Those who attend my Building Trust communication workshops have said they appreciate my practical, down-to-earth suggestions – which, thankfully, are all I know how to give. Readers who are curious about the theory behind them will have to remain so. Here’s a question I received recently. Many of us face this all-too-common challenge:
Boy do I know this dilemma; I even have my own personal measurement system for it. If I spend more than two minutes in the car ride home reliving the conversation in my mind, kicking myself for what I should have said, then I know I blew it. Sometimes I ruminate about it all evening. I vow, once again, to speak up the next time! But enough about me. Before I go into my real answer to your question, I think we first need to clear away some brush. As a more naturally reticent communicator, you’ve probably been given kudos most of your life for being a patient, attentive listener. Many of us gain friends, influence, and a certain amount of self-worth through the genuine value of letting others be heard – and I would be the last person to discourage this.
So you don’t engage and another opportunity to connect with others slips past. This isolation can be extremely frustrating, especially since others seem to glide through difficult subjects with ease.Removing The Cork
When we were infants, we knew how to get our needs met. Ask any mom. We did not need the “right” words, or that special moment in time: we communicated just fine. No, I’m not advocating tantrums in a business meeting! I merely state the obvious – that when we give ourselves permission to communicate, and when this need is stronger than our desire to maintain the current “peace and quiet” of the status quo, then we already own the tools to convey our thoughts. We need only use them.
Athletes get pep talks before the big game for a reason. The next time you know you’re going to face a situation when you might fall back into old habits of quietness, run through some power-giving affirmations like these beforehand. You might surprise some people. Most of all, yourself.
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