communication training

27 Jun Is Authenticity Overrated?

“To thine own self be true” from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, is one of the most famous quotes from The Bard’s works.

The essence of these words has great staying power and meaning, especially now.

Applause for authenticity

When asked how they’d like to come across in their leadership roles, more clients than ever share that they’d like to be authentic, natural, and genuine. They want to be true to themselves – not phony, fake, put on, or overly packaged.

We coaches, of course, applaud these aspirational adjectives.

Feeling comfortable and “like yourself” can contribute to smooth, valuable, and positive interactions. Feeling inauthentic can lead to stiff delivery, gestures, and facial expressions.

Kayla, a marketing leader in biotech, was asked to speak at a town hall. She was more nervous than usual, stumbled over statistics, and was told she seemed “scripted.”

Why? Kayla was in the challenging position of not believing what she had to say to her team. Her desire to be authentic clashed with what company executives needed her to say. Quite a challenge!

The Dilemma

Communication coaches understand that solely relying on your “real self” may not always align with achieving your goals.

It’s important to stretch beyond “doing what comes naturally” in order to build your executive communication toolkit and success.

Authenticity Awareness Quiz

Answer these three questions to determine if moving beyond being authentic is a valuable goal for you.

  1. Does my authentic self always help me get the desired results in this situation?
  2. Does my authentic self always help me to build and maintain relationships?
  3. Is my current toolkit of skills consistently effective for professional growth and success?

Most motivated professionals answer No to one or more of the above questions. Terrific! That shows a desire to expand their comfort zone, add new strategies to their toolkit, and experiment with feeling “authentic in new ways.

Executive communication coaches reassure our clients that:

  • Authenticity + Building Best Practices is an ideal professional formula.
  • New behaviors will feel awkward at first. Within three to six months, they will be part of your natural self.
  • You will experience success as you expand your executive communication repertoire and, at the same time, still believe “To thine own self be true”.

6 Jun Paraphrase When Communicating and Coaching Others

Paraphrasing is repeating in your words what you interpret someone else to be saying. Paraphrasing is a powerful approach to furthering the understanding of the other person and yourself and can significantly increase the impact of another’s comments.

As coaches, we know paraphrasing is incredibly difficult because we often need to listen deeply, a skill you must purposefully cultivate. Despite appearing attentive, our minds are churning with various thoughts, beliefs, defenses, distractions, and redirections.

The best way to practice paraphrasing is in your personal life. You can apply this powerful skill at work once you get the reps in with your husband, wife, kids, cousins, or friends.

When paraphrasing:

  • Focus your paraphrase on what the other person implied rather than what you wish they meant. For example, avoid saying, “So you’re saying you have NO homework? Instead, say, “If I understand correctly, you finished all your schoolwork during study hall?”
  • Put the focus of the paraphrase on the other person, e.g., if the person said, “I had a horrible night; I didn’t sleep more than four hours,” then don’t paraphrase, “Well, I WISH I got four hours; I had an even worse sleep; I was up all night.” Instead, say, “Oh no, you only got four hours of sleep?”
  • Put the ownership of the paraphrase on yourself, e.g., “If I’m hearing you right…” or “If I understand you correctly…”
  • Put the ownership of the other person’s words on them, e.g., say, “If I understand you right, you’re saying that…” or “Do you believe that…” or “Do you feel that…”

In the paraphrase, use some of the other person’s words. For example, if the other person said, “I think we should do more fun outings as a family. We never go anywhere,” You might paraphrase, “If I’m hearing you right, you feel like we need to schedule more outings we can enjoy together as a family?”

Don’t judge or evaluate the other person’s comments, e.g., don’t say, “Don’t you think you should be calmer when we drive in rush-hour traffic?”

You can use a paraphrase to validate your impression of the other’s comments; e.g., you could say, “So you were frustrated when…?”

The paraphrase should be shorter than the original comments made by the other person. Be brief and concise. It’s not about you!

31 May MassBioEd Course: Presenting with Persuasion, Clarity & Strength

Join Robin Golinski, Executive Communication Coach and our partner, MassBioEd on June 13, 2024 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Presenting with Persuasion, Clarity & Strength provides professionals with key skills to comfortably speak in a clear and confident manner. Whether presenting internally or externally, telling your story effectively, delivering meaningful messages, being persuasive, and speaking confidently in a variety of settings takes skill development and practice. The course is taught with role-playing and exercises.

“I learned that non-verbal aspects when speaking were very important to be aware of. Most of the time, people do not know they are ‘presenting’ before actually speaking.” – Attendee, September 2021


  • Sharing Communication Challenges
  • Understanding the Listener’s Needs
  • Understanding the Communication Environment
  • Identifying Theme
  • Being Persuasive
  • Using Notes & Visual Aids
  • Best Practices for Presenting Virtually
  • Handling Questions
  • Practice Strategies
  • Deliver a Presentation to the Group

MassBio Member Rate: $850
Non Member Rate: $970

To register:


30 May Answering Challenging Questions on Your Feet (30 min recorded lesson)

Watch our free, 30-minute recorded lesson

When at work, questions are continuously being tossed out to us. At times,

We don’t know the answer and feel like we should.
We can’t answer the question.
We don’t have a good answer.
We know the question will cause conflict if we choose to answer it.

Anticipating questions can create anxiety, stress, and loss of productivity. There is a way to prepare for these questions so you feel more confident through giving information to others. In this 30-minute lesson, we focus on real-world skills and give you the tools so you can be on top of your game when these challenging questions arise at work.

Join Robin Golinski, Executive Communication Coach for an entertaining and informative, free 30-minute recorded session.


22 Apr How Not to Digest the Political Sandwich of  Balderdash – Doublespeak – Bullxxxx

Technically speaking, each of these three things is slightly different. Practically speaking, they are all the same in the attempt to confuse, distract, and deceive the reader, listener, buyer, and voter. We all know that each of these verbal tactics is normal behavior for most politicians and slick salespeople. They are prevalent at this time of year—election season.

During this political season, when you are facing several important decisions on issues ranging from birth and abortion to death and war, it is helpful to know how to protect yourself from being manipulated by these B-D-B tactics.

You will vote on issues, items, people, and policies based on one or more of the following things:

1)  the known credibility, morals, ethics, or behaviors exhibited by a person or evidence provided.

2)  the feelings and emotions that are created by that person or evidence provided.

3)  the logic and experience given by that person or the evidence provided.

Your decision to vote, one way or another, will be based on one or more of those three things.

Balderdash, doublespeak, and bullxxxxare all being used frequently and passionately by politicians and others during this season. They are planned, delivered, and repeated in an effort to sway your clear decision-making. When you think about it, you’ll find it challenging to identify any politician or others from any political party or organization who do not use one or more forms of B-D-B.

The most common use of B-D-B is when an issue that requires a logical decision is presented to you wrapped in emotion (sort of a logic sandwich, with the logic encased in the middle and surrounded by a lot of emotion).  This is designed to confuse and control your decision-making and voting.

What should you do? Read and listen critically to arguments for or against any issues, items, people, or policies during this election period. Refuse to consume a logic sandwich that comes wrapped in emotion. B-D-B comes wrapped in all kinds of emotion that is delivered with fanfare, folly, fun, pomposity, groupthink, and all sorts of shiny objects.

Enjoy them if you must, but remember they are only the emotional wrappings around the logic. Listen carefully, be curious, and have the courage to ask questions. Make decisions based on your personal assessment of the logic surrounding the issue, item, person, or project. That’s how smart you are.