Committing to More Effective Communication

By Kristin Allaben, Strategic Communications Specialist & Executive Assistant

There are always lists readily available about words you should remove from your vocabulary, or words you should never say to your boss. I recently read one of these lists on Business Insider that offered one interesting takeaway: “Don’t say I can’t, say I don’t.”

It’s not the first time I’ve heard that piece of advice, but it is the first time I’ve heard it shared in a way that I can personally relate to: dessert. The writer explained that saying “I don’t eat brownies” has a much stronger impact on your self-control than saying “I can’t eat brownies.” You control the first one; you are at the effect of the second one. Choose language that empowers you.

The writer taking the time to effectively communicate why one phrase is better than another made me commit to replacing “I can’t” with “I don’t” in my vocabulary.

Bravo.

This points to a broader theme here: it’s not about the words you should or shouldn’t use, it’s about how you use them.

We toss words around with very little thought about what message they convey. Is what you’re saying meaningful for the person you’re speaking with? Is your message delivered in a way that appropriately reflects your tone, mood and intent? Most of the time, words spill out without enough intention, creating confusion or misinterpretation.

And language choice when speaking to yourself is just as impactful as the language you choose to use when speaking with a friend, family member or colleague. All too often, we can be careless and reckless with our self-talk, negatively affecting our sense of self, our confidence and belief in oneself.

Words are important. Choose them wisely. Use them with intention.

In 2018, how will you communicate more effectively? How will you stop and notice you, others and your situations and choose how and what you say more intentionally? Imagine the impact it could have in all of your relationships.

 

Consider reading Setting the Course for A Successful 2018

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Setting the Course for a Successful 2018

By Jay Forte, MBA, CPC, ELI-MP

When I was a kid, my family had a tradition to create New Year’s resolutions. After a great family dinner on New Year’s day, the table was cleared and out came the note pads and pencils to assist in our conversations about the new year. I admit that this wasn’t always so well received among my five siblings and me, but it was my dad’s process to guide the six of us to focus, develop our talents, discover our passions and live in the greatest way possible.

I know we were different than a lot of families, but my dad was determined that we each live intentionally – tuned in and choosing our life direction and work on purpose (a process I continued with my three daughters and recommend to every dad). In his mind, this needed a process – a way to be ready for life. This process had three steps: Review, Rethink and Respond. 

Review

We began by reviewing the successes, challenges and failures that happened over the past year. We listed them to learn from them, and to understand what worked well and what needed improvement or attention.

Not enough people today review their personal actions to assess what did and didn’t work. As a result, people often find themselves repeating the same actions they should have already learned from. We move slowly forward only to go back and do the same thing over again.

Rethink

With information from the past year fresh in our minds, we then had to rethink: what did we want to achieve in the New Year? This step was intentionally created to encourage us to dream, invent and create what we wanted for ourselves, our family, our world. We took the time to imagine what would help us show up big to life and work, own our lives and make our impact.

When was the last time you allowed yourself to daydream? Dreaming requires you to tune out the loud and pushy technology voice of the world and tune in to your inner voice. Your voice matters most when it comes to imagining what you want to be happy and successful. Rethinking and inventing is key to living a happy, successful and responsible life.

Respond

From the list of things you considered when you took the time to rethink, now it’s time to respond. Choose what you want to happen – most people call it their goal or resolution – and build a plan to make it happen.

Though this is a great process I still follow to this day, I admit it can be challenging to turn dreams into reality. This is why an actionable plan is so important to create – it helps us close the gap between where we are and where we want to be.

Poet Mary Oliver wrote in her poem The Summer Day, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

What progress do you want to make on this question in 2018? Use review, rethink and respond to guide you.

 

Original article “Setting A Course for A Successful 2017” first appeared on LinkedIn, December 15, 2016.

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