice versa.

    In my situation, I took on a volunteer role that’s pretty demanding, although I really like the work. However, I’ve been under a lot of pressure to make use of people who say they want to volunteer time in my area, and especially to schedule “team meetings” and assign work. I’ve tried several times to get these folks to take on small, manageable pieces of important tasks– giving clear instructions, communicating why there’s a deadline and why the work matters, etc. So far, all that’s happened is that I’ve wasted time trying to manage people who aren’t responding or doing the work instead of just doing it myself.

    So although my not-cleaned-up version is a long and salty rant about not having time to change people’s diapers and wipe their bottoms, the cleaned-up version is twofold: first, telling the “volunteers” that since they’re not responding, it seems like they don’t really have time to help out, and that they can reach out to me when their time frees up. And second, telling my “boss” that I will be testing out any potential new volunteers with small tasks like those, and that I’m not going to schedule any team meetings until I have enough people following through on tasks to make them necessary, because it requires a third of a tank of gas and a whole evening to make a meeting happen, and I could better spend that time getting actual projects done.

    • Beth

      Hey Rebecca,

      I agree with you about padding constructive criticism too much – it can come off as really fake. I used to work in advertising and get in trouble for not doing enough of this. With people I respect, it’s much easier because I value the relationship. Luckily I now mainly work with people I respect.

      I love the idea of testing the volunteers so that you know you are not wasting their time – or yours.

    • Amanda

      Hi Rebecca,
      As someone who has coordinated volunteers for a long time, I can understand your frustration, but also hope to offer some insight into the process of getting volunteers to do the actual work. Your cleaned up reply doesn’t leave much room for discussion, and has the potential to alienate someone who thought they were just trying to do good (even if they didn’t follow through) by lending themselves to your organization. Volunteers are a unique demographic to work with in that they are not employees, so getting clear on expectations and level of commitment from the very beginning is very important for both parties. Instead of testing out with small tasks, try a short conversation or even a survey that asks exactly what the volunteer has to offer and when they are available in their schedule to offer it. Volunteer information sessions that require rsvps are another option. Not every person who is interested in working with you will ultimately be the right match. If you have “volunteers” who are not responding, then they are not volunteers. They are more likely “prospective volunteers” who haven’t yet engaged with the organization on a level that makes them compelled to commit. Volunteers who commit to being an integral part of the mission, understand the value of the work they do, and are thanked for it before AND after they accomplish it will show up without fail.

    • I love the idea of trying out the volunteers with small tasks! I recently started volunteering at a new place in Omaha, and I specifically asked to do one thing with one event to test out the organization and make sure I want to get involved more before jumping full-in.

      Having something set up where volunteers can choose that option made me much more confident in the organization.

  40. Thank you Marie! I love who you are and what you do for the world. I am in your 2013
    B-school class and it is amazing. I am sort of like your mom in that I am pretty direct. And I have pretty high expectations for myself and others to always do their best. Sometimes when I am not careful about how I say things, it just makes everything more difficult. I love the idea of saying the unedited version before hand and working through it to make it helpful and not harmful when it is time to take things head on. Because if you don’t “clean it up” as you say, then what you say gets lost in how you say it and nothing has been accomplished. So in the end, what was the point?

    The other thing this video did for me is to reaffirm what a fabulous best friend and business partner I have. Kathy and I are working like gang busters to get our business up and running next year. We are in this together and have always been able to tell each the real deal. We support one another through thick and thin. Our combined creativity is way more than the two of us and we absolutely need to be able to work side by side to reach our shared goals and to make a difference in the world. I am so blessed to have a working relationship that has the real deal foundation. Thanks for reminding me!

  41. Ah yes… great strategies, and definitely advice one can apply to any relationship, whether it’s a working one or a personal one.
    The biggest takeaway for me was to make sure you outline WHY something is important to you and why you’re asking them to alter their behavior.

  42. As usual, your timing and the Divine are impeccable. The subject matter for today is SPOT on. Thank you. I am learning SO much from you Marie, every single day

  43. Marie, thank you soooo much for the video. This has been my #1 problem all my life. I’m always either too aggressive and come off as a total b!t@% or I go in the opposite direction and become overly passive and totally avoid confrontation so that no feelings get hurt. I am so concerned about other people’s feelings that I tip-toe around everything. The aggressive “angry” part of me comes out because the issue stews for months, then I finally reach my boiling point. Your approach was very classy and tactful. Thanks so much!! I always appreciate your wisdom.

  44. Henrika

    Thank you for this Marie ! It comes up just at the right time for me.
    I’m currently facing this exact problem of not telling people what I really think or feel and keeping it for me while all my anger is MEGA boiling inside of me. But I’m now very aware of how this particular situation is harmful for me AND the other person and I’m really on track to change this harmful habit.
    One of the most annoying situations for me is when someone asks you a question, BUT DO NOT even listen to the answer, either because they actually weren’t interested, but were only “small talking” or they didn’t want to hear THAT answer and turn the conversation into something else to avoid the situation. That REAlly gets me p…. off !

    So if I apply your advice in your truly very useful video on “how to be direct…” I’d say “what the hell ! why do you bother me with your f….ng question if you don’t even dare to listen to the answer you fearful-hiding-oh-so-wise-I-know-everything-old lady !?”

    And the arranged version would give something like this :
    “I can see you feel uncomfortable not knowing what to talk about when we meet, but it’s OK we can just hang around and you don’t have to ask me questions. Then again, if you’re interested, I would love to tell you more about that project, but I’d really appreciate open questions where I can tell my own version of seeing things and feel that you’re genuinely interested in my reply without judging or “nonsensing” it.
    I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable, so truly feel free not to ask questions if you feel so. For me, it would be more sincere and brighter that way.”

    Whoooaa, I feel like I’m in a auto-coming-out session with my swallowed aggressivity when it comes to express things that people don’t want to hear. Hope I’m getting over this problem step by step, cause it’s sometimes really annoying in everyday life.
    THANK YOU Marie for these free videos and your B-school program which I find simply genius

  45. Marie: Great Video!

    Everyone’s comments so far are really great.

    Like Marie, I like people to be on time whether it is to meet, a reply, or a deadline. I would let it go thinking it was simply “my expectations” and although this is true I must be direct about how I work.

    Unedited: Why can’t you just be on time/reply. Is it too hard for you.

    Edited: In a working relationship, for me its important to respect each other’s time and commitment to our businesses. Communication is key and I believe it is a form of prevention for bigger problems. When you don’t show up and leave me wondering if we still have plans it cuts into my day and my business. If you are going to be late, or get busy can you please call me and let me know? Because I respect your time and business, I will understand if and when you are running late or need to cancel.

  46. Arlen

    Hi Marie!
    Thanks once again for this wonderful insight on personal relations, specially on something so crucial as communicating with others and doing it with tact or diplomacy, and not being a nag or hypocrite.
    Today’s episode made me thought about my current issue with the person I’m dating at the moment. We seemed to have a wonderful connection at the beginning but now all is getting cold sometimes, as he think he hooked me already and don’t need
    to do anything else for the relationship and it takes me so much energy to get attention from him! I’ve been meaning to say what I mean and feel but I’m afraid he might be hurt or turn defensive. Now with these tips from you I’ll try to put them in practice with total tact. Just wish me luck. I really hope this thing of speaking in real time works for us.
    By the way, happy that you spend time with your mom, that is one of the most rewarding things one can have in life. 🙂

  47. Excellent subject and tips!
    Honesty and direct communication without blame and shame is a great tool
    for all relationships.

    Love and appreciate Q & A Tuesday!
    Hope you’re all doing well~♥

    p.s. I’m lovin’ B-School….it’s really making a difference in my life and business plans!

  48. Lisa

    Great tips, I just have to respectfully disagree with the thought that your being frustrated is NOT your friend’s fault for being late. Really? Being habitually late is disrespectful and in many work situations completely unacceptable and not tolerated. Being frustrated or even pissed off that a person is continually late is in direct response to the lateness, nothing else. Those feelings were not created in a vacuum. Now how you choose to communicate those feelings IS your choice and if poorly communicated than that IS NOT the late person’s fault. How you approach the solution and handle the situation is completely 100% your deal, but the origin of the feeling lies squarely within the person who was late. Period.

    • Amanda

      I actually don’t think that Marie’s friend was described as habitually late. It sounds like on the first occasion that she was late, Marie was like “Whoa, before we move forward, I just need to let you know my expectations, ’cause this raises a red flag for me. Is this going to work?” (in her cleaned up way of course). Perhaps her friend was able to describe the unique situation she was in that day that she wasn’t comfortable sharing at first, or perhaps she doesn’t value time in the same way that Marie does. Either way, I believe that Marie sharing her expectations is Marie’s responsibility from the get-go and the friend does have to be on the same page regarding their schedules for the project to work. As hard as it is can be to accept, people do value and organize their time in very different ways, so it is always each person’s responsibility to let the other know how they expect things to go.

  49. Hi Marie!

    I really enjoyed today`s advice as communication is just so important!!

    I am very passionate and sometimes I just blow my feelings away among my love ones, so then I have the feeling I do not communicate myself properly as my temper blurs my inner feelings.
    It happens with my mother: when we are not together, I always think about her, how my her day my be going, if she needs any help and so on, then we talk on the phone, she comes with any silly story and I just burned out as if I did not care!!
    Thank you so much for your advise and wisdom!

  50. Thanks Marie!

    My dh and I work together… this is VERY helpful advice for those of us who work with those we play 😉

    oodles of love & light,
    Claudia

  51. Wanda

    If I never believed in the Universe and in it’s power I do today! I literally just had a situation yesterday with a class mate we were trying to decide if we would like to partner together for it to a win/win for both of us with what we needed for school. Her email to me about this came from a place of being quite abrupt, lacking trying to connect for the sake of the partnership and really off putting about what she was looking for and how she wanted me to commit to her and once I make that commitment to her for me not to back out. The old me would have blasted her in my email you know a (nice nasty) but what would that have gotten me even if she was deserving of it but in my experience in life a person like this would have played the victim so I wrote an email let it sit there on my computer for a bit to calm down and then by the time I had a chance to calm down and read it again I totally changed it and nicely stated that I appreciate both of us trying to see how this partnership could work for both of us but I thought (nicely and simply) that we were both looking for two different things and simply wished her well! When discussing it with my husband later I said “I didn’t need to make her email to me be she was bad or mine good” just that we are in different places and I want more a connection in my interactions vs. just getting the hours needed for our curriculum. I walked away feeling better about me vs. regretting what I would have said and beat myself up about it later even if she did deserve it! I guess that’s what they call GROWTH! I like it! 🙂 All the best to you Marie and hope you and the family are doing well! 🙂

  52. Rosemary

    I just love this. I must give myself some kudos, as I have been handling in just this way 90% of the time. But to hear it from you, Marie, lends so much confidence to my thoughts and responses. Thank you.

  53. Jay

    Great topic! So very little direct communication happens personally and professionally. As a recovering people pleaser, I get it–it can be really freakin’ hard sometimes!
    I think you did a great job of covering the topic, Marie, but the one thing I would say is that telling your friend/business partner (or yourself, for that matter) to not take it personally is oftentimes much easier said than done. We’re human beings. Sometimes we take things personally even when they aren’t intended to be that way. So instead of the advice to not take things personally I would say “take responsibility for the feelings that come up when someone communicates with you directly.” You did a great job of explaining how to do that as the giver of direct feedback, but it’s just as important to learn how to take responsibility for your own emotions when receiving.

    Thanks for the continued tidbits of wisdom, all dressed up and sassy. 🙂

  54. Trust that what you have to offer is a unique expertise that your BFF/Partner doesn’t.

    Do not dumb yourself down in an attempt to make your points about what your partner is doing.

    Steady yourself, hand on your heart, take a deep breath – and just speak it out!

  55. Jade

    Normally I love your videos, but I have to say, I don’t really agree with this script for directness. Specifically, there is no reason to introduce the words “hardass” and “nag” into the conversation because you want someone to be on time. To me, that shows that you still secretly think you are BEING a hardass and a nag by asking someone to be on time, when really, asking someone to be on top is completely measured and reasonable. I think once you plant those words in the conversation, you give the other person ammo to say “She’s just a hardass and a nag about being on time.” So that’s my biggest problem with this. Also, I just think it is way too long and rambling and redundant. I think you could just say, “Hey, there’s something I need to tell you about myself. I hate when people aren’t on time. Can you give me a head’s up next time?” The more short and sweet you keep it, the less the other person is going to feel freaked out that they have to endure a long sermon about something that really isn’t that big of a deal. Anyway, that is all. I LOVE Marie TV and you are amazing!!!

  56. This is such important advice ESPECIALLY in a business setting. But it doesn’t just have to be if you own the business or if you’re in charge. It’s always important to communicate your needs. Before I quit my job (http://caitlinliz.com/2013/03/18/its-okay-to-quit-your-job/), I had a meeting with my boss and told him exactly what I needed to make me happy (I wanted more creativity and writing in my work and I also wanted to work more with the website). He had more respect for me for being direct and not passive-aggressive, and I got a little more what I wanted. Unfortunately, it was a situation in which I never was going to get exactly what I wanted, so I did end up leaving, but the whole communication and my directness allowed me to leave on a positive note.

  57. Gay

    Love this video and most of the time I have no problem with it! In fact it was one of my “repeat” qualities that showed up for my UAP in B-School.
    Keep rocking it girl!

  58. First – I love the “pin” option. I’m not a Facebook gal, but Pinterest rocks.

    Second – this tactic is so simple, but so not what I do. Simple does not always mean easy. But I need to apply it in my family life.

    The unedited goes something like this:
    Am I really the only one that refills toilet paper, replenishes drinks and cleans up after dinner? Yeah, thought so!

    Edited:
    It’s sometimes hard for me to keep up with all the small chores around here that make everyone’s lives easier – like resupplying things when you use the last one or taking out the compost when it’s full. If we all pitch in and just do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, we can each spend a few minutes each day to make sure our home is a comfortable, clean place that we love without having to think about taking all day Saturday to clean. What do we need to do to make sure everyone does their small part?

    Still not sure if this is going to work – I see some nag possibility lurking in here. But at least I will feel better having said it.

  59. Another great episode. I’ve found that I’ve really had to step up my gentle straight talk as my business has grown because friends who I used to give free advice to about business stuff (before I was an actual business consultant!) are now expecting me to continue giving them free advice all the time and I’m booked with PAYING clients 6 weeks out! So I’ve had to be super direct with them but in a way that totally preserves the friendship and let’s them know that I still really want to support them and watch them thrive. Always tricky but practice goes a long way. 🙂

    • Tammi

      Hi Heather,
      I’m experiencing something similar, I would love to read an example of your super direct method that preserves the friendship.
      Thank you!

  60. chris

    I have problems with communication. Either I am blunt as all hell or I sit politely like June Cleaver. There’s not a whole lot in-between. Am I Bi-polor or what? I let things build up and get overly sensitive … I feel like an untrained yard dog trying to be someones pet. I want to be a good dog but I still pee on the floor and my food always spills out of my bowl. What to do Marie?

  61. This has always been a tough thing for me to conquer. I am terrible at being upfront and straight forward with tact. I need tons of help so your input is greatly appreciated!!

    My issue is a personal relationship with the owner of the facility that I board my horse at. I have only been there 5 months and she wants to raise her rate by $100 a month but her facility does not warrant the increase. She claims that she hasn’t raised her rates in 6 years.

    Unedited version:
    I love the care my horse receives here but I think raising your rates $100 a month is not cool. This place has no access to trails and no varied terrain so that I can keep my horse in shape for his competitions. You only have an outdoor arena that has very bad lighting and doesn’t drain well. For the price you’re charging me with this increase I could go some where with an indoor arena, access to trails and more appropriate terrain for exercising my horse outside. I like you as a person and all of the other people that ride here as well and I like having the convenience of my trainer coming here to give lessons. I feel as if this increase is coming from your husband not you and that it is not fair. You have 8 horses here, 5 of which are yours and you are not getting paid for. I feel like the 3 paying customers are footing the bill for all of you horses as well and that is why you are increasing the board. My expectations are now going to be much higher and I am going to expect many more improvements to the farm to justify what I am paying in rent to you. I understand the costs of supplies has increased and I am comfortable paying for that but I feel like $100 per month is too much. It is not my problem you haven’t raised your rates in 6 years I have only been here 5 months.

    Edited:
    I wanted to speak to you about the increase in board. I understand that you have not raised your rates in 6 years despite increasing costs in supplies and understand why you would need to raise your rates to compensate. I feel that the increase is a bit too much and would be willing to pay more but at a smaller increment. I don’t mean to be rude but I am trying to help you understand where I am coming from. I enjoy being at your barn for many reasons including riding with you but in exchange I lose the ability to ride in all conditions since you do not have an indoor arena. This increase in board is a bit tough to swallow since my cost to stay here would be the same to move to a barn that has an indoor which will allow me to ride rain or shine. I would like to try and come to a better agreement regarding the board increase. Let’s discuss what costs are driving this increase and maybe we can find a better solution which would decrease your overhead costs thus allowing for a smaller increase in board making us both happy.

    • I like the edited version.

      I would drop the “I don’t mean to be rude” because as soon as you say that you’ve put the thought into her head and she’s going decide that you are being rude.

      Offer a specific amount that you’d be willing to pay that you think is fair and let her negotiate up from there. Go into the conversation with an unspoken max that you’d pay without feeling gouged and if she won’t meet that be prepared to find another place.

      Find another place that you like that meets your needs and budget before you talk to her.

      I like that you have told her what you like about the place and about working with her.

      Good luck

  62. Danielle

    Hi – this is such a great video and something that needs to be remembered OFTEN!!

    I have also found communication success in my career by adding these few steps:

    1) honor your friendship – we spend a lot of time at our job and it is inevitable that we will become friends with our peers, direct reports and managers. In fact, that usually makes our work life better. By taking the time to “state the obvious” it helps set the mindset for you and whomever you are speaking with at the time. For example “. I need to talk to you about your performance recently but first I want you to understand that I really value our friendship and our ability to be direct and honest with each other so please don’t take this feedback personally. This is strictly business and has to do with us creating a high performance environment. Are you open to having the conversation right now or would you like to schedule something for a little later”

    2) Respect/Trust – the second part of the above example is the next piece I typically add, respect is a key to being able to be honest. Whether you call it respect or trust, having that base relationship makes it easier to have those tough conversations. I totally agree w/Marie that you have to be timely with your feedback, but this is always about yourself. There is nothing worse then being blindsided by someone you consider a friend, confidante, etc. You may have had time to think about what you want to say but the receiver is hearing it new and may not always express the correct emotionally intelligent response. So making sure that your partner, friend, co-worker, etc is in the right mind frame to be open is important. I would never let it be schedule out more than that same day, but sometime the person may want to run to the bathroom, grab water, paper, etc.

    3) last but not least, ALWAYS have specific examples. I don’t know how many times in the past I have try to provide feedback and have been given the blank stare and the “I don’t know what you’re talking about” look. Having the support to back your assessment is a critical part to being direct and leaving the person feeling whole. Plus having data or specifics makes it seem more like analysis and triggers our brains to think in more of a business mind set rather than defensive – fight or flight mindset.

    I don’t have a website yet, or really know what I want to do in the future. But, watch for me…I’ve got a passion that I need to channel, I will find a way to help others understand the keys to leading and key to corralling your dreams!

    What are you thoughts about my comments? Have you added these steps in your process as well? Do you have other suggestions I can add to mine?

    Thanks!

    Danielle

  63. Awesome video Marie. I know I can sometimes sound aggressive and be straight forward without meaning to be harsh or mean. I will definitely try this approach. Thanks for another great piece of advice.

  64. Amy

    I have a friend that uses the “bad economy” as an excuse to find work. But the things is I see work everywhere, all the time. Maybe not the perfect job, but work work work. How do I tell her, that maybe her limiting belief is what is holding her back.

    • I generally tell these kinds of people that any job they get doesn’t have to be a permanent one. It not only looks better on your resume to be continually working, but it will also give you experience if you pick up a “less-than-perfect” job while still looking for your preferred position.

      Explaining the logistics is an indirect way of helping someone realize it’s really HER and not the economy preventing the employment from happening.

  65. Rebecca

    I have the perfect opportunity right now as I watch this video!

    Step 3: What I want to say: You’re big loud mouth is interrupting me. I can hear you OVER the video I am watching while using my noise cancelling mac daddy headphones.

    Clean it up: Sometimes when you are on the phone, I can hear you even though I have my headphones on. I purchased special headphones to help reduce the office noise, which is an issue for me, and would appreciate it if you would be aware of the level of your voice while you are on the phone.

    Now I just have to get the nerve to say it to her. Or wait until her chatty ass gets off the phone. 8-}

  66. Ho MAN! I’m beginning an adventure with Kate Northrup, and following you and her- I’m seeing how much I’ve been avoiding the real stuff with Spiritual Bypass. It’s embarrassing.

  67. Unedited: “This is not a team-effort. I feel undermined because what you communicated to the client was an override to what I communicated.”

    Edited: “How can we communicate the same thing to the client?”

    • Hmm, In your edited version, you sound like you are blind-siding your partner. I would start with stating the muddled message to your client and then suggest a pre-client meeting going forward so that you two can sync your message.

  68. Hi,

    Say what you mean and mean what you say with love instead of FEAR. You can speak to someone about (fill in the blank) if you come from a place of love and not harsh criticism.

    Write out a script about what you want to say and read it out loud. Have someone else read it to make sure you’re stating facts.

    “You’ll catch more flies with honey.”

    • Nicely put on the flies example…grandma said it as – more files with honey than vinegar…much the same…the vinegar always added that touch of …hmm…sense input? 😉

  69. Right on! There’s ALWAYS a loving way to tell the truth. Passive/Agressive is the gangster of communication.

  70. I wish I had seen this video months ago, when I was working with a friend; it could have saved a lot of heartache. Thank you for addressing this question!

  71. This content rocks–absolutely spot on and helpful! No specific examples in business to use at this time. Recently used with sensitive family matter, and the outcome was better than I anticipated! Thanks again Marie for your thoughtful incisive coaching!

  72. Mary

    Marie, thanks great video and topic. This topic is great for Personal and Business. My “say what you mean” is often around money. It has taken me a long time to just ask for what I deserve and show what I am worth. Always love watching your video they are informative and inspirational.

    THANKS

  73. I wish I had this video 3 months ago!
    A long time friend and I are on the rocks now because a lack of communication and showing up made me retaliate in email something like this:
    You are not doing your job. I haven’t seen any of your work. You are not fulfilling your commitment… And you do not deserve the amount we discussed on our first contract outline.

    When really I should’ve tackled the issue immediately, not let it fester, and taken my responsibility as the leader more seriously. Unfortunately this all resulted in me dismissing her from my (almost there) business 🙁 how sad.
    Although I was able to express clearly with love yesterday, it was way past due, and I now and unsure where our relationship stands… Maybe if I send her this video, she’ll forgive me:

    https://vimeo.com/62576378

    Love you Marie!
    ~julie

  74. I will not call myself the most tactful of people, but I err on the side of being nicer and “just dealing with it” which leaves me in certain circumstances utterly seething over certain points. Then it comes out in arguments full of anger which results in something very unpleasant and ends in no real resolution.

    I can’t stand it when you work against me in everything you do. That you belittle my work and what I do because it’s not what you want to do or what you’re interested in.

    I could really use your help in these areas so that I can maximize my efficiency to take care of things around the house. I think it’s great that you have a different view on how things should be done and I would like to work on coming to some common ground over how we make decisions that involve both of us.

  75. Here’s a real life one:

    Unedited: Seriously %&#*#. No. Absolutely not. I can’t cater to your every whim, schedule my life around yours or live my life to please you. I don’t care any more. Go suck it. Take your bag of guilt and silly with you on the way out.

    Edited: You know ____, this is who I am. I have chosen this lifestyle and way of work. I have the utmost respect for you and, if we’re going to remain friends, I expect you to have the same level of respect for me. When I say I can’t do something I mean it. I know I’ve been able to help with projects or have long conversations for hours before in the past, but I can’t do that anymore. It drains me and doesn’t really lend to us having a supportive and nurturing friendship. So, from now on, I’m going to be extremely direct and honest about what I can do and what doesn’t work for me. Can we agree on setting these clear boundaries and having a mutual respect for each other and our work moving forward?

  76. Rachel

    i don’t know if i’ve got it…..help! p.s. this is my sister in law ; )

    unedited version: it makes me super uncomfortable that you actively don’t like my friends, in fact-you’ve said mean things about them. i often feel like i have to choose between you and my friends, which puts me in an icky situation. i wish you would just see that my friends are great people!

    edited: how do i talk about my friends in front of you without feeling uncomfortable? moving forward, would you be willing to agree to be open to hearing about my other relationships?

  77. Hi Marie: Great info – all four points, really nicely put, the “leave yourself an out”, off of Dale Carnegie is nicely put into the side panel, “leave your friend an out.” Marie in an age where PC has become the way, you are a breath of fresh air, ideas that people may not get another way. Thanks for take the time to share these four points- can’t find any criticism worth noting- so will hope you and the many people who read these notes will get some encouragment from knowing the path is a great one to follow IMHO…- Dana <—sometimes Marie…I be sneaky…;-)

  78. Sandy

    Maybe I am overly direct, but these examples of ‘new and improved’ conflict handling still feel a bit nicey-nicey to me.

    Why not just say, “Hey, I’m noticing that some posts are going up on our site with spelling errors. What do you think is a good way to ensure that our posts are 100% ready for prime time?”

    I prefer not trying to propose solutions to what you perceive as Someone Else’s Problem.

    I also feel like it’s not necessary to make statements like, “Proper spelling is really important to me.” Being on time, spelling things correctly – don’t we all know in our heart of hearts that we should be doing these things? I don’t feel like it’s necessary to tap dance around a common standard (assuming your partner / friend is someone whose judgment you respect).

    Love 99% of the content here, so my ‘meh’ reaction to this was comment-worthy!

  79. Doug

    Or this; First write the “Facebook-Wall, talking indirectly (but directly at a specific person) Version, Followed by the Edited version…. lol

  80. Jaroslav Tavgen

    Unedited version: fucking awesome

    Edited version: I like this video

  81. CR

    Clearly, that’s just the first part. Would love you guys’ recommendations on how to tone it down AND still get paid without having to take her to small claims court. No fun 🙁

  82. elena

    Ah yes. I can be the queen of directness, but it comes across like a hatchet and talk about losing friends!
    The scary version: It infuriates me when you interrupt before I finish speaking. Every time it amazes me that you are so narrow, rude, and self-involved!

    The better choice: I get totally flustered and I lose my words when you interrupt. Can we come to an agreement to wait until each of us finish before responding?

    (If only I could think this clearly, but faster, when the heat is on)…

  83. This episode REALLY struck a chord with me.
    I left a business partnership with someone about two years ago. It got ugly when I elected to leave, and we haven’t spoken since.
    The thing is, I still own 50% of the company. And we need to chat in order to figure out the next steps to selling my part of the company to her. Also, I’m still owed quite a bit of money (and I have yet to be reimbursed).
    I’ve tried to contact her, but she won’t respond.
    It might be too little too late, but I’d really love to put these principles into play when I talk to her. Unfortunately, I’m still angry and hurt at how things went down.
    Any suggestions for when a lot of time has gone by, yet your wounds are still fresh? I’m easily triggered by my former partner and want to make sure that I approach any conversation with your principles in mind.

    Currently, the script in my head is:
    “I’m still so angry at you. When I left, of my own free will, you started treating me like I was a stranger, you told lies about me and insinuated you were better off without me. Meanwhile, everything in our office belongs to me. If it weren’t for my help, we couldn’t have gotten as far as we did. You acknowledged this, but as an afterthought. And that hurt me. Honestly, I never felt like you were a good fit for me. The partnership never felt equal. I felt like I was taking on 110% of the work. And you expected me to do it. If you really wanted the project to get done, you would’ve put more effort into the real work. I needed an equal partner and I don’t think I ever had that.”

    Ouch.

    A revised script might be:
    “I know there is a lot of bad juju between us. Things went South really quickly once I decided to step away from the project and the company. I felt really abandoned and hung out to dry when I decided to step away. And I felt unseen and not valued by you. Not to mention, I honestly felt taken advantage of financially.
    The last thing I wanted to do was hurt you. I simply had to move on. And I acknowledge that it was hard for you and I didn’t do the best job of communicating with you about it (and why) at the time.
    Going forward I want to be able to resolve the remaining issues about ownership of the company, as two open and honest women. I want us both to show up in integrity and to communicate our needs without defensiveness and hostility.
    Even if we aren’t able to be business partners or friends anymore, I want to do right by you, the project and our company. That’s important to me.
    What do you think?”

  84. Great info! I have no problem with being direct with what I am thinking or feeling. I tend to be called “Hitler” based on what I expect from my partner. After watching the video I now realize I am skipping step 3. I just say it with out rehearsing first so it may not come out the best. Will for sure incorporate step 3 =)

    Question:
    What do you do when you are trying to discuss something that is bothering you about your partner and when you do instead of addressing the issue that I bring up a bunch of topics she is upset with me gets brought up. Like instantly the table is turned and focused on me. We then end up pointing the finger at each other and sometimes there is little accomplishment with the discussion.

    • Suzi

      When a person tries to change the subject by bringing up other subjects I acknowledge their concerns and then ask them if we could get to that stuff after we finish addressing the first subject that was brought up.

      If they are really emotional and unable to honor my request, then I will let them get it off their chest first to help bring them to a place of more calm so they can address my issues after.

      Some people are just not able to compromise though. I’ve had experiences with a partner where I apologized all the time and owned my sh*t all the time. He just was not a forgiving type so eventually I just had to move on. It didn’t matter what I said to him. He was just hurting too much inside.

      The cool part was that I had immense spiritual growth that whole year I “dated” him. So when you do what is right you will ‘level up’ a lot and watch your own life improve. Its really worth it.

  85. beachmama

    RIGHT ON MARIE! Especially in this stage of life it drives me BATTY when people do the passive aggressive BS or beat around the bush.

    The queen of directness is Jennifer Lawrence. That girl has got the program very early in life!

    Thanks for these AWESOME tips Marie!
    xxoo

    • Suzi

      I love Jennifer Lawrence. I saw her movie Silver Lining Playbook. Is she that direct in real life too? She’s awesome.

      • beachmama

        From all I’ve seen online (I have no TV) on YouTube and reviews, this girl is VERY down-to-earth. She’s not rude, she’s just direct IMO. I think she’s darling and would LOVE to have a daughter-in-law like her ; )

        • Suzi

          I don’t have a TV either! 🙂 I will have to check her out on YouTube. I agree with you, and would love to have a friend like that!

          • beachmama

            Good for you Suzi! I ditched mine in 1989 and never looked back ; )

            Check out her Oscar speech and then the hoopla after, she’s quite witty and cute as a bug!

  86. I just sent a big email doing just as you said only before you said it and it feels great, I feel complete and clean in what I said and can live with the outcomes which is sooooo cool.

    Marie, I love the way you are inspiring people to be so strong, clean and clear in all their relationships. It is a beautiful thing to observe and feels fabulous learning from you.

    Thank you for doing what you do the way you do it!

    Much love and gratitude,
    Sherry

  87. Suzi

    This is an awesome episode! Just last night I was starting to look up constructive criticism. Does this fall in the same category? Could anybody recommend some good resources for more information on this? I want to master this for my business where I will be required to encourage people in both their strengths and weaknesses. I want to be able to show them very clearly that I’m not trying to tear them down, but rather help them have happier more functional lives. Thank you so much for your help!

  88. Here it goes…

    Unedited: Every time I call you to talk about something that is going on in my life + business, we end up talking about YOU. It would be nice if YOU weren’t the topic of every one of our conversations.

    Edited: Sometimes I have things that I would like to share with you concerning my life + business, but we always end up talking soley about your life + your business. I want you to know that I value your input as much I think you value mine. So what do you think about rotating the subject of our conversations? We can talk about you during one phone call and me this next.

    Whatcha think?

    Nakeia
    http://www.nakeiachomer.com

  89. beachmama

    Want to say:

    WTF were you thinking?!! What you said hurt my feelings. My relationship with M is important to me just as my friendship with you. If anyone said harsh things about you I would ABSOLUTELY stand up for you. What the hell did you think I would do? And now you just want to be pals without cleaning it up as if nothing harsh was said? I don’t f-ing think so. Clean it up or I’m done!

    Cleaned up version:

    I realize you said what you said because you’re feelings were hurt, you felt I’d abandoned our friendship. There is a way to communicate that without slamming my husband (boyfriend at the time). I need you to understand and respect my boundaries for us to have an ongoing friendship. I want an apology. On my end, I apologize for using you as a sounding board all through the nasty divorce stuff. It was inappropriate and unfair. I love you and never wanted to take advantage of our friendship. I’d like to start fresh and treat you better. I’m sorry.

    It’s been several years since I’ve spoken to my friend of 40 years . . . thanks for this nudge . . .

  90. Sallie

    Owning my feelings is the first step to not put the other person on the defensive. Invariably, if I’m still feeling like the problem is the other person’s fault then it will come out in the tone I use even if I say words that are edited.

  91. I love the book “The four Agreements” In there they talk about not taking things personally. Your tips are really great and I noticed that the tone of your voice was most important.
    Wish everyone would listen to this video and read the four agreements.

  92. Susanne

    I am also a very direct person. It’s a bit ironic that I just visited a palm reader whose first statement was that I say what I mean and some people don’t like me because of it. I appreciate people being straight with me and try to refrain from causing hard feelings when I say things.

  93. Pauline Cooper

    Great ideas. I have a question, what if I ask my boss if she has comments or concerns about my performance or needs me to change directions and she does not respond? Our working relationship is a new one without perameters at this point. I think that she wants me to continue working with her to create a successful business, but I would love some pointers from her. Thanks

    • Hey Pauline! One approach is to ask to set up a meeting with her (15 minutes max) and the point is to share new ideas you have for business growth — make sure you include one or two areas YOU feel that you can improve. (Most of us know things that we could do to be more effective)

      After you share your ideas, you can say something like, “I’m excited to put these plans into action. Before we wrap up, I’m curious if you have any feedback for me — areas you’d like me to focus more on. I really value your opinion. I’m all ears and would love your perspective.”

      Use your own words of course, but an approach like this should do the trick 🙂

      M

  94. Ooh this is a good one for me too! I’m often having a hard time communicating exactly what I want, need or think. And yes… that is because I don’t want the other person to think that I don’t like them.

    Thanks for the tips and the reminders Marie. You are a big inspiration to me.

    Love from Holland,
    Stephanie

  95. A great episode that relates to ALL relationships. Real time, specific request, and making it safe to communicate with you. so important. I just remember we are all seeking fulfillment and we all come from different backgrounds and developed different habits. I’ve lived in a culture not my own for 35 years and still look for ways to communicate that fits in not only with dealing with difficult issues but fits into the cultural aspects of communicating.
    Thank you Marie.

  96. Elisa Hopewell

    I think this applies to me, I need someone to just give it to me straight!
    I thought my product would get some good feedback BUT I am getting nothing. I am spinning my wheels thinking this is a great idea and there seems to be no interest at all. WOuld anyone like to give some feedback?
    Bone broth for gut healing to improve health, vitality and nutrient absorption. That is my first product for PPD Recovery coaching. Thanks!

  97. Carmen I.

    Hi Marie,
    For a moment I thought your “see” at the beginning was an episode of Marie in Spanish (Si).
    I have the habit of giving away my thoughts with my facial expressions. So, in order to give a clear message I state how I feel (in a systematic way: cause&effect, I used to use sarcasm but not everybody likes it/gets it) rather than ignoring the facts and letting it build up because that is not healthy. And, as you say, you can not move forward if the air is not clear. Life is too short to be confusing!

  98. Great episode. I had a situation last week where I was working with a colleague/friend and I didn’t feel she was pulling her weight where our sales were concerned and I let her know how I was feeling. It was really a conversation we should have had at the get go of working together but through working together I began to feel resentful and didn’t know I’d feel this way. I felt relieved when I said something and no longer had to be passive aggressive or ask her to do things which she never ended up doing anyways. I learned to really get clear up front and also to value myself. She ended up leaving the partnership which I also had to be okay with. Big learnings for me last week:)

  99. thank-you marie for your wise and timely video on direct and respectful communication. i love your approaches and how your personality is not compromised when communicating. i have been accused of being too direct and lacking tact with my delivery of information. i am going to watch the video again and take notes, then write out / journal some issues that have been brewing inside me utilizing all 4 steps. keep up the amazing work.

    • Thanks Tisha! We’re all learning and growing here and I know I’m not always the most tactful person either 🙂 xo

  100. MoJo

    I have this one conflict that has been weighing on my mind and my main concern is what am I going to say when someone DOES ask me why did I resign from the committee? I am very emotional still about the events that transpired. But I think this exercise will help me answer my own question.
    I proceeded to type up my side of the story and since I am a detailed oriented person, my unedited version is too long. But man, that felt so good to type it up. Maybe now I can get over this and move forward onto bigger and better things.

    I can honestly say now that the reason I decided to resign as a committee member is because I didn’t feel my needs were being met. It became too stressful for me to continue being a part of a committee that didn’t have the same morals, values, commitment to procedures, excellent leadership and outstanding communication skills that I am looking for. I wish the rest of the committee members well.

  101. Hello Marie,

    You are awesome and your videos are too!

  102. This was great. Sometimes it’s really hard to do and it’s great to have reminder. The thing to remember is being direct makes the relationship better in the long run, you just have to get over being uncomfortable for a little while.

  103. Holy cow, this was a great episode of MarieTV! I don’t have any challenging convos on my plate currently but this is definitely something I’ve faced in the past. I tend to be introverted but have learned that I have no filter, so in the past, once I got the courage up, I would usually blurt out something very undiplomatic.

    Now I think more carefully about what I want to say. A former boss gave me some great advice one time – these types of conversations aren’t easy but if you go into with your head wrapped around: a) clearly stating the problem w/ no sugar coating AND b) preserving the other person’s dignity, you will usually do and say the right thing.

  104. I find it hard to be direct, because I find that the things I hate in others is actually what I hate in myself (being late, being non-commital.) Strange isn’t it?

  105. Ahhh! I so need this. I think many of us women business owners probably fall into the “being nice” trap when we could just be direct, and avoid a lot of the problems that creep up when we don’t address these issues.

    I can definitely look back at times in my business life and internships where I could have benefited from this advice. I especially appreciate the idea of doing a take where it’s full on emotional stuff, and then reeling it back in. That’s been helpful in many other areas of my life, for sure!

  106. Lori Henry

    This is weird. I just left my manager who told me I was brutally honest. I don’t have a problem saying what I think or feel. I’m like Marie’s mom. I just hope I’m tactful.

  107. In these times of “political correctness”, it is difficult to be direct and honest without offending some people no matter how tactful you are.

  108. Kim

    LOVE IT!!! Thank you! Need to put it in practice, will have to watch a few times so it sinks in. Love all your episodes, you are awesome!

  109. Thanks for the vid – this topic (fortunately) is not up for me right now, but it’s giving me great food for thought for the next time it is!

    The ownership thing has been a great tool for me – not looking strictly to blame, but to own what feelings and actions are mine. I think it was Gay Hendricks (love him) who said that each party in a conflict should/could take 100% responsibility for it. Not that we split it 50/50, but that we’re each completely responsible.

    At first, I didn’t really get this, but I tried it when I had an argument with a friend, and it’s now totally shifted my way of viewing conflicts AND relationships – if we look for our 100% responsibility in a situation, then it empowers us to act on it, instead of waiting for the other side to “own up” or change.

    Thanks for the reminder to be straight up – always useful for a thinker/analyzer like me 🙂

  110. This is such a good one! I don’t have trouble saying how I feel, but am always working on getting my message across with more kindness. I’m so proud of myself when I take a beat before I speak and what comes out of my mouth is kind and to the point. And after I’ll say to myself, “wow, did I say that? That was good!”

  111. Oh my gosh I love this video and I realized I totally wasn’t be as front as I could be with a friend lately.

    So the unedited version:

    I’m kinda fucking pissed off at you right now. I spent COUNTLESS hours on the phone with you (hours that I usually get paid $150 per hour to do the exact same thing did with you for free) helping you navigate getting your girlfriend back and supporting you when you were hurting. I was available to you and we were constantly in touch.

    And now that you got back together with her, it feels like you don’t need me anymore and it pisses me off that you haven’t written the testimonial you promised OR responded to my text messages that I needed you to respond to so I could make plans for my upcoming trip. I think you’re acting like a selfish asshole. And I’m pissed at you.

    More tactful version:

    “Hey I just wanted to be super transparent with you about something that has been on my mind lately so we can open the conversation about it. I’ve loved being in touch with you throughout the past couple months in talking about your relationship. But ever since you guys got back together I’ve felt a bit disregarded, specifically since you haven’t gotten me the testimonial we discussed and my texts have gone unanswered. Our friendship means a lot to me and I know you wouldn’t do these things on purpose, but I wanted to open a discussion about them because I don’t want to harbor any ill feelings. ”

    Ok…that one is definitely better. Thanks for the reminder lady!

    XOXO
    Sally

  112. Such a great topic, Marie. Depending on the people & personalities involved, this can be such a difficult conversation to have. In my instance, I have a definite issue with my boss, who is also a family member (warning: DON’T DO IT). We have very different personalities and ways of dealing with things (I tend to be quite direct and this person tends toward being passive aggressive, which is really difficult for me, as PA behavior is a huge pet peeve of mine. So, here’s my attempt.

    UNEDITED
    It frustrates me to no end that you put everything off on me when you won’t do the most basic things for YOUR business, when I bent over backwards to be very clear before accepting the position what I was and wasn’t willing to do. I feel like you take advantage of me because we also happen to be family. You always say WE need to work on this and WE need to be more careful about this, when it’s incredibly obvious that “we” is “me”. I have gone well above & beyond what I agreed to do in this role, up to and including becoming your assistant for your other business, and I really don’t appreciate that instead of genuine gratitude, I get passive aggressive accusations & notes left for me to find the next day. You want to leave all the work and responsibility up to me, but refuse to listen to me about the day-to-day of the business.

    CLEANED UP
    Hey, can we chat for a minute? I’ve been feeling a lot of tension lately, and I’d really like to clear the air so we can have a better working relationship.

    We talked pretty extensively about what my role here would involve before we started working together, but I feel like I’ve let those boundaries drift. For example, I discussed that it was important to me that we come to an agreement that I would not be ‘on call’. However, I feel that’s what has started to happen.

    I know we have different personalities and working styles, but it’s really important to me that we are able to be straight & honest with each other, and wiling to listen to each other when we disagree, and still show mutual respect for the other person.

    *****
    I’m very open to thoughts or if any of you have any other ways to say what needs to be said without cause WWIII. Thanks in advance!

  113. My website guy has been de-prioritizing me for months now. What I really want to say is “Dude, I pay you just as much as your corporate clients, and that $$ is not coming from some cushy account for me, so what’s your DEAL?!”

    What I think I’ll say instead is, “[His name], when we first decided to build this website together you had more time for it than you do now, and I get that. I hope you understand that I have to prioritize my business and I can’t be in a position where I’m waiting for changes to be made to my site. I’ve appreciated your work so far, and I think it’s time for us to end this working relationship so we can both focus on what’s on our plates now with our full attention.”

    Wish me luck. 😉

  114. Betsey

    Just had a personal experience that ended up being a real mess because I wanted to be soft with another parent at my child’s school. I said “it’s a possibility, let me check my calendar and with my child’s dad”

    What she heard was “Yes” and lots of drama ensued.

    I really need my hard ass side to be visible and voiced.

  115. Marie,

    Wonderful advise. The quote really struck a chord… not only for when I am being honest…but allowing others the same grace when they are trying to be with me.
    To not let their honesty if said with tact and consideration to my feelings turn them into my enemy because my ego is bruised.

    Thank you…I tweeted it..KM

  116. Karen

    Unexpectly my business partner reamed me when we worked on a development of project and I just noticed one picture did not fit properly just before publishing it. She stated I was stupid, an airhead and didn’t know what I did with my time(she felt she was doing all the work). She also said she didn’t want to be my mother — when I mentioned if I missed something please let me know(ex: the picture not fitting right just before publishing{she noticed it but didn’t say anything for she assumed I noticed it}).

    My first response was to shock and then to defend myself but I detached sat back and listened. She apparently had been holding back for weeks these resentments. I told her at end communication is key to a business and she retorted back that she was not my mother and I again stated communication is key to any relationship.(honestly I do not think she understood for she again said I do not want to be your mother then I stated I do not want or need a mother but a business partner to point out if I miss(ex: the picture)something or we balance our skills in our strengths.

    I still feel my point to communication was not understood and feel hurt that she thinks I am unprofessional (the stupid/airhead statement and not putting in my time into work{I do the marketing/networking/website development which is behind the scene stuff). I know I have to say something so I can move on but want to say it honestly but professionally. Thank you Marie for this episode. I will write out and practice script but would appreciate feed back.

  117. Fantastic video! Thanks for your directness.

  118. Nikki

    I really found these two communication methods useful when learning to be direct, clear and to ask for what I want:

    1. Non-Violent Communication or NVC
    http://www.amazon.com/Nonviolent-Communication-Language-Marshall-Rosenberg/dp/1892005034

    2. Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) – good for ALL relationships, not just families
    http://www.amazon.com/Parent-Effectiveness-Training-Responsible-Children/dp/0609806939

    They do feel awkward at first, but once I got the hang of them, it completely transformed the way I communicated. No more “passive aggressive” for me 🙂

  119. Sandy

    Great video! Though I was a bit confused – being indirect isn’t the same as being passive aggressive, is it? That still depends on the context, right?

  120. Sonja

    Good timing with your topic!

    It has been a desire of mine to be more direct with people about my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I am direct to the point of being tactless and other times I clam up and keep my feelings inside. I find that with strangers I tend to be direct with my thoughts and feelings. But, with men that I’m in relationships with, I go silent out of fear of hurting their feelings.

    So, here’s the unedited version:

    Don’t text me and say that you’re going to call me later, if you’re not going to call me. I hate it when you say that you’re going to do something and you don’t do it. You lose your credibility with me. I care about you. I like talking to you. I look forward to hearing from you. I feel disappointed when I don’t hear from you. I feel disregarded and unimportant to you when you don’t call me like you say you will. I’m pissed off at you. I’m really mad.

    More tactful version:

    “Hey, I wanted to be direct with you about something that bothered me. Yesterday you said that you were going to call me later. But, you didn’t call me. It hurt my feelings that you said one thing and didn’t do it. I think of you as a man of your word and I don’t want to lose faith in your words. So, in the future do what you say you’re going to do.”

    I honestly don’t think I’ll say the tactful version. I’m afraid I’ll clam up. I become shy when it comes to expressing my feelings and being vulnerable in a relationship.

    Thanks for the video tip!

    xoxo,
    Sonja

  121. Peter O'Leary

    My internet connection is too slow for video/u tube clips.Dr Mercola gives great info too on his site too but you can either read the transcript (which loads up quick) or watch it.Unfortunately as I have to wait too long for your tv clips to load so I wont be getting the benefit of your advice.Or, as your mother would say – I don’t like the way this is being presented so I’m off somewhere else.No offence intended.

  122. Stevie

    Hi Marie

    Brilliant as always, boy! you talk sense, not a problem for me to say what I feel tactfully, I can always get the point across and always allow people to tell me some home truths as well, we can learn so much from others so never take the advice personally, especially if it is a true friend, you would want them to be honest with you, it’s just the way it can be said that can hurt. Stevie xx

  123. It really is difficult working with friends because the lines between business and your personal life start to blur and this could create challenges. I personally think that before you start a business with a friend, you both have to sit down and have a long talk about it: Be upfront about your work ethic, expectations, ethos etc. because these might differ significantly from your personal, everyday life.And be as granular as you can possibly be. You should also weigh the risks to your friendship and decide on what to do if you begin to feel resentment or are not seeing eye to eye any longer.
    I also believe that the outcome of this discussion should be some sort of policy document that you both sign. Signing some sort of document makes people take things seriously ;-).
    It’s a bit like a marriage really, the more of your expectations your fiancee knows before the wedding, the better.

  124. I LOVE this episode and so would like to share my partnership boundaries conversation that I have not had and would like to soon. This is a conversation with someone I would like to NEVER work with again but still lives in my small community where we exist together. She has a very negative energy and has been very rude to me and others around me yet she has an influence and impact that is good on our community where my business passion lies. I would like to say to her, ” Stay away from me!” and what I will say is “I truely honor your positive impact on our community but I dont think our values are aligned.” If anyone has any advice on this topic please share. I have been finding others coming to me wanting advice on how to communicate boundaries from her as well and so far I have energetic advice. She has a very dark energy and I guess I am not the only one who has experienced this too.

  125. Sharing immediately Marie! I have many partnerships in my client portfolio, and I often play mediator. (We joke that the only difference between consulting and Partner Therapy is whether there’s a tissue box on the conference table!) Thanks for four easy steps to more direct communication and the possibility that I can reduce my office’s monthly Kleenex cost.

  126. This really is a fantastic episode! It’s one of the toughest parts of not just business, but life. Being direct, yet tactful, is also one of those things for which many of us have had no proper role modeling, so it takes a lot of thought, courage and practice to master.

  127. Thanks for those great tips, Marie! I manage over 50 caregivers for my senior clients, and I want our crew to be doing the BEST job possible. I used to be more wishy-washy about my expectations, but after 8 years of building a solid reputation in my community, I have a LOT to lose if things don’t go right.

    Now I tell my employees AND clients that I respect their time, intelligence, and needs too much to dance around a subject, or be less than clear about how a goal will be accomplished. Often, I am using phrases like:

    “this (service, job, situation, relationship, task) is not the right fit for everyone, so I really want to know if what I have told you sounds right for YOU”

    and

    “Is there anything I can do to help you be successful with (insert desired outcome here)?”

    and also the tactic of getting an agreement on the desired outcome first (“I believe the best thing for our client is to have a stable schedule, do you agree?”) then state what is needed for that to happen. It puts the focus on the outcome, and not a perceived personal flaw (which throws up the defenses, and nothing gets through).

    I love Q&A Tuesday!

    -Suzanne

  128. Nui

    I used to live in Scandinavia where people are more direct. My problem is the other way around! I need to learn the art of being indirect. 😉

  129. Jeanne Stapleton

    Hi Marie,

    Thanks for this video. It was right on topic for me.

    I have to deal with both issues mentioned in the video, and I’m starting to question his understanding of what it is going to take to get the business up to speed. He’s gone to a family friend’s father’s funeral for two days right before the holiday weekend and after us losing a week of work to getting our facilities finished for occupation. I’m trying to be compassionate but I’m stressing and worried about the business.

    Regards,
    Jeanne

  130. I just received feedback for my U.A.P. for B-School. The peeps who know me best say a great trait of mine is being honest and speaking my mind while also knowing which battles to choose. However, I know that I can improve upon the tact portion. I’m sarcastic and I just expect everyone to use common sense. To use the example from Cara/Kara (sp?) in the video, it seems like common sense that her biz partner would know to proofread professional copy…not that I don’t make mistakes.

    When a former colleague asked me to schedule calendar events for all employees to remind them to update their resumes, submit their proposals, and complete other tasks that weren’t my job to babysit, I asked, “Why would I do that? They’ve got access to the same Google calendar that I have.”

    I could have said, “I think it may be a more efficient use of my time to focus on my stated job requirements: to develop our social media strategy, write and submit proposals, and document our technical processes.” She only seemed to listen to me when I pointed out how many hats I was already wearing, so I should’ve honed in on her preferred comm strategies.

  131. As a 70+ individual I was looking to promote my business and thought I found the answer with your site. What a disappointment it was to discover your fee. Being retired and attempting to love on social security does not afford a senior citizen to partake in your program. How sad is that?

    • Jane,

      I feel your pain, as I am not in a financial position to hire Marie, or go to B-School (both of which I would love!). Don’t give up or feel defeated, though, as there is so much solid content that Marie offers free of charge.

      When I first started my business, I had less than no money, and turned to as much no cost/high effort outlets as possible. Facebook, twitter, and wordpress (for a blog) are all free. If you have a podcamp in your area (Google it), that is a low-cost tech conference that is a lot of fun, very informative, and helped me understand what the heck all those social media things were.

      Good luck, and keep a positive outlook.

      -Suzanne

      • Salsita

        Hi Suzanne and Jane,
        Jane I agree with what Suzanne is saying here… you can get so much information from Marie that is free, I was actually surprised as I kept on thinking okay next time I log on to the site there’s gonna be a charge.
        The B school is a lot more than what I can afford at present too… and I was so sad to see that, but we all gotta make a living and with all the free stuff there gotta be a balance.
        Marie also mentions many other great mentors all the time, you can check them out too.
        Wishing you Jane all the best in your business and you too Suzanne!

  132. KS

    Hi Marie!

    First off, I am floored by how awesome your Q+A sessions are! I feel like I stumbled upon a great resource and have forwarded your site to my coworkers for reference!

    Second, where did you get your adorable white studded peplum top?! Its stunning—as with all your outfits that I’ve seen!

    Thanks!

  133. Great tips Marie! One thing I always make sure is that I feel safe and when I feel vulnerable or uncomfortable I state that this is not easy to say. I also ask what they have to share as well because as you said there may be something that is bothering them. Communication is key…

  134. Salsita

    This subject is interesting… I have experienced that the way I can say something to someone in the culture I come from (Scandinavian) is so different that how I can say it where I’m living (Caribbean). Even after many years I still stumbled on this… it’s a tuff one

  135. I can see all kinds of appropriate opportunities to incorporate these four steps working with both, friends as well as co-workers, both female and male. Thanks a “million” for being specific and helpful.

  136. Hi Marie:

    This hits so close to home for me. The part I love that I learned that I need to recognize my own feelings that I cause – not the person causing the issue. And sometimes I create my own messes and I need to clean them up. That was me being direct w/ myself. Ha!

    Melissa

  137. Alex

    Wow, the timing! Passive aggressiveness is probably the most urgent issue in my relationship with my business partner right now. So much so that I’m losing sleep over this the last few nights. There’s a lot of unspoken aggression accumulated which makes it harder to start speaking about it for fear of getting it all out like a huge ugly lump of mean, so it’s catch 22 – the more there is, the harder to speak about it, so it gets more again. I so need to clear the air, and hopefully now I have a way to do it. Need to practice some straight shooting. Have to say I did not really appreciate other videos so far but this one really hit home so I will be paying more attention. Thanks.

  138. Can someone please tell me what to think of this conversation? Did I get to defensive? thanks so much…

    How’s it going? So what have you decided? I’m ready and excited to work with you but I’m also very busy so I need to know you’re serious about Beauty Society. I saw you comment about buying some Nerium for Mother’s Day so I’m a little confused….

    Let me know,
    Thx!
    Whatever you decide is fine. I just need to know is all! Thx.

    Excuse me! If I’m wasting your time let me know. I am also busy and deciding what is best for me. And yes I did sell some Nerium to a friend from a friend. I’m interested in the e-commerce as I told you, Plus it says you get 50percent off. So let’s set it up. thx

    50% off what? I never said you were waisting anyone’s time. I just need to know what level of commitment you are giving Beauty Society. If it’s one of several things you’re going to sell that’s fine, however I need to know what you want from this business and itf you’re willing to make the commitment it will take to reach that goal. That’s all.

    What do you mean by let’s set it up?

    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/c0.0.403.403/p403x403/530551_4694525526442_145407668_n.jpg

    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/c0.0.403.403/p403x403/530551_4694525526442_145407668_n.j
    sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
    I’ve been serious the whole time. The above ad I noticed and it says 50 percent off if you have an ob-line party. I would like to do this. However I am going to sell Nerium as well. Thank you.

    The half off is only the 50% off items you earn as a hostess. It’s the same as the hostess program that already exists. If you’re ready to get going let me know and we can get you signed up. If not, I’ll check back with you. Thanks!
    Yesterday

    Hi Marsha,

    I saw your post that you’re officially with Nerium. Unfortunately the Beauty Society agreement does not allow reps to sell any other skin care lines. It was great to meet you and get to know you. I wish you all the best on your new venture!

    Silvia

    Thank you. I know I mentioned to you at lunch, that you kindly took care of ,that I was interested in Nerium as well. I would love to return the favor. Best to you as well. I will be ordering off your website then for my products I’m still in love with.

    Sounds good! I’d love to have you as a customer!

    You know sometimes FB can be a curse, as I did not sign up as a consultant only a purchaser of two bottles for a friend. It’s almost like ease dropping on a personal conversation.
    However, if you sign up for auto-ship for some reason you get a website. Interesting.
    But, it was much cheaper because I got two bottles for 150 vs. 110.00 for each. I will stay in contact with Renita as she has been a very good friend.

    You posted your website inviting people to it. I wasn’t trolling around. Your post was in my feed.

    9:12pm
    Well, you interpreted it wrong, as I can’t use it because of the smell, which you and I also discussed. I’m not mad I’m not accusing I just think this is a sensitive matter in which case I was misunderstood because of you’re following. I did share it as I could get free product for my friend and if anybody orders it I would perhaps get a free bottle. Nevertheless, good luck to you…

    I’m not sure what there was to misinterpret. Good luck and I’m so glad Renita’s been there for you. She’s a great lady!

    Because you are wrong! There I said it!
    Now Goodbye!
    Chat Conversation End
    Seen 10:05 PM

  139. My teens accuse me of being passive-aggressive with them. Hmm, this one hit home on a personal level and also made me take a closer look at the kind of business partner I am and if I’m holding up my end of our nebulous bargain.

  140. Natalia

    Hi Marie, hello everybody!
    Marie, what a wonderful episode! Looks like every time I need an advice on some particular topic, you come up exactly with the right one. It’s just amazing!
    Ok, here is unedited version:
    Dear S. I feel that you sabotage my progress. I feel like you don’t really care about what I want to accomplish, you just simply use me at your convenience.
    And now “cleaned up” version:
    Dear S. We’ve been working together for more than 3 years and most of the time it’s been wonderful. I’d really like to accomplish so and so. Would you be interested to help me or your interests pull you into another direction? I’m fine with both possibilities, thanks!

    We meet with this person tomorrow.. Any ideas on how I can make this edited version better?
    Thanks in advance!

  141. I feel like I am passive aggressive sometimes and yet listening to your steps I am improving. However I find there are certain people, one in particular right now, no matter how direct you are with them they are just not ready to receive the information. That has been my struggle as of late.

  142. This was so helpful. I am not great at confrontation. But, your steps are spot on. Thanks!

  143. Debbie

    Great topic, Marie!
    But I’m finding it easier said than done, at least in this one particular situation.

    I have a very close friend (he’s my bestie guy friend), who is wonderful in every way -generous, caring, compassionate, funny and a blast to be around…..EXCEPT when he is disappointed in some way.
    Then he acts like an absolute BRAT!!

    I am talking over the top pouting, snide, jerky or extremely rude comments to whomever he feels affronted by, and will storm out of the room, restaurant, party…..leaving everyone slack-jawed and scratching their heads.

    Often, it’s due to low blood sugar (no, seriously), but whatever it is, I think it’s triggering a deep belief system that no one likes him. Either way, it’s a really unhealthy habit of fight or flight and it’s ugly. And It’s not like he’s unaware of it, either -he is an avid self-help reader, goes to therapy and is typically very emotionally intelligent….and has certainly heard it from plenty of his ex-girlfriends, and even my kids. I call him on it everytime, but not in a very tactful way. More like…knock it off, you’re being an A$$! 😛

    I’ve witnessed him lose relationships and even clients over this (he’s a chiropractor), and I’m finding myself avoiding his company, lately. A few of us are seriously getting worried that it might be medication time!

    I’d sure appreciate some feedback and even specific words to use, as I really care about this friend, but am unsure how to approach the subject, without setting off another rant.

    Hope this isn’t TMI? lol
    Thanks all!

  144. Love this one and it applies to kids too.
    I hear some parents explaining at length some instruction to their child……mostly they hear blah blah blah
    Be direct with your kids. Pick up your toys please.
    Bath time. No yelling inside the house . etc…
    Keep it direct. keep it simple always.

  145. Awesome, fun & “straight from the hip” video Marie loved it!

    I have a dear friend whom I need to employ this tactic with because she is very bossy, controlling, undermining and over-defensive, yet she will give you the shirt off her back or in a recent case the bra off her chest LOL :-D…she’s very giving and kind so the spirit of taking the high road and keeping my own personal space drama free, I often overlook her negativity and step away from her for awhile, but listening to your video perhaps I should adopt your steps and see how it unfolds. My concern is she is very sensitive and immediately becomes defensive. I’ll certainly pray it about as well. You’re brilliant Marie! Thank so much.

  146. Lauren

    Awesome video and so true! In my case, I’m having trouble with a client that I am creating a website for. I have a very clear contract that states the exact phases I will be giving him previews of the website and a pretty aggressive timeline and launch date which I intend to meet.. The problem is that even though the timeline is set at 8 weeks, it has only been 2 weeks and I’m receiving emails from him once or twice a day asking to see where the project is at.. “Is it done yet? When will it be ready? Have you started? Can I see some mockups? What’s taking so long? Where are we at with this?”… I have been working my butt off after hours to get this done, but I’m feeling SO pressured by him and it’s really stressing me out!

    What I want to say is: “Dude, chill the eff out! I’ll show you the design when I’m done. I don’t want to show you something before it’s finished because you’ll just think I forgot a bunch of stuff, but really it’s not done yet! Read the dang contract. I gave it to you for a REASON!!! If it’s so easy and quick to do, why don’t you do it yourself!? I work 80 hours a week and you’re not my only client.. Quit it with the emails.”

    My cleaned up version: “I understand that you are excited to see your new project! I’m very confident that you’re going to love it, and I’m going to meet all the deadlines I promised to you, but please keep in mind that my business involves having to balance many clients so I have to dedicate time to each of them. With that being said, your project is definitely a priority to me and when I reach the phase 4, as specified in our contract, I will be sending mockups your way. In the meantime, just know that I am getting it done the best I can! Thanks for understanding.”

    WOW, sorry for the long post but I feel so much better after writing that! I guess that’s my little vent sesh for the day. Thanks, Marie!

  147. C.A. McCarren

    Marie!!!!!! This is one girl who is running out of the library so very HAPPY!!!! I came into the library today because I was totally depressed and AIMLESS as I have so many ideas inside my head!!! I have a very hard time articulating what I want, what I see in my mind…..

    You and what you are giving to the world is such a blessing! Thank you so much.

    Blessings & Shalom to you!

  148. Debra

    Since a very young age I felt different. But, from home to school to friends I was continually ridiculed , punished or the famous line, “what is wrong with you”. I was different, but instead of listening and learning what my soul was showing me, saying to me, my self worth deminished. My constant yearning to fit in, to be accepted and by doing that I began loosing what my spiritual soul was showing me. The confusion, disappointment of living ,my inner self was dying. I know without a doubt I now believe I was meant to be great, but I believe I gave all my dreams away, made mistakes that led me into the abyss and smothered who I was suppose to be, now today I have NO idea who I am, I know I am someones mother, daughter, grandma, friend BUT who am I. I am not sure what I am sure of other than I know “LOVE” is part of me, yet as I write this my exhaustion, my pain, confusion welcomes my life as it is to end.

  149. Thank you both for such an amazing interview!

    When I found out that Marie came across Marianne’s work in the Union Square Barnes and Nobles, my jaw hit the floor. It meant a lot to me, because it was in that same Barnes and Nobles in Union Square, when I was taking a summer course in NYU, (side note: I’m from Portugal, living in London) that Gabrielle Bernstein’s book Spirit Junkie fell off the shelf, and it was thanks to her that I came across both Marie and Marianne’s work. It was in that shop that I began my true journey and it gives me chills to know that Marie was standing in the same place, working out her journey as well. 🙂

    So in answer to the video:
    1. My limiting belief is that my work is not exciting enough to make it in the real world (I’m about to graduate)

    2. I need to start designing more of what I love and enjoy, and less of what the industry is producing and what I think people expect me to produce

    3. The prayer at the end was really important to me as I am still not sure how I am going to use my creative skills to benefit the world, so I’ll just keep in mind that I don’t have to worry and that I will be guided to using my gifts to their full potential to benefit others.

    SO TO ALL OF YOU:
    If you are looking to give your business a visual make over, I am taking Marie’s advice and taking on some clients for free, so I can get some experience going. Just take a look at my website and see if you think I’ve got what it takes to design the sort of thing you’re after.

    Thank you both Marie and Marianne,
    Keep shining your light!
    And love to all of those on this page,

    Joana

  150. Kayman

    I’ve been trying to work with a family member on a multimedia design firm that we’re trying to get off the ground. The problem is that whenever there is something on his end that isn’t up to par, will require adjustment or more work than he expected it’s as if his pride or ego kicks in.

    For example if I’m doing the video editing and he sends me an animation for the project that I think needs adjustment, after I let him know in the email of the changes he’ll sometimes drop off the face of the earth for a day or two. No email responses, no returned phone calls, nothing! So I have no way of knowing if he’s working on it. I’ve let him know directly that I need feedback asap so I know if it’s being worked on or if the changes are not possible, or even if he agrees that a change needs to be made. I know that his phone and every device he owns is connected to his email so not having access to or being “too busy” it isn’t an excuse.

  151. Amanda

    Hello, I have a problem I’m hoping to get some advise. I am currently in a business partnership with my friend. This year will be our 3rd year together, however, I’m not feeling it anymore. How do I tell her that I don’t want to be a part of it without her getting defensive or ruining our friendship? I’m not into confrontation in anyway so this is really making me nervous.

    Any suggestions?

  152. Thank you for this post! This can be such a big step and I know I need to implement it into my personal friendships. I will definitely plan to be straight upfront in the future at home and at work.

  153. It’s only been 2 weeks tops, since signing up to your site and it’s been incredibly inspiring. It’s the first thing I think of when I realize I need a kick in the Marketing but..

    So today, I run into the above issue with a business partner of mine, so like anyone else, I Google it! Low and behold I click the first link and voila, I’m here!! Love synchronicity.. Keep up the brilliant work. I’m sure you know how many people you are elevating. Thanks Marie.

  154. sasa

    thanks for the message. really tough though

  155. Joy

    You drive me crazy, cuz everytime I walk past you, at work, you want to tell me this big long story that goes on and on, and I don’t have time, NOR am I interested every single detail of every story you want to share! CAN YOU PLEASE JUST GIVE ME THE HEADLINES, AND GIVE ME A CHANCE TO TALK, WITHOUT HIJACKING EVERY CONVERSATION??!!?!!

    What should the nice version be? I love this person dearly, but, seriously, dude, seriously, I’ve got so much to do, but I don’t want to be rude

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      Joy, what about something like, “I really wish I could catch up with you right now, but I’ve got so much work to do! Let’s talk later/tomorrow/after work.”?

    • elle

      I love chatting with you, but I am so busy during the work day! Maybe we could have a standing date on Monday at lunch to catch up on all of our juicy stories 🙂

  156. Aimee

    I was included into business projects with out my consent and no one is willing to tell me who orchestrated these project. Please have the person who orchestrated these projects contact me directly to have an in person discussion. This is my first question of many.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Aimee, thank you so much for watching this episode and trying out our strategy. It sounds like you’re in a tough situation at the moment, and I hope that writing down what you’d like to say helps you get the conversation moving and find clarity!

  157. Kody

    Hi Marie,

    Super helpful stuff! However, I’ve got a similar issue that I’m still not sure how to address.

    Me and my best friend bought into a business at the same time. He was only a couple years in, while I was about 10 years in. Once we took over the business, he started usurping every responsibility and task. I assumed this was because he wanted to assert his authority and prove his worth to the staff, but it’s taken a bit of a dark turn. Now it seems every task or responsibility is scooped up by him leaving me with no way to prove my worth. The results are me feeling less than, incapable and seemingly undermined art every turn. I’m worried about how our employees will start to see this dynamic and how the resentment between me and my partner will result in a dramatic confrontation as opposed to a calm, collected conversation. I’ve tried questioning him about whether or not he sees me fit to run the store and I always get the same passive response stating that he didn’t mean for it to come across that way or that he doesn’t think I’m incapable, but I just can’t seem to get a read on what’s happening. I’ve messed up few times, ie. late for work or forgot to order new debit rolls, but nothing to the extent of compromising the business. Any suggestions as to how to confront my partner and possibly turn things around? I just want to get an honest response, be it negative or positive.

    Thanks,
    Kody

  158. It sounds so simple: say what you mean and communicate more clearly and effectively.
    Thank you, Marie!

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