How to say what You need to say

How to say what you need to say and not offend?  How do you say what you need to say and not lose a friendship or relationship?  This is a huge fear many people have.  

I am often asked, “how do I say No and not hurt someone’s feelings?”  In other words you are fearful of saying something that upsets and then losing the relationship.  This is really unrealistic, if a friend said “No” to you, would you right them off?  I doubt it.  This is a fear that many of your have but it is really a lie we have been sold.

Similarly, “I can’t stand how they do this but I can’t say anything.”  I have dealt with senior executives who really struggle to give feedback to their staff, with couples who can’t say what they feel to their spouses, friends who feel unable to say what they really feel for fear of losing the relationship and offending the other person.  People who cannot say “No” and end up exhausted from all of the “Yes’s” they have said.

This situation cannot last, holding onto such negative emotion and expecting the relationship to flourish is unrealistic.  Even if you say nothing the way you behave changes, you distance yourself, turn off or begin to change how you react.

This Communication Gap only gets bigger as the resentment grows for not saying what you feel in your heart.  The resentment that begins with you resenting the inability to speak up, soon turns to you blaming the other person for their behavior.  Unfortunately, the person causing you the grief has no idea what they are doing to upset you.  On top of this, nothing changes…….

Becoming confident and capable of saying what you feel with care and respect is a wonderful skill.  It’s not that hard to do particularly when you understand yourself, can understand the other person and then use your strengths to be honest.

Learning the skill of speaking up, saying what you need, placing boundaries in your relationships whether at work or home is crucial to flourishing, healthy relationships.  If you can relate, if you know you need to be able to speak up, be assertive, give feedback to your staff, encourage others more, Say No more often then consider coming along to our upcoming event “The power of your potential”  You deserve to get that promotion, that new job, more responsibility, to be able to speak up, to work effectively with others, to motivate your team to achieve.  I am really excited about sharing the best of my communication tips with you – live!!  Details to come.

We are completely committed to your success so join us and learn more about the different communication strengths and how as a communicator to maximise your relationships and their unique potential.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.

Me, a Tattooed man and Dog Poop.

Today I will share an incident with you that involved Me, a Tattooed man and Dog Poop.  Another title may have been the Art of Successful confrontation.

We were on our last day of Holidays and we were walking the dogs. It was a lovely break near the beach. Each morning up early and a long walk along the beach that stretches for 20+ kms from near Nelsons Bay to Newcastle.

We were on the approach to the beach when my lovely pup, Betty Boo decided to take a poop on a beautifully manicured lawn. I was unprepared; I didn’t have a doggy poop bag. In my mind I thought, “I’ll come back later and sort that out.”

As we rounded the corner to the beach I hear yelling. There were 2 men walking behind us so I assumed the yelling was to do with them. Then I heard “Oi, you! If you are going to let your dog crap on my lawn you can clean it up!” It was very aggressive and confrontational.

I responded, “Yes, so sorry, was unprepared, I will clean it up on the way back I promise.” He was not impressed, mumbled something less than friendly under his breath and stomped off.

I noticed a slight adrenaline surge, in the pit of my gut. This man was very angry looking and very angry sounding. He was muscled, tattooed and looked quite scary to me. I thought of a couple of things.

Firstly, good on him for addressing this, it wasn’t right for me to leave a poop on his lawn.  Secondly, he didn’t need to be quite so aggressive. What if he had said this to someone else who did not respond quite so humbly and agree to fix it? I could have launched into a tirade of abuse back that may have escalated things very quickly.

My lovely Husband said, “let’s pick it up on the way back and put it on his doorstep hey?” Nice…. Revenge feels good for a millisecond then reality sets in. So I did not agree to this after fantasising about it for a short moment.

What could have been done better?

Speaking up is a great thing. If someone disrespects you or something you stand for, speaking up is a great way to ensure you don’t harbor unforgiveness and resentment. However, it is all about how you do it.

This fellow was far too aggressive. Perhaps because he has been ignored or abused in the past, who knows? All I know is that I would have fixed the mishap regardless and really did not need to be yelled at.

In fact, some of the best influencers I have seen in action kept their cool, speak their mind and the response is nothing short of outstanding. I love that.  So it’s not speaking tour mind that is the issue it is ALL ABOUT how you do it.

So I encourage you to speak your mind. It isn’t easy; most people find it very hard, as they fear the response of others. It’s much easier to mumble something to yourself be passive aggressive, fantasise about your response and not do it, than suck it up and speak your mind.

Have a go, see the respect you have for yourself and that others have for you as you speak up. Notice how much lighter you feel, less stressed, less resentful when you speak up. Just be respectful and stay calm.  Good luck, have a go, until next time….

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time..

Facing your fear – saying what you need to say.

Many people don’t face their fear and say what they need to say.  Standing up for yourself and saying what you think or feel takes a whole lot of courage! It really does mean you are facing your fears. Some of you have fears of rejection, fears of inadequacy, fears of failure…. I could go on and on.

Saying what you really feel, sharing your inner most thoughts is confronting to say the least. You are putting yourselves on the line. Many of you have probably been brought up in families where this just not what is done. People hold onto feelings, suppress feelings, stifle our opinions, apologise for reacting to something and clam up.

To make things even harder you are not taught how to understand what makes you tick, why you do what you do, why something’s push tour buttons. Then if you needed more to complicate this already tricky situation, you usually end up close to someone who sees the world in the exact opposite way to you. Tricky, to say the least!

I was working with a group of professionals just recently; they have a very entrenched and unhealthy workplace culture. A few brave soldiers are standing up for change and driving it. Whilst there are others, who have been a part of the toxic culture, and are hanging on for dear life. It is quite a difficult situation.

There is so much emotion, people don’t know who it’s safe to be real with and who you need to watch out for. Everyone is in survival mode so communication is so tense and strained. This naturally brings out the worst in people, which just adds to this spiralling downward cycle.

I really had to commend the courage of these few who stood up and spoke of “the elephant in the room.” Their fear is real; some of the most toxic members of this culture are really tight with the management team.

People are afraid to speak up, to say, “This is just not on!” It has inspired me to write about this issue because I know this is not isolated. I have worked in many workplaces where a few people have just been allowed to get away with bad behaviour.

Partly, I believe it is because people are not confident to speak up and have that difficult conversation (hence our signature course “Master the Art of Difficult conversations”). Check it out here.

Another reason is because we don’t understand how we are different and when someone reacts out of stress we don’t understand and take it personally (hence our signature course “The Enlightened Communicator”). Check it out here.

Finally I believe that many managers do not understand know how to deal with issues of performance and tend to put their head in the sand and allow bad behaviour to reign in their teams. Watch this space for another course to teach Managers how to performance manage well.

So my challenge should you choose to accept it is to speak up! Do something. If this is happening in your world and you are struggling, learn about the communication styles, it is a great start. Learn about your strengths and what may push your buttons.

Learn how to understand the style of others in your world so you can better interpret their behaviour and then de personalise what is not personal. Finally, stand up and say what you believe in, draw a line. This is not acceptable. Believe in yourself enough to know that you deserve better treatment.

You are certainly worth it. At the very least if your workplace is so toxic and change is unlikely then find a place that would benefit form your skills and where you can flourish.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.