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John is dedicated to helping you get more out of life through effective communication and personal development — https://www.theeffectivecommunicator.com

Greetings from the road less traveled

Hello, I’m John Cunningham. It took me a long time to be comfortable saying that. I used to just think of my name being a formal label that others could use to identify me.

Nowadays, I consider it a description of who I am and what I am about. While I express this every day in my work as a corporate trainer and executive coach. Medium has given me a new space to present the me that lies below the surface.

I am from the Silicon Valley and now reside in Tokyo. I have…


ILLUMINATION Book Chapters provides a place to whet your appetite for interesting books by insightful authors

Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

If you haven’t heard of ILLUMINATION Book Chapters yet, it is a publication of book chapters and complete books serializations. Regardless of the type of books you like to read, you will find some interesting samples in this publication. Here are five authors’ works I am following.

Being a classic movie lover, I couldn’t help but browse Ulf Wolfs Garbo’s Face. What I found was an interesting story of a star’s decision to send her secret baby to India, where he is raised by…


Or any project for that matter. Why wait until the project is done to collect feedback? Once you understand agile project management, holding feedback until the project's completion seems absurd and a complete waste of resources.


Win the Day — Chapter 2

Photo by Hüseyin Topcu on Unsplash

You can’t give what you don’t have

Mainstream media has created images of life that are difficult, if not impossible, for us to compete with: slim and muscular bodies, rich and carefree lifestyles, and ultra-compassionate characters who never get angry. This leaves most of us feeling inadequate. Adding to on those feelings of inadequacy are experiences like losing a job, ending a relationship, or struggling to gain a new talent. All these experiences can lead to feelings of disillusionment. To combat that negative self talk, you need to believe there is something special in you and about you. …


A poem

I don’t miss the way you wake me

with a song straight from your heart

The aroma from your kitchen

or your walls filled up with art

I don’t miss your jar of cookies

or a race around the house

Or the days spent at the theater

watching greatness from the house

I don’t miss those super dinners

offered up with pride and joy

and the walks around the block

or the tactics you employed

I don’t miss the games of Shanghai

winning ten cents every round

or the trips that we have taken

and the treasures that we found


The power of self-talk

Image by Mirko Kaminski from Pixabay

My day sucked. The trains were late, and the 45 minutes I had planned to go over my presentation to the sales team had vanished into thin air. Poof! Needless to say, the pitch for a new service offering did not go as smoothly as planned. I felt like I was in a tailspin and needed someone or something to pull me out of it. Then I reached in my bag of tricks and pulled out a tool that saved the presentation. That tool was positive self-talk.

Magic Words

Your words have transformational powers. If you…


A 3 step process to learn from your misadventures

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Yesterday, I was in my Japanese lesson being drilled on phrases like “I think the weather will be nice this weekend?” (週末は天気がいいと思いです) and “I might be late” (ちょと遅れるかもしれません). When suddenly my mind went blank. I could not remember the last Japanese expression I uttered or how to conjugate the verb. It was as if the language was passing me by, mocking me.

“Ha ha ha, you’ll never be able to speak Japanese.” was the thought running through my mind. I have lived in Japan for more than 20 years and the thought of only being able to communicate at a…


The power of DISC

Image by the author

Ever chosen a job you thought would be a good fit and later found that it wasn’t your cup of tea? Or maybe you are job hunting and looking for that position where you can continue to grow over the next 5–10 years. If you are looking for some insurance that you are applying for the right positions, you might want to use the DISC process to measure the opportunity and your fitness for that job?

What is DISC?

DISC is a natural work style preferences assessment that groups workers into four categories: D — I — S —…


How editors are making my book better while I sleep

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Every writer wants to be published and curated. We all want to receive recognition for our writing. To get there, you need to have a crucial element included in your writing process. This step is so important that using it could be the tipping point between the success and failure of any story you compose.

The key to better writing is using an editor. Editors help you to understand how the reader will perceive your material. They help to catch grammar, phrasing, and style errors that could lead to readers abandoning your story before getting to the end. The problem…

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