Got something to say? This article introduces you to the six steps to say something significant. It will help you get the the HEART of your message and express it with power and grace.
“What are you not saying?” Mindy asked me. “What are you talking around here?”
Her words were exactly what I needed to hear to get my flow going. We spent the next several hours in dynamic, passionate exchange of ideas. Mindy’s question uncovered a flow of thoughts I didn’t know I was thinking.
Your eyes aren't the only windows to your soul. Your words are windows, too. If your words don’t flow, it’s time for some window-cleaning. It’s time to uncover the blocks to the flow of meaningful communication.
There are six steps in the SpeakSTRONG Method that break down the barriers to effective communication and get the communication flow going. Mindy’s question inadvertently walked me through the first step, and we didn’t stop until we had reached the HEART of what I had to say. Here are the steps to communicate the HEART of YOUR message.
You can just start talking, and you'll get some results. Or you can take the time to say it right. Here are your six steps to do that.
First, stop saying things you don't mean. Just stop. Break the old habits. Stop communication reflexes and refuse to participate in negative communication dynamics. This will force you to look more deeply into the subject at hand. Ask what you're not saying, like Mindy did with me. Find the blocks to effective communication skills. See what is as is. Unmask and explore the HEART of the matter. My SpeakSTRONG book has extensive tips about how to take this step.
The first step brings up a lot of raw data. Some of your discoveries will be significant. Others won’t be – but they can lead you to significance. Complaints are the raw data for powerful requests. Problems always bring opportunities with them. Small-mindedness is a sign of a larger issue. Talk about what you want more than what you don’t want, and think of how to move the conversation forward. My SpeakStrong book is an excellent resource for this step as well.
Pick and finesse your words. Tweak phrasing to add HEART-felt eloquence. There is something wonderfully satisfying about finding the word that best describes what you have to say. Plus, when you take the time to say it well, you are more likely to get what you want. My PowerPhrases! book is an excellent resource for this step. My other phrases books will help you hone your phrases for specific purposes.
Make your words your bond. Review your phrases and make certain you are willing to stand behind them. Really mean what you say. If you don’t really mean it, don’t say it. You protect the power of your words when you mean what you say. Commit to character-based communication standards. Walk your talk, even when you’d rather not. Check out my Standards of Responsible Communication poster for communication worth committing to.
Now it’s time to take a deep breath and speak your truth. Say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it. Don’t worry if your words aren’t perfect – give it your best self and speak. Take in the response and keep relating.
Let every exchange enrich you and the others that you touch. Communication is dynamic. I’ve been a focused student of communication for 25 years, and I still refine and develop my style. No matter how perfect your words are, let yourself grow and develop. Debrief your conversations at the end of each day and ask how you could have communicated more effectively. This is NOT to beat yourself up or put yourself down – it’s to prepare you to speak at a higher level each time.
Practice this method of communication, and you will find your skills developing to new levels. Eventually you will marvel at the ease with which the perfect words come out of your mouth. When you speak, you’ll find that you naturally say something significant.
What was the significance that Mindy drew out of me? I was talking about effective and dynamic and successful communication, but I wasn’t emphasizing the importance of heart in business communication as much as I wanted. Mindy helped me get to the HEART of my message, and nothing I’ve said or written has been the same since.
It’s a nice window, isn’t it?