Authentic Communication for Personal and Entrepreneurial Success
How to build a strong foundation for real communication and successful relationships?
An enormous part of our personal effectiveness depends upon how well we communicate with others. Communication is the bridge that helps us connect with others. Put simply, ineffective communication leads to ineffective relationships.
Did you know that 23.5% of managers have fired an employee due to poor interpersonal skills and 56.4% of managers have chosen not to promote someone because of poor communication skills? Communication problems are also one of the leading causes of marriage failures and strained family relationships.
Effective communication is integral to coordinating activities to reach goals, decision-making, problem-solving and change-management. Communication is how you motivate others, create shared values and engender trust and engagement.
The first relationship you must work on is the one with yourself. Only then can you effectively communicate with others and build working relationships. You must start with yourself and your communication patterns if your communication is to be authentic and meaningful, and therefore effective.
Authentic behavior involves being honest and direct, it’s about being present in the here and now with your heart and mind, it’s about communicating from your true self and it’s about your own experiences. Inauthenticity involves hiding things from others and yourself, acting with hidden motivations or being unaware of your true motivations. It can mean telling people what you think they want to hear or telling them the things you think you should rather than what you truly believe.
How can we develop authenticity?
It isn’t really a case of developing it, more like revealing it. You’re already a great person but you might not be entirely tapped into who you truly are inside. This might be to avoid conflict or hurt, to avoid responsibility or truth or simply that you haven’t taken time to find out who you truly are.
Let’s look at your values. Do you know what your core values are? Are you living your life according to them or according to someone else’s ‘rules’? When we operate in a way that is discordant with our true selves, when what we do doesn’t match what we say, when what we say and do in one aspect of our life differs from how we conduct ourselves in others, we become fragmented, discordant, inauthentic–not only in terms of our relationships with ourselves but then, necessarily, in our relationships with others.
Think for a minute about an important decision you’ve made in the past – it might have been to move house or to change career direction or leave a relationship or something else. Write down the situation and then analyze why you made the decision. What were you motivated by? Perhaps you moved house to have more space for you and your family. If that was the reason, then ask yourself why was it important to have more space? Was it so your friends could see that you could afford a bigger property? It could’ve been for another reason entirely, but what we want to get at here is your basic motivation behind that decision. Write down your motivations.
Your motivations behind this decision give us an indicator to your values; those factors that motivate you to move in a certain direction in life. Naturally they aren’t the same for everyone; they’re personal and they might vary over time. Our core values are quite simply the most important key values we hold which denote our uniqueness as human beings. We need them to show us the way during difficult periods and they are what we can fall back on when we are truly confused about life and what it offers. Once we’re aware of them we’ll want them to inform our communication so we can live authentically.
Write down your core values and then analyze them. Are you truly expressing your core values in everyday life? In which areas of your life? If you’re not expressing your core values right now, how can you do so more?
The next step…
1. Tap into your core values
2. Use these values to drive your decisions
3. Translate this into authentic behavior and communication
4. Be true to yourself.
I acknowledge this is not an easy process, but it is worth reviewing to get you on the right path toward personal and entrepreneurial success!