Your success as an indie professional is intimately tied to your ability to get your point across. If you’re not having the right impact in your career or business, it’s time to change the conversation.
Deciding to make a change to your communication skills is a great step in the right direction. But don’t be too proud of yourself. Making the decision is only the first step.
How many times have you made a decision to change only to go back to your old habits the very next moment?
Remember the weekend of wings, chips, beer, and pizza? That night, as your gut ached you decided it was the last time you said ‘That’s it. Tomorrow I’m eating healthy and going for a run. I can’t live like this.’ And maybe you did eat healthy and exercise for the next few days. Until your buddies asked you to another tailgate party and…well I think you know where this leads.
Changing our behaviors, especially ones so ingrained as our communication habits, will take more than a declaration.
This type of change will require (1)commitment, (2) self-awareness, (3) a well designed plan, and (4) focused action (preferably with feedback.) Easy, right? Well, it’s not rocket science, but then rocket science isn’t about unpredictable human behavior. It’s time for the first step.
Commitment to Change the Conversation
As with any development program, the results you experience are tied closely to your level of commitment. If you really want to change the conversation, you need to lay the foundation with a very compelling reason. This is your ‘why’ and it’s the foundation you’ll come back to again and again on your journey through change.
Use these questions to help flush out and clarify your commitment. Answer them as truthfully and thoughtfully as possible. Don’t give the ‘Miss America’ answer you think is right, really think about it and be honest.
- What are you experiencing right now in your business conversations that causes you concern?
- How will developing stronger conversation skills help ease these concerns?
- In what way will you experience these relationships and conversations one year from now if you do nothing?
- How much time and energy are you willing to devote to developing yourself and these skills?
Based on your answers, and especially your answer to question 4, you’ve got a good idea of your motivation and level of commitment to change the conversation.
In part 2 of this series well take the next step (self-awareness) and shed more light on how your specific conversations impact your success.