Top 5 Communication Mistakes #5

The Final Communication Mistake;

5: Not knowing Your Communication


We live in a critical world where we all know far too well what we are not good at.  We are told from the moment we are born, you are not good at this, you need to improve that, don’t even try that, it is not a talent of yours.  So what are your strengths – what strengthens you?

We all have strengths in communication – some of us are great at seeing the big picture.  Some are wonderful and charming influencers, some are amazing and patient listeners and others are able to see the detail and analyse information.  Either way we all have strengths.  The problem is, is that many of you don’t know your strengths.  We actually don’t even realise the truth about what strengths are.  We have been fooled into thinking that a strength is something we are good at.  BUT NO!  A strength is something that strengthens you, a weakness is something that drains you.  You may be wonderful at balancing the books but you may absolutely despise it.  That is not a strength!!

When you know your strengths, you know what works for you, you realise that we are all fundamentally different, you close the gap and minimize the misinterpretations, you find common ground and you think before you speak VOILA you have GREAT CONNECTION.

It still confounds me that after completing a Psychology degree, that I was not taught this stuff. Yes we learned active listening and reflective questioning etc but not about Communication styles, differences, strengths etc. No! To learn that I had to seek it out so I have made it my mission to make it easier for any fellow travellers out there that frequently wonder, “Why is it so hard?” Or, “How can we do it better?”  If you’d like to see how the different communication styles work here is a free download on your Communication strengths.

This is by no means an accurate assessment of your Communication strengths but is a greta way for you to begin to understand your strengths and also the strengths of others in your world.

Thanks for joining us to examining the top 5 communication mistakes we make everyday. If you have found this helpful please share it with someone who would benefit.

For tips, free resources and information on our upcoming Master class “The Art Of Difficult Conversations” check out our website at


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


Ever Avoided a Difficult Conversation?

Have you ever avoided a difficult conversation, put something off, hoped in vain things would improve and they haven’t?  Perhaps then you may have found yourself stuck thinking how do I bring it up now, its been so long!

I was spending some time recently with a lovely person who was speaking about a relationship they were in. They were explaining that they felt taken for granted, that the partner no longer helped out as they had in the past and in fact had laid even more expectation onto them.

I listened patiently for a long while hearing many examples of how this person had been slowly and surely taken for granted and swallowed up by the pressure they now felt to complete all of these “responsibilities.

The weight that they fell upon their shoulders was tangible. Eventually I asked gently, “Have you spoken to them, do they know how you feel?” The response was immediate, “Oh No I couldn’t possibly I am not a fighter.”

 I probed again, “Why do you say fight? I asked if you had told them how you feel.”

They were now perplexed, they were not able to see this conversation going any other way than a huge fight. Now why is this?

One reason is resentment. This conversation should have ideally occurred many many months earlier when things started to change for the worse. But it did not. The person perhaps felt that things would improve, or that they just did not want to rock the boat, after all it was only a small change. In short they avoided it.

As time progressed and things in the relationship declined as they tend to do, the pressure began to increase and along with it the growing resentment. As resentment grows so do very powerful and negative emotions. We begin to tell ourselves all sorts of stories such as “They don’t care about me”, “I mean nothing to them”, etc etc

These stories then start to become your truth and if you are not careful they strongly affect how you relate to the other person. When in truth the other party may have no idea how you really feel and how much the change has negatively affected you.

As resentment and avoidance grows you begin to catastrophise and imagine this huge fight because it would have to be a huge fight because you feel so angry. In fact you are like a volcano ready to erupt.

In truth, what has happened is that your partner has relaxed a little too much. We are all guilty of this at times and need a little correction from our loved ones. Resentment, worry and anxiety are not the only negatives that come from avoidance. All this from a conversation you put off to the point that it has now become a difficult conversation, only because emotionally you have so much to say.

My encouragement, speak sooner, with love and respect. Ask more than assume such as “ You used to help me with dinner but you’ve stopped why is that? Are you Ok?” This is much more effective than turning into a ranting lunatic 12 months down the track who is screaming toxically at their partner spewing up every thing wrong they have ever done.

If you struggle with speaking up, with raising issues, with putting in boundaries for yourself you are not alone!   You can learn some really simple and powerful strategies here at our upcoming Master Class in November 2014  (“The Art of Difficult Conversations).  This Masterclass will empower you to be able to deal more effectively with such situations both at work and personally.

Here is the link if you are keen to make this positive change in your life. Don’t put it off any longer; you deserve the freedom that speaking up for yourself brings.


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

So why do we miscommunicate?

So, why do we miscommunicate?? Our lives imprint on us, with each experience.  Good, bad or indifferent each if our experiences leave their mark.   Our lives become like a scrapbook with a theme; for example, you may think  “I am a well liked, confident person who makes good decisions”, or “I am worthless, people don’t care about me and I am alone”.   Two very opposing views but you get my point.

It is really important to understand this because our life theme and experiences colour each communication we have.  This is our frame of reference.  It is your reality and is difficult to change especially if you are not even aware of it!  The more “positive” or optimistic you are, the less likely you are to be offended by someone because a negative view does not match your internal story.  The same goes for the opposite, if you have a poor view of yourself then you may feel the need to defend yourself and that people attack you, when they are not. So, if you think everyone is out to get you then each communication will distort to fit your theme, your frame of reference.

The way you view the world will therefore affect and drive your response to everyday experiences.  I am being very simplistic here just to illustrate the point.  I raise that each person is far more complex than this in the big scheme of things. Your reactions, your mindset are coloured by your filter.  A really simple example of this is the translation when you are an optimist versus a pessimist.  This would translate simply to being a hopeful if you are an optimist and feeling hopeless if you are a pessimist. When you see the world differently to someone else it affects your perspective, your expectations and your assumptions.

A common example I have noticed is in a team environment when you have the “quiet” people versus the more “talkative” people.  I was working with a team recently and there was one team member who was so socially anxious he would not make eye contact or say “hello”.  In fact, he struggled so much that even if a colleague said “good morning” to him, he was unable to respond. His team mates responded to his behaviour with resentment.  They thought that he felt he was too good for them, that he was just plain rude.  This meant there was quite a tangible tension in this team.  This environment only made the relationship stress worse.

When in a workshop, this fellow was able to communicate that he is frightened to make eye contact and to even say “hello”, everything changed in his teams assumptions and expectations of him.  Their resentment changed to understanding and almost sorrow for him. With time, and trust building, he became more able to make eye contact with his colleagues and to say hello.  In fact, at the last workshop, he was a significant contributor to the discussion that was so great to see.

What is important for you to remember is that everyone has a story, and we all have our own struggles.  We all see the world in a unique way and we all want to connect and be valued.  So if you are not connecting with someone, if there is someone who is ticking you off or pushing your buttons, they may not be intentionally making your life difficult. It may simply be because they are wired differently to you.

In coming posts we will discover more about the different communication styles and what makes them tick.  You will relate more to a particular style and you will see traits from other styles in your colleagues, friends and family.  So sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.

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