Talk the Talk
Do you know why toddlers throw temper tantrums? They
are angry, they are frustrated, they want something,
but they have a limited ability to verbally express
On the flipside, the most influential leaders in business
and politics are successful because they know exactly
what to say, how to say it and when to say it. They
have an uncanny ability to paint a picture and persuade
people to buy into their vision.
Unfortunately, most people are more like a toddler
than they are a leader. Miscommunication runs rampant
in our relationships and work environment. We know what
we are thinking, but we aren't able to put those thoughts
into words. We can't find the words that fit the emotion
we are experiencing or the idea we want to convey. So
we, as adults throw our own version of a temper tantrum
using the silent treatment, insults or resentment. Most
of us can't find the right words, because our communication
skills are too limited.
Here are 5 ways to improve your communication skills:
1. Read more. Fiction, biographies, magazines, newspapers,
just about anything. You will be able to pick up new
words and see them naturally used in context.
2. Speak slower. Give your mind time to search for
the appropriate word and use it at the right time. Have
you ever had the experience where you were babbling
on and on not quite saying what you mean, only later
to have the right words come to you? The words will
come to you when create the space for that to happen.
3. Learn a new word everyday. There are calendars,
websites, and newsletters that have word-a-day programs.
Pick up a new word every morning and commit to use it
several times throughout your day.
4. Learn of the power of distinctions. Distinctions
are subtitles of language, that when used correctly
give your words more punch. There is a distinction between
power and strength, between respond and react, and between
fulfilled and satisfied. The differences are subtle,
but they do exist. Using the right word in the right
situation will have an impact on how your message is
5. Study great communicators. Use the tape player in
your car to create a university on wheels. Listen to
some of the books on tape put out by business leaders
and public speakers. Notice their word choices, their
sentence structures, their use of humor. Emulate their
style as you begin to create your own.
It is not difficult to become a better communicator.
Take advantage of the many resources available to help
you in that quest.
About the author:
Myrtis Smith is a personal coach. She works with people
who are undergoing a career change. Sign up for her
free newsletter Change Now! at www.premeditatedlife.com
or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Premeditated
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