Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Communicating authentically as a leader, part of Communication Tips Weekly.
- My hubby and I were having dinner at Tatiana's house one evening. She'd also invited another couple, John and Sarah, over, whom we'd never met. Dinner was great. Conversation lively. But on our way home, I asked my husband, "What did you think of John and Sarah?" He replied without missing a beat, "John seems great, "but Sarah's such a phony." Without another word, I knew exactly what he meant. She hadn't said anything offensive or hurtful. She hadn't made any unbelievable claims or lied to us.
Yet we both felt like something just wasn't quite right. Have you had that feeling about someone? As a leader, formal or informal, in your organization you can't afford to have anyone feel this way about you. Authenticity is paramount to your credibility. So what makes a person an authentic communicator? Certainly, we must be known for truthfulness, but we also need to know and embrace who we are as communicators.
What is your shoes off self? Or your most natural communication style? Are you emotional or reserved? Are you humble and self-effacing or charming and charismatic? Do you love facts and analysis or big ideas and concepts? Do you like to talk things through out loud or do you prefer to think before you speak? Once you've identified some of your core communication attributes, you try to stay as true to that style as you can.
Of course, there will be certain contexts and relationships that demand you flex your style to some degree, but always remain true to your core. For example, I'm a pretty animated speaker, and I love to tell a good story. So rather than resist these communication qualities, I leverage them. But appropriately in various contexts. I use stories in the classroom, and in meetings, and even at funerals. Now I adapt what story, how long of a story, the purpose of the story.
But I'm still a born story teller. To try to recite facts and figures would leave me sounding flat. Inauthentic. But it might work great for you. Over the years phony Sarah from the dinner party and I actually became great friends. One day a mutual friend asked us about our first impressions of one another. Oh boy. Should I confess? Well, I did.
I said, "Sarah, I adore you now, "but when we first met at Tatiana's house "you struck me as a complete fraud." Now she laughed, thank heavens, and said that on the way over that evening, John had said to her that maybe she should tone down her usual bubbly self. She spent the evening trying to present herself as less animated, calmer, less talkative than she really is.
Her attempts backfired. It was only in subsequent meetings, when she was being true to her communication style that I started to really enjoy being with her. Now don't get me wrong, this is not permission to quit improving our communication. We can all work on certain aspects of our communication strategies. I can learn to be more attentive when people are speaking. Tatiana could learn to stay on topic, even though her mind races a thousand different directions.
But regardless of the improvements you're working on, remember to stay true to your authentic communication style.
- Understanding introversion and extroversion
- Persuading people
- Negotiating your needs
- Making small talk
- Saying no
- And more…
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.