Effective and infuential communication is easier than you think when you have clarity, courage and initiative to speak your mind.
But do we? Do we really know what we are going to say when we step into a conversation? Have we thought about who we want to be and what the outcome is?
Oftentimes we just “drop in” and wing it. We have this amorphous or hazy idea of what we want, but we haven’t taken the time to clearly identify the goal of our interaction.
We get hazy results when we don’t have clear goals and intentions. But we can also get hazy results when our intentions don’t match our effectiveness.
Did I tell you that my family and I are taking archery lessons? It’s just so much fun to learn a new skill and share that learning as a family. We did the same thing when we earned our black belts in tae kwon do, and now, we are doing it again with archery.
As part of the deal when you buy new gear, you get four free lessons at our favorite archery place. Our instructor, “Misha” (not his real name), taught us something that changed how we learn any new skill. He told us that our brains can only process one thought at a time. Yes, we can have alot of thoughts, following each other, but not simultaneously. We think sequentially. When you stack tasks, your brain settles on one (usually your last thought) and your body follows.
So Misha taught us that in order to be effective at practice, we have to break down the key elements of shooting an arrow into separate focused practice sessions. In other words, we don’t try to hold the bow steady, aim, and fire in a three second cycle all at the same time. We practice each task separately, and by doing that, we become extremely effective quickly. In other words, we just hacked our results!
Misha is one of those “been around the block a few times” kind of guys who is warm hearted and wise. As is common for guys and gals who have a lot of wisdom to share, he likes to talk and talk and talk. Pretty soon our eyes glaze over, because of the volume. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE this guy! His insight and wisdom is very valuable, AND it still takes a lot of self discipline to focus on what he is saying; not to mention, to then remember to apply what he said so brilliantly to my practice. In other words, his message gets lost in his delivery.
You are more important than any fear you have – Christine Jeffrey
Now, I know I’ve been guilty of the same thing. When I get fired up about personal development, I can go on, and on, and on to the detriment of my effectiveness. What I recognized in Misha and in myself is that if we applied his protocol to our speaking styles , we would be more effective and create a more enjoyable experience for those we coach, teach and lead.
What do you focus on when you are communicating with others? Do you think about who you’re going to be in the conversation? Do you have a specific outcome in mind? How do you prepare for “the talk?”
It takes discipline to communicate effectively, but once you learn this system, it becomes easy to implement. Give this protocol a try and see if it helps you become more effective in your communication style.
How To Speak Effectively
1-2-3-Fire Method – Do This Before You Speak
- Practice 1. Focus on and be clear about the outcome. When you speak to that person, what is the one thing that you want? When you are extremely clear about what you want out of the conversation, whether it is understanding, connection, love or learning, you make it easier to have a positive outcome. Winging it rarely works well.
- Practice 2. Be clear about WHY you want that outcome. Why is it important for you to have that conversation? Why is it meaningful? What will it give you that you don’t already have? This piece not only helps you to be more courageous, so you will take action, it also helps you to stay on track in the conversation, because you know what matters and what doesn’t.
- Practice 3. Speak from the heart and you’ll know what to say. It takes courage to say what you think, but when you act courageously, you get the benefit of feeling stronger and feeling proud of yourself. Getting in touch with those good intentions helps you to speak better.
- Practice 4. Fire! I say you are more important than any fear you have. The more you speak up, the more confident you become. The more you speak up, the more courageous you become. The more you speak up, the better your results.
Practice these four points and see how you feel. If you are like most of us, you will feel more courageous, more clear, and more likely to take action. Speaking effectively is not as difficult as you think. You’ll find that when you have only one thing to think about, when you know why you want to speak about it, and when you speak from your heart, speaking effectively is easier. I want that for you!
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Thank you so much for reading and until next time,
Make the most of the time you have!
Coach “One task at a time”