Advertising
Advertising

Why You Should Take The Risk To Live Your Life

Why You Should Take The Risk To Live Your Life

As a coach, I’m constantly working on building my network while adding and exchanging value with other business professionals. On a recent week-long business trip to Chicago I was scheduled to meet Justin downtown at 4 PM Friday night but thought I would leave Chicago a day early, so at 6 PM on Thursday, I asked if we could meet that night instead. Although hesitant because he had to rearrange his schedule at the last minute, he agreed. Since we had never had a conversation before, I picked him up at his home in the suburbs at 9 PM and we headed to a bar to take the time to get to know one another professionally. Before leaving for Chicago I made a FB post that said “Hey I am traveling to Chi would love to meet up”, and proceeded to tag Justin along with dozens of other individuals I was connected with through social media.  It was during this conversation that I learned 4 things I wanted to share with you today.

The most important decisions in our lives are made in a split second regardless of the risk.

Each moment we have the ability to transform our personal, professional and financial lives as we bring up and work through the pain of the past.  As I’m sitting conversing with him over a taco salad and water, Justin is relentlessly nailing my pain points over, and over, and over. As he’s doing this I can feel my stomach turn and I start thinking about all kinds of things. While my physiology is changing, my body language also changes as I’m a very animated person and it’s so dramatic he actually notices. As an extremely confident person being put in a vulnerable position where questions need to be answered, decisions need to be made, and deeper relationships are formed, it can become incredibly uncomfortable.  And honestly this was one of the most uncomfortable/comfortable moments of my life.  While I was comfortable knowing a decision had to be made.  I was uncomfortable being confronted in a way that demanded clarity.  If I wanted the reward I had to be honest about what I wanted, be able to communicate that clearly and simultaneously make a decision that very moment. Personally I don’t think there’s anything more difficult, because as Tony Robbins says “It is in these moments of decision that our destiny is shaped.”

Advertising

Being brutally honest is essential to your growth.

While I didn’t anticipate the conversation getting extremely personal, it did and I had no option but to A) stay engaged and build a deeper relationship or B) walk away knowing that if it didn’t progress it was my fault because I refused to answer the difficult questions that Justin wanted/ was demanding answers to. Being two incredibly strong-willed and opinionated individuals and playing in the big business arena on a daily basis refusing to answer the questions wasn’t an option, although don’t get me wrong it was a struggle.  The old saying goes “You can’t make it to second base if you refuse to remove your feet from first.”

Advertising

Short-term pain means long-term pleasure. 

The headache you get from starting a new diet, the pain from just starting a new workout regimen, the anxiety from having to do something outside of your comfort zone, the fear of commitment, these short term bursts of negative emotions drive you to make the changes needed to create the results you desire. If you don’t have these moments of short term pain you will never really accomplish anything you ever want in life. In fact, you will never get what you desire out of life.

Advertising

Taking a risk with the potential of reaping the reward makes the risk worth taking.

Somehow in between not knowing anything about one another and taco salad we were able to form a great connection and break down the barriers that existed which led to a much more personal connection than I had previously had all week. The risk of not knowing if it’s going to work, when it’s going to work, and how it’s going to work is the risk all successful people make, all happily married people make, all incredibly fulfilled people make.  It isn’t a matter of wanting to or not wanting to but stepping up to the plate when the opportunity presents itself especially when you least expect it.

What I anticipated being a 2-hour exchange became a 5-hour conversation, and an incredible bond that words cannot describe was formed. My challenge to you is to go out of your comfort zone, meet people you’ve never met, have conversations you’ve never had, create experiences you’ve never experienced, and go do what you want to do to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish. Life is short, make it count!

Advertising

More by this author

Why You Should Take The Risk To Live Your Life 4 Business Essentials to Maximize Growth 10 Essential Keys to Success 7 Strategies to Increase Confidence

Trending in Communication

1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

Advertising

The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

Advertising

If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

Advertising

In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

Advertising

It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

More Articles About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next