Hello Everyone! Cassia here,
Meryl and I have been going through the eLearning and practicing what we preach, so to speak. Week One of the eLearning asks you to reflect on you communication past and I wanted to share some of the things I have learned in my communication journey.
When I first came to work for Meryl three months ago, I felt fairly confident in my abilities as a communicator. I had pride in my ability to resolve confrontations and felt my communication with those around me was clear and kind.
It wasn’t until I spent some time helping Meryl refine her descriptions of the four communication styles, that I began to reflect on my own style and voice. It was like wiping the mirror clean of all of that debris that had blurred my image before; like lifting a veil; like walking into a brick wall. I realized how I would change my style with different individuals but mainly identified with the Achiever style.
All of those times I thought I was resolving confrontations, I was actually just avoiding them because I was following my inner Harmonizer. Every time I thought I was being clear and kind, I was mostly being objective and cold in Analyzer mode. I would overshoot my abilities, make promises that would cause me undo stress, and push myself much harder than was healthy in my Achiever style.
It didn’t stop there. I also began to realize the styles that are prevalent in those around me. I saw them in a different light, and learned new compassion for how they spoke with me and those around them. I learned how to speak with others on a different level than before. I realized how important reactions are and that people will lead with a different style in different situations. I was no different, and I adapted the way I would approach others based on what I had learned
In the last three months I’ve been in multiple situations where I have asked myself, “What would Meryl do?” Usually, I feel that answer is, "She would be honest." Recognizing the need for honesty, and having a model for it, has helped me overcome my usual tendency to whine to myself about a situation rather than bringing it out in the open.
An example of this is when my computer was having severe issues a few weeks ago. It turned out that the technician that had previously "fixed" it was at fault. I had suspected it was their fault, but had my suspicions dismissed several times. When the truth finally came out, I didn't even think to ask for a refund, even though I was due one. It was my nonconfrontational side, or harmonizer self, coming out. It took a little nudging from Meryl, but I asked for a refund and was given one without hesitation. You can read the whole story here.
My first lesson from this experience was to be honest with myself. I knew what was wrong the whole time and was proven right at the end. I also needed to realize that I was in the right to receive a refund and all I needed to do was ask for it. Asking "What would Meryl do?" has saved me time, money, and a lot of stress.
In the past, I have feared hurting people’s feelings and will even question my own opinions when someone challenges them. It’s usually not until later, after inward reflection, that I realize that I was right all along and should have stood my ground for what I believed in. That’s where PowerPhrases come in handy.
I have also learned that it’s good to have positive feedback; however, it’s just as important to hear how things really are. You can’t fear stepping on a few toes. It gets people to look up and around and observe themselves. If they can be mature about it then they can grow from it. The same applies to myself, and I’ve grown a lot from it already.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, and one I’m still learning, is that I shouldn’t gauge my accomplishments by tangible results. I love learning new things and gaining new skills. I am learning to observe myself as an accomplishment and not just what I did that day.
It’s been a journey! I feel like I’ve made a lot of changes and that Meryl and I have both progressed a lot in our relationship. It’s been more beneficial to me than I can really describe. These are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned over the last three months, but man, aren’t they fantastic things to know and use?
I want to thank Meryl for her commitment to me, her honesty, and her guidance.
I didn’t come to SpeakStrong or Meryl even thinking I had any issues with my communication style and I have learned so much in such a short amount of time. Imagine how much this method can help you, if you know something needs to change? Awareness really is the first step, and the method helps you understand yourself more fully. There’s really no waiting. If you want change, start now. You can only benefit from this method. I know I have.