128: 5 Things You’re Doing to Communicate Effectively (and why convincing isn’t one of them


Welcome friends to Episode #128 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. If you’ve ever struggled with getting your point across or feel like people don’t understand what you’re trying to say, you know how frustrating it can be. You wonder if it’s you or them and your confidence takes a hit when what you’re saying doesn’t seem to land. What can you do to be understood and be taken seriously? Whether it’s your kids, partner, boss, team, friend or a stranger you want on your side, you know how important it is to communicate well and effectively. Today’s podcast will help you understand 5 things you’re doing to communicate effectively (and why convincing isn’t one of them).

Our whole life is communication. Communication with ourselves telling ourselves what we know, what’s to be questioned and what to do next. Communication with others, expressing what we know, what we question and what to do next. It’s a really important skill to master because you know it is the difference between living the life you want and the one where you kinda sorta feel like it makes sense. You want to live the life that feels like it absolutely makes sense and the kind of life where who you are on the inside is who you are on the outside.

In my coaching work with my clients, I teach them a 5-step process to communicating effectively. It isn’t for those who are just learning how to get over the fear of public speaking. This is for those who are already in the spaces where they have things to say and have to share them. Whether it’s selling an idea or presenting a plan, they know they have a short amount of time to get their point across and they want to leave feeling like they got what they came for and that the audience got what they came for as well.

Intention: What are you trying to share?

The first step is understanding your own intention. What are you trying to share? What is the point of the conversation or presentation? If you don’t know this, you’ll leave feeling confused and so will the people you talk to during your conversation. Have you ever left a conversation feeling like it completely didn’t go the way you wanted and that you lost yourself or others in the process? This is what I’m talking about. You know you’re there when you even say, “what are we here to talk about?” or “I don’t know how we got here”. Often, you’ll feel a sense of frustration and that’s a clue that you or they are confused. When I work with my clients, we go through the actual scenarios they are going through and work through a process where they are clear what they’re trying to accomplish, structure and flow of the conversation.

Them: What are they thinking?

The second thing you want to do is to know what they are thinking. If you don’t know what they are thinking, you’re going to be guessing at what you should or shouldn’t say. It often feels like you’ve completely missed the mark and misunderstood them when you don’t know what they’re thinking. They may have a short response or seem to want to cut off the conversation. You’ll feel a sense of excitement and be surprised at their lack of excitement or vice versa. Essentially, your energy and thoughts aren’t matching theirs so they don’t trust you. We go through a process then to understand how to not just guess at what they are thinking but know what they are thinking so that you can take their feedback into consideration. This is part of the process you do beforehand to lay the foundation for a smooth transition into the conversation you want to have with them. It leads to greater trust and credibility so that people want to listen to what you have to say.

How: What needs to be said and how to say it

Now that we have the intention and we know what the audience is thinking, the third step is to know what you need to say and how to say it. We often think that so much of our conversation is in the words themselves, but 80% of our communication is in non-verbal communication. It’s in the tone, the gestures, the pace. This is the art of storytelling. It’s not just reserved for long presentations. You can do this in 30 seconds, 5 minutes, 10 minutes – it isn’t about the time. It’s about what you do in the time you have. When you don’t do this effectively, it will feel like you’re running out of time to get to what you want to say. It will feel like a monologue instead of a dialogue if you’re not adjusting your style and content to the time you have and who is in front of you. This is where we go into the energetic work of connecting with our audience. I teach my clients how to get to the essence of what is being communicated without losing the most important things they need to share.

Questions: Expect questions

Now we’re onto the 4th thing that happens when you’re communicating effectively. You expect questions. You ask for questions. You think ahead of time of the questions they might have. There is a whole style of presenting where you purposefully leave what you need to say to be answered in a question and answer format. Can you do that? Can you be confident enough to leave things out that you know will get answered in a question. I work with my clients to identify what those things are so that they’re not vague but they’re succinct. I also work with my clients to identify why they seem to be constantly getting questions that they don’t expect and what that really means. Usually they think people are just being difficult but that is not the case. It is usually a different line of thinking that is required for them to actually communicate effectively, and assuming people are just difficult isn’t the strategy you will want to pursue. 

This is where you’ll find yourself trying to argue back and convince someone of your viewpoint. That is not effective communication. Arguing back and forth is different than a conscious debate. Arguing is where we’ve lost our consciousness and we’re reacting more so than acting. We’re not as deliberative and we aren’t strategic about what we say and how we say it. Find those times when you’ve argued or were trying to convince someone to see things differently and often it doesn’t actually work. The times it might work are when they’re too tired and you have essentially just won because of relentlessness. This is a strategy but not a sustainable one or one that you want to deploy for relationships where there is a long-term commitment and you both depend on each other for important things in either your work or your life.

Wrap up: What do they need to do?

Finally, the 5th thing you’ll be doing to communicate effectively is knowing what you want them to do. This might change depending on the context of the conversation. Are you asking for something and the other person has to agree? Do you need a specific thing that they will do as a result of the conversation? What do they need to do now? This is how we wrap it up and give a conversation closure. I coach my clients on how to lead the conversation so that they’re not leaving people behind nor are they just agreeing to everything someone else says. The leadership comes from asking for what you need in the conversation.

To wrap it up, you don’t need to be convincing when you’re communicating effectively. Being able to get your point across and understand others comes from clearly knowing what you are trying to share, what are they thinking, what and how you need to say what you need to say, being prepared for questions and asking for what you need.

If you are interested in the world of spirituality, energy and co-creation while also wanting to achieve big things in life, I invite you to join me for Spiritual Achievement coaching. Figuring out what’s next just got easier when you have a roadmap and tools to help you dig deeper into your own journey of self discovery. In our work together, we’ll make decisions and you will get coached to a deeper level than you ever thought possible. This is what’s waiting for you. Reach out at www.mayempson.com/contact, today.

That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.

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