You limit yourself. Yes, it is true. Each day you behave in much
the same way as you have always done. You act out your habitual
ways of dealing with people, and you communicate as well or as
badly as you normally do.
Although you know better, you do not apply all that you have
learned when it comes to making the most of yourself. If this is
true for you, then how are you going to improve?
Awareness is key. Until you spot what you are doing you will not
know where to make changes to how you talk to people. How can you
change what needs to be improved if you do not see it yourself?
There is a very simple way to generate awareness of how you
behave with other people. A way to develop perspective that is
not clouded by your biased perceptions.
Three Steps to Powerful Communication:
1 Be a neutral observer
Choose a recent conversation you had which did not go as well as
you would have liked. Next, pretend for a moment that you are a
neutral observer of the conversation. In your imagination go back
in time to that incident and see yourself talking to that other
person. Picture the surroundings, hear the sounds and feel the
atmosphere of the place.
Then run through the entire conversation again, only this time
imagine that you are the neutral observer. See yourself and the
other person talking and listening to each other and notice the
dynamics of the conversation. Pay special attention to the non
By doing this you will be gathering a lot of information that
will be helpful in noticing what works and what does not work in
2 Be the other person
Revisit the conversation again only this time cycle through it
as if you were the other person. Imagine what it was like to be
there looking at you and listening to you. You are now walking in
their shoes so as to get a close up look at what it is like to
deal with you.
You may find that you spot the reasons why the conversation did
not go as well as you would have liked.
3 Ask yourself – how did I get the result I achieved?
In this stage of the process you put the responsibility on your
shoulders alone for the outcome of the conversation. Blaming
others will not help you to think creatively for solutions and
ways to better your conversational skills.
Revisit that conversation one more time as the neutral observer
and one time as the other person. In each case look for the
answer to the question: how did I get this result? Then ask
yourself: what could I do differently to get what I really want?
You will discover ways to change your approach that can
dramatically improve how you communicate when it matters most.
By using this approach I often spot opportunities to use more
emphasis on key points and the value of being enthusiastic when I
want someone to consider my opinion. At other times I notice that
I could listen more carefully instead of just getting carried
away with my own agenda.
Play with this way of developing perspective for yourself and
have fun spotting all the little differences that add up to a big
difference in your ability to speak with impact.