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Communication Matters

January 2015    Issue 79                  

Making Failure Safe and Celebrating Your Mistakes         
In This Issue
TELL US YOUR STORYFeatured Article
Business  Woman Lecturing

If you are a foreign born professional, we would like to hear from you. We are very interested in the story of how you are overcoming self-doubt and learning new skills.

We would be happy to feature your story in a future issue.
trOur Mission is to help our clients transform their accents from a communication barrier to a charming cultural flavor using "listener friendly" speech that is as close to Standard English as possible for them. 


Order Mastering Meaning from today online.   For an autographed copy contact Judith Bergman through our web site. (Pay for autographed copies with check by mail or credit card phone order only).Reduced from $19.99 to $10.00 + S & H and applicable sales taxes.   


We help our  clients use self-correction as a vital tool for improving their speech.
Go to our Archive Home Page to read more fascinating newsletters.

  Triangle Speech Services is the private, professional practice of Judith L. Bergman, a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) who specializes in foreign accent and regional dialect modification and related communication skills. I offer customized, individual tutorials to corporate-sponsored and self-enrolled individuals who speak English fluently but with moderate to severe accents that create challenges and frustrations in the workplace.

  "You will NOT lose your accent in 28 days,"  I tell prospective clients who might have seen ads making this promise. "The only thing you will lose is your money!"  So I was very skeptical when I checked out a language learning website that promised mastery of   "beginning level modern Greek" in two weeks with eight thirty-minute audio CDs. However with free shipping and  a cost of only $9.95, what could I lose? I have booked a tour to Athens and the Greek Islands in late May with a lady friend and I knew that being able to speak even a very little Greek would enhance our touring and shopping experience.  

   The discs arrived and I knew two things immediately:  First, they were of a very high quality with ONLY audio teaching, the way language is learned. The narrator had flawless Standard English but the actual Greek was spoken by natives. There was a lot of repetition and review and slow teaching of words that were long, complex sound sequences with zero resemblance to the English equivalent. Secondly, there was NO way that my senior brain could retain the carefully measured content of one thirty-minute CD in one day. NO WAY! I would remember the English meaning but completely forget the Greek word ten minutes after it was first introduced. Had I failed? That was on December 2. By January 21, playing just one thirty-minute CD over and over for an entire week, only while I was driving, listening, repeating, correcting, repeating, I had mastered the entire contents of four hours of Modern Greek and was trying it out on my travel friend.  So had I failed?   



     Creativity Inc. Overcoming Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of Inspiration, by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace completely reframes the deeply embedded indoctrination about failure that we all received from our schools and parents. "Failure," we are taught, "means you are not smart enough or didn't work hard enough!" Some cultures teach that failure is shameful and that "saving face" and covering up mistakes is important.
   President of Disney Animation and Pixar Animation, Catmull spoke about his management and leadership focus on making the experience of failure SAFE in an interview I heard  on NPR.  Failure needs to be seen as part of learning and as a NECESSARY CONSEQUENCE of doing your job. 
    He writes, "It's not the manager's job to prevent risks. It's the manager's job to make it safer for others to take them." 

Celebrating Your Mistakes
   The following headline in the Sunday, January 25 Raleigh News and Observer WORK section "grabbed" my attention:
   Exploit your mistakes and they'll point you to change, growth.  This was a regular column, "The View from HR" written by Bruce Clarke J.D., CEO of CAI. This is a link to the entire article.
   "You need to be aware of your mistakes in order to improve," is a "mantra" that Triangle Speech Services clients hear constantly. Working with a manager in your company or with a coach to reduce an accent both require trust that the feedback you receive will be constructive and will lead to positive results.When you don't discourage yourself with unrealistic expectations, you will have energy, patience and persistence.
  With prescribed drills and repetitive exercises, with regular online feedback, our clients succeed in learning new speech movement patterns, in internalizing the correct sound patterns for American English words, in hearing their mistakes in conversation (feedback), in self-correcting, in anticipating (feed forward) and ultimately in changing speech habit patterns. Is it quick and easy? No! Does it require a lot of practice for four to six months? Yes! Is it worth the effort?  Only each client can decide this! 
   We invite you to click on Triangle Speech Services  to visit our informative website. Our goal is always to provide information, inspiration and encouragement since these are essential components of any successful learning experience.
  If you are seriously considering enrolling yourself or an employee in an individual tutorial with us or simply want to talk to us about our programs, please contact us through the contact page of our web site


Judith L. Bergman M.A. CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist and Corporate Speech Trainer
Founder & Director of Triangle Speech Services