Filtering by Tag: emotional intelligence

3 ways to avoid communication ping-pong

Had you ever had an argument that didn't get anywhere? Don't be shy, my hand's up too.

Communication Ping-Pong

Oftentimes I see communication cycles that look like ping-pong tournaments. There's motion back and forth, but we're getting nowhere fast. The ball bounces off one head, and then off the next. It's clear that the meaning of the words (aka ball), isn't penetrating. The ball keeps on bouncing like that's the object of the game.

If that's not the object of YOUR communication game, then try some of the strategies below to avoid the trap.

Try these strategies:

1) Try to repeat the last thing you heard. Verbatim.

2) Acknowledge what you're afraid of, and then listen.

3) Ask an open-ended question that you really don't know the answer to—people tend to hate leading questions.

How about them ping-pong balls?

Matthew Koren unleashes the leadership potential in your people so teams can thrive. He is based out of Portland, OR. To learn more about his programs, click here. To receive great, useful content each month, sign up for his email list here. To discuss how Matt can support you, your organization, and teams, contact him today! 

What makes a leader?

Call me a dork, but I love researching noteworthy leadership information that I can translate to the lay person in a meaningful, actionable way.

My recent search, however, raised more questions than it answered. I guess that's appropriate since leadership as a research topic only became popular about 40 years ago. There are still many unanswered questions about what leadership is (i.e. a set of actions, an innate trait, and mental perspective?) and what it affects (i.e. role, influence, productivity, etc.)

What do you think makes a leader?

One of the most important questions, I feel, in the leadership research is the impact of emotional intelligence on the performance of leaders. We were just beginning to the ask this sort of question seriously about 15 years ago (Brown et al. 2005, Boyatzis et al. 2002). Now whole research teams are organized to answer the question of how emotion plays a part in our leadership performance (see Richard Boyatzis' work as an example).

The inquiry is drawing interesting connections, baffling synchronicities, and uncovering the hidden patterns that communicate 'leader'.

What do you think makes a good leader? And what traits do you think a powerful and effective leader should have? Inquiring minds want to know, please leave your comments below or share with me on LinkedIn.

Matthew Koren is a team management and leadership consultant and executive coach based out of Portland, OR. To learn more and receive great, useful content each month, sign up for my email list here.


1. F. William Brown, and Dan Moshavi, "Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: A Potential Pathway for an Increased Understanding of Interpersonal Influence," Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, no. 7 (2005): 867-871, (accessed January 13, 2014).

2. Richard E. Boyatzis, Elizabeth C. Stubbs, and Scott N. Taylor, "Learning Cognitive and Emotional Intelligence Competencies Through Graduate Management Education," Academy of Management Learning & Education, 1, no. 2 (2002): 150-162, (accessed January 13, 2014).