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Communication Matters

May 2016    Issue 92                     

Turning Stress into "Resilience Fitness Training"       
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 or today online. The price is  reduced from $19.99 to $10.00 + S & H and applicable sales taxes.   


We show our clients how to transform "mistakes" into learning experiences.
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.  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.
  Most of the content of this issue first appeared in our April 2015 newsletter under the title "Stress Inoculated Resilience: Make It Work For You." Many of our current readers may have missed this the first time and for those who looked at it a year ago, a second look is worthwhile as you review the stressful challenges of your past year. 

  I first heard this term, "stress inoculated resilience" in the narration of a PBS documentary film about endangered snub nosed monkeys that live in small, wandering groups high in the Tibetan Alps so remotely that they have no fear of people. A small team of photographers followed one group in particular, focusing on a baby monkey who was usually ignored by his immature mother, not held, not fed regularly and picked up, nursed and cared for by older "auntie" monkeys. In contrast, the team also photographed another baby who was lavishly smothered with love by his biological mother who fed him, held him and met his every need.

  The term "inoculation" usually refers to the vaccinations given to babies and to our flu shots, where a small amount of a specially treated virus or other biological substance, stimulates our own bodies to develop an immunity to one of several harmful diseases (flu, whooping cough, mumps, measles etc.)   

  The team of photographers found that the monkey who consistently received inadequate care and protection, developed independence and curiosity, moved and climbed freely in the mountainous terrain and sought help fearlessly from other monkeys, even the dominant alpha male "tribe" leader.  He became more resilient and better at surviving the future trials awaiting young male monkeys.  

   We are not praising poor parenting, but using this as an example of how the unavoidable stresses of living  can make us stronger if we develop coping strategies.  


"Re-framing" The Way You Think: Your "Mistakes" in Speaking Are Your Greatest Learning Opportunities! 


  For those readers who are fluent, but non-native speakers of English, think of how positive and hopeful you were as you entered your first American classroom or lab or office.  You were going to do your best to make as FEW mistakes as possible and to give your TOP performance!  Remember?
    Then what happened? We've written about this many times in our newsletters.  You could read and spell English perfectly and you could SEE the printed word in your mind, but when you spoke, your listeners gave you "the look" that meant "We don't have the slightest idea of what you are trying to say!" At meetings, people were polite and let you speak, but then the discussion went on as if you hadn't said anything and you realized that people were having such a hard time understanding you that they simply stopped listening.
   Eventually, this daily stress can lead to an avoidance of any unnecessary speaking and to much self-criticism.
   You need to develop a strategy to repair your frequent, daily communication breakdowns so that at the end of an exchange, your listeners will SAY the word correctly that they hadn't understood, thus SHOWING you the correct sound pattern.          

Four Steps to Repair Communication Breakdowns
Two businessmen walking
   This is a brief summary of  detailed instruction that each of our clients receive in session #2 of his or her individual, customized training with us.
#1 - Recognize that a breakdown has occurred i.e. that you were not understood.
#2 Give your listener permission to request clarification, to ask you to "say it again." Otherwise they won't!
#3 SPELL THE WORD! (There are other strategies but just start by spelling the word slowly.)
#4 The listener will naturally confirm that you were understood by repeating the word correctly! You need to listen carefully.
   You can watch a video at the bottom of the homepage of Triangle Speech Services in which I describe a real experience reported by a client who felt embarrassed and humiliated and then talk about how it could have been turned into a positive learning experience.       
   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.   We can conduct free phone consultations and one or two Information Sessions in June but won't be starting any new clients until August.  We conduct only individual, in-person training with regular monitoring of online practice in the applicable programs.


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