Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

Given the tragic spate of recent events, together with the fiasco of the General Election, it seems to me that the need for authentic communication is very much in demand.

This goes to the very heart of the communication training that Eaglei provide and I have written about this in previous blogs – Are You The Real Thing?

However, I have attended a few business events recently where the invited speakers were going through the motions of delivering their message. As such, I felt there was a lack of engagement and empathy with the audience. I have written before (and talked a lot to those who have trained with me!) about the vital importance of making an emotional connection with your audience – How to Make an Emotional Connection. This requires you to be vulnerable, transparent and have integrity and yet so many people are simply afraid of doing so. Why is it so difficult to say what you truly feel and believe or display emotion by hugging the distraught victim of a terrorist attack or burning building? PM Lacks Emotion

Authentic communicators are people who are clear, genuine and sincere. They project open-mindedness, understanding and confidence. They reach their personal and professional goals by being committed to their own principles and supporting and motivating others.

Of course, there are risks involved in communicating authentically. By saying no, you run the risk being thought of as rude or not helpful. By telling someone the truth, you may risk upsetting them or being excluded in some way.

The reality is when you compromise yourself and what you really want just to be liked, or to avoid disagreement, you only undermine the self-confidence and trust in yourself. When you are out of integrity with who you are and what you really want, you only damage yourself. By not expressing what and how you really feel, you then must live with the consequences.

If you ever doubt how you feel, listen to your body; there is often a physical reaction. What is your gut telling you? How do you feel? Where do you feel it? Is there a tight knot in your stomach? Does your head ache just thinking about your choices?

No one likes to feel alone or that they are letting others down. By not respecting your own boundaries and communicating authentically to others, you risk letting yourself down in the long run and creating potential long-term stress for yourself.

Finally, do not use flowery language to make the point you want. Nothing makes a person disengage more quickly than an overlong sentence. Don’t take 25 words to say what you can say in 10. A long, drawn out explanation only weakens your point, even if you think that more words will strengthen it.

Practice the art of authentic communication by saying what you really mean. Once you identify what you want, why it is important to you, what you are willing to risk by speaking honestly and authentically, practice saying that in 10 words or less.

Authentic communication will change the way you think, the way you communicate and everyone else will trust you to say what you mean and strive to do the same.

If you need help, support or training to improve how to express yourself or communicate your authentic message please contact Duncan at Eaglei.