We all long to be understood. Whether it’s in business or your personal life, everyone wants to feel like they are being heard and that what they say matters. The interesting thing about communication is that your capacity to do so translates into everything you do. The way you do one thing thing is the way you do everything, most of the time. This means that difficulty expressing your thoughts and feelings in your personal relationships, can easily spill over into the communication around your business and professional life.
Ineffective communication is not only frustrating for the person trying to communicate but also for the person on the receiving end. Imagine a consultant, co-worker or client trying to convey their needs, wants or ideas to you in a way that was unclear and scattered. Most likely this would leave you feeling confused and misdirected. If you ever feel like people just don’t ‘get you,’ your communication style may be why.
As a therapist and an online business owner, I can tell you that what you say and how you say it is vital to your personal and professional success. While not everyone is born with great communication skills I believe that you can learn to more effectively and efficiently express yourself.
There are plenty of ways to improve your ability to communicate. However you must first identify what type of communicator you are.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think. How do you communicate? Are you passive? Do you feel confident enough to share what’s on your mind? Do you exaggerate and use “ALWAYS” and “NEVER” statements? Do you use fear tactics to get what you want? Were you taught that being honest is rude? Remember, you alone are responsible for how you communicate in your relationships.
There are only two ways to communicate: effectively and ineffectively. Below is a comprehensive list of communication characteristics. Take a look and see what resonates.
- Indirect: not getting to the point; never clearly stating intention
- Passive: timid, reserved
- Antagonistic: angry, aggressive, or hostile in tone
- Cryptic: underlying message obscured, requiring interpretation
- Hidden: true agenda never directly stated
- Non-Verbal: communicated through body language and behaviors rather than words
- One-Way: more talking than listening
- Dishonest: false statements are substituted for true feelings, thoughts, and needs
- Direct: to the point; leaving no doubt as to meaning
- Assertive: not afraid to state what is wanted or why
- Congenial: affable and friendly
- Clear: underlying issues are articulated
- Open: no intentionally hidden messages
- Verbal: clear language used to express ideas
- Two-Way: equal amounts of talking and listening
- Responsive: attention paid to the needs and perspective of the other person
- Honest: true feelings, thoughts, and needs are stated
Create a snapshot of your communication style. If it is not what you want it to be, what right action are you willing to take to make it better? Can you allow yourself to be vulnerable or try something different?
If your answer is yes, then I want to help! Now that you have a better idea of who you are in terms of communication, I want to share with you my top tool for how to articulately and easily say what you mean.
When it comes to quality information there are few programs that can compare to my LCSW schooling at NYU. Though in terms of business, Marie Forleo’s B-School is where it’s at.
I decided to sign up for B-School five years ago, and since then my life and my business have never been the same. While I had a thriving one-on-one psychotherapy practice, I knew I wanted to go bigger. My concern was that I didn’t know to communicate what I was teaching my clients in individual sessions, in a way that would appeal to the masses.
I knew I had a lot to share; information and products that needed to get out into the world. Plus I wanted to give myself more freedom and not feel tied down to an office. B-School helped me do all that and so so much more. Marie taught me step by step what I needed to do to connect with the people who wanted and needed to hear from me. She made sharing and selling what I had to offer easy. She teaches you how to communicate who you are, what you’re about and how you can help.
Marie helped me up level my business and my communication skills in a way that only a true pro can. B-School taught me how to be clear, concise and to feel confident in what I had to offer. If you are a therapist, healer, yoga teacher or coach I want to invite you to sign up now for Marie’s 3 part FREE video training series. In just these few short videos you will learn the 6 pillars of successful business and how doing business online can help you make more money and change the world!
Love Love Love
*image courtesy of darwin Bell