This week we’re focusing on COMMUNICATION SUPERPOWERS.
Communication Superpowers as in the most important things we should work on to communicate more effectively. The communication skills that will get us noticed for the right reasons…
(image: Unsplash @ cassar_photography)
What do YOU think are the most important communication skills?
Please reply to this email to let me know!
Here’s my top three:
At Talk About Talk, we spend a lot of time focused on these 3 communication skills! This newsletter is your summary. Call it your “COMMUNICATION SUPERPOWERS CHEAT SHEET.” (You’re welcome! )
COMMUNICATION SUPERPOWER #1:
Last week when I was interviewed for another podcast, the host asked me, “What’s the most important communication skill?” I bet you can guess my answer:
(image: Unsplash @ emilianovittoriosi)
When most of us think about communication, we think about talking (not listening), right? But here’s the thing, if you’re not listening, it’s just a monologue.
Here’s a listening test for you: how often do you learn someone’s name, and then forget it immediately?
Forgetting people’s names is common, often because we aren’t actively listening. Instead, we’re politely waiting our turn to speak, or thinking about what we want to say.
Before we go on:
3 Tips to Remember People’s Names
- REPEAT the person’s name at least three times. Try this: “Nice to meet you ANDREA. So ANDREA, how was your morning?…” Then later: “So nice to get to know you, ANDREA…” Apparently, if you say the name aloud three times, then it’s yours forever.
- Ask the person to SPELL their name. If you’re a visual person, this one will help immensely. When you hear how the person’s name is spelled, you can visualize their name in your mind and you will also hear them saying and spelling it. It’s like a multi-media onslaught.
- READ the person’s name on the bottom of their Zoom window, (or on their name tag or their dinner place-setting card). Try to take a mental picture.
(image: Unsplash @ jontyson)
Notice anything about these 3 tips? They’re all related to FOCUSING on the other person.
Great listeners focus on the other person. They listen with intent and empathy. They listen to LEARN.
There are 3 LEVELS OF LISTENING, according to executive coach Heather Stark:
- Passive Listening – simple downloading, where we listen for what we already know.
- Empathic Listening – listening with focused intent and empathy, focusing on the other person.
- Generative Listening – the ultimate stage of listening is listening with focused intent, empathy, and then collaborating and learning
3 Strategies for Active Listening:
- Focus on the other person, not on yourself, not on what you’re going to say. Avoid distractions and put away your phone.
- Focus on learning, not on teaching or advising or sharing.
- ASK QUESTIONS
- Ask as many questions as you can.
- Absorb what the other person is telling you, as opposed to solving or resolving.
- TRACK THE RATIO
- Track the ratio of you talking vs. the other person talking.
- The more they talk (and the less you talk) the more they’ll like you and the more you’ll learn!
- While you’re at it, don’t race to fill the silence. Oftentimes, you’ll learn the most from someone following a moment of silence. As they say: “Silence is golden.”
More on the LISTENING SUPERPOWER:
- #49 PARENTING TEENS with learning strategist & parenting coach Kimberley Acres
- #41 LISTENING with author, consultant, & legal veteran Norman Bacal
- #52 COMMUNICATION SKILLS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS with executive coach Heather Stark
COMMUNICATION SUPERPOWER #2:
Have you ever heard, Confidence is King ?
(image: Unsplash @ mdi)
How to communicate with CONFIDENCE is the #1 most common question that I get as a communication coach.
Recently I was asked to give a speech about communication to a group. I sent them a few options for topics. Guess which topic they chose? How to communicate with CONFIDENCE.
I get why confidence is a priority.
Confidence is critical because:
- Confident people are more credible
- When you’re confident, you can focus on what you’re communicating, as opposed to that unpleasant nervous feeling!
Here’s the good news:
CONFIDENCE CAN BE LEARNED!
(image: Unsplash @ kellysikkema)
Last year fluency founder & presentations coach Andrew Musselman shared his valuable advice with us in the podcast interview on PRESENTING WITH CONFIDENCE. Over the past 3 weeks, we’ve focused on learning how to communicate with confidence.
Here’s your CONFIDENCE CHEAT SHEET:
More on the CONFIDENCE SUPERPOWER here:
- PRESENTING WITH CONFIDENCE with fluency founder Andrew Musselman
- COMMUNICATING WITH CONFIDENCE – Mental Preparation
- WHAT IS CONFIDENCE?
- COMMUNICATING WITH CONFIDENCE – In The Moment
COMMUNICATION SUPERPOWER #3:
(image: Unsplash @ roadtripwithraj)
STORYTELLING is everywhere, have you noticed? Articles, books, masterclasses,…
My podcast interview with Harvard Professor Jerry Zaltman on STORYTELLING is one of the most downloaded Talk About Talk episodes to date!
Some of Jerry’s insights on STORYTELLING:
- Watch your language. Words matter. Metaphors and archetypes are powerful.
- We should focus more on HOW we think (as opposed to WHAT we think).
- The best storytellers (be they writers or musicians or advertisers) let the readers fill in the gaps. They allow a co-participating, a co-authorship or a co-creation with the reader or the audience. This is how storytelling becomes personally meaningful.
There’s more to come on STORYTELLING! Next week you’ll meet speaker, influencer, and master storyteller Bobby Umar.
Bobby Umar has half a million twitter followers! And… he has a thing or two to say about STORYTELLING:
Bobby’s comment made a big impact on me! (That’s what inspired this newsletter!) I can’t wait for you to meet him next week.
Until then, if you want to up your COMMUNICATION SUPERPOWERS even more, I just updated the Talk About Talk website with several books that I recommend. Scroll down on the ABOUT page to find communication books, books by podcast guests, and more.
If you have any feedback about the website, feedback about this newsletter, questions for our upcoming Q&A episode, or ideas for future topics, please EMAIL me. I ❤️ love hearing from you!
Go be a superhero…
Have a great week!
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
P.S. – I’m on a mission to increase the audience for this newsletter. PLEASE forward this newsletter to your friends who would like to improve their Communication Skills.
Most Recent Podcast Episodes:
#59 – CONFIDENCE Part 2 – IN THE MOMENT
#58 – CONFIDENCE Part 1 – MENTAL PREPARATION
#57 – HOW TO ASK FOR HELP with Gretchen Barton
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