I’m so excited to feature and offer a Book Giveaway of the newest book by my friend, Dr. Mike Bechtle. I’ve known Mike for many years and he is a communication expert who equips us with skills we need to handle conflict. His book gives us practical and productive ways to listen, give/receive genuine feedback, and saturate our relationships with kindness.
I know I need those!!!!
And Mike’s writing is always instructive and entertaining. No wonder his book has the title, Dealing with the Elephant in the Room: Moving from Tough Conversations to Healthy Communication.
Here’s an excerpt from his book to whet your appetite. Then check below to find out more about possibly winning a copy.
The Elephant Starts Little
by Mike Bechtle

My daughter, Sara, asked me if I could build her a certain piece of furniture. I said, “Of course.” In fact, I gave her a certificate for it for Christmas.

Two years ago.

The problem was that I didn’t know how I was going to build it. I do well with plans but not with making things up. This project didn’t have plans. I would think about how to do it but couldn’t figure it out. So I would set it aside for a couple of weeks, thinking it would percolate in the background and I’d know what to do.

A week or two later, nothing had changed. I wasn’t any closer to a solution. So I kept putting it off week after week, month after month—because I was stumped. When I don’t know how to do something, my default setting is to procrastinate instead of jumping in and tackling it.

Whenever Sara and I would talk, I would carefully avoid the subject. I didn’t want to let her down or appear incompetent. Since we weren’t talking about it, she didn’t know what was happening. I assumed she was either irritated with or disappointed in me. But I never asked, so I never knew for sure. I think I was afraid to ask. 

Eventually, I realized the situation had created an unspoken barrier between us. My daughter is one of the people I enjoy talking to the most on the planet, and I want a close, loving relationship with her. But my silence was building an unspoken wall that had been growing for two years.

Once I figured out what was happening, I went to her and told her what I was feeling. I apologized, wanting to do my part to remove the barrier I had created. As we talked, she said, “Yeah, it was the elephant in the room.”

That’s a word picture we’ve all heard and experienced. An elephant is in the room when something obvious is going on and nobody talks about it, and we pretend it’s not there.I pictured the scenario. I’m sitting on one side of the living room, and my daughter is on the other side. We’re peering through the elephant’s legs, trying to make conversation. The elephant smells, and it fills the room. It’s noisy. It’s huge. But we don’t talk about it.

Once we acknowledge it, we think, How in the world did that huge elephant get in this room? It doesn’t even fit through the door!

Sound familiar? Is there anyone in your life with whom you share an elephant—something that everybody knows about but nobody talks about? Nobody wants to say anything, because it will be uncomfortable and people might get upset. The longer the elephant has been there, the harder it is to talk about. But it’s big, and it smells. It gets in the way of genuine relationships taking place.

So how did that huge elephant get into the room?

It came in when it was little.

If we had talked about it when it first entered, we could simply have guided it out through the door. But when we let it stay, it grew and grew and grew. Getting rid of it became a much bigger issue. Once an elephant becomes full-grown, we might need to remove some walls and get professional help to be rid of it.

When I finally acknowledged the elephant with my daughter, she said, “You know, if you had told me you couldn’t figure it out, we could have spent a day working together on it until we knew what to do.” That would have been an awesome day with her. One of our favorite dates is to get coffee at Starbucks and cruise around a hardware store or lumberyard.

I love my daughter. And I love the fact that we got rid of the elephant. She loves the fact that I finished the furniture. And the house doesn’t smell like elephant anymore.

What’s the lesson? Watch for baby elephants in the room.

If you let them stay, they’ll get really, really big.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Here is the Table of Contents:
Table of Contents
Introduction: How the Elephant Got in the Room   
Part 1 The Process of Conversation   
1. Elephant Prevention   
2. How Conversations Get Tough   
3. What People Need   
Part 2 Tools for Healthy Conversations   
4. Tool #1—You Gotta Learn to Dance (Perspective)   
5. Tool #2—Confidence in Communication (Trust)   
6. Tool #3—Staying on Your Side of the Checkerboard (Ownership)   
7. Tool #4—Your Personal Fuel Station (Emotions)   
8. Tool #5—Crock-Pot Relationships (Time)    
9. Tool #6—The Value of Everybody (Respect) 
Part 3 Skills for Healthy Conversations   
10. Skill #1—Make It Safe  
11. Skill #2—Eliminate Intimidation  
12. Skill #3—Practice Power Listening  
13. Skill #4—Encourage Honest Feedback  
14. Skill #5—Start with Kindness  
15. Skill #6—Know Your Purpose   
Part 4 Growing into Connection   
16. Relating to Relatives   
17. Rust-Free Relationships  
18. Redeeming Technology  

Here’s Mike’s bio. You’ll notice he mentions me but I didn’t pay him to say it. 🙂
Mike Bechtle has had writer’s block since 1974.  But that hasn’t stopped him from publishing a ton of articles for publications like Writer’s Digest and Entrepreneur, and writing five books on relationships and communication – including 
His first book, Evangelism For the Rest of Us was written as a result of Kathy Miller’s friendship, coaching and mentoring on the whole idea of writing for publication. As a consultant for FranklinCovey he has taught over 3,000 corporate seminars on productivity, life balance and communication, coaches corporate executives and holds a doctorate from Arizona State.  He shares about living an intentional life on his blog at www.mikebechtle.com.
Thank you, Mike, for sharing with us!

So are you ready to put your name into the drawing to win an autographed copy of Dealing with the Elephant in the Room? Just make any comment on my blog or email me KathyCollardMiller AT gmail DOT com
From the entries, I will choose one winner on Thursday evening at 8pm, May 25, 2017. And announce the winner on my blog the next day. Please check back to see if you won.

Can’t wait for the drawing? Buy here:
Amazon – 

(Dealing with the Elephant in the Room is a revised and updated version of You Can’t Text a Tough Conversation.)