People may know you, and give great advice, but do you feel understood? Can you clearly communicate who you are and your personal why?
If we’re having trouble getting someone to understand an idea, the fault is generally our own. Usually, the problem is not that the person receiving my message can’t understand or just doesn’t get it, but that I’m not choosing the right words or examples. Even well-respected authors and thinkers sometimes fall short when they focus exclusively on a single metaphor or way of explaining. No matter how powerful their message or metaphor, what they say isn’t going to resonate with everyone. I’ve seen two conference speakers deliver essentially the same message, but each speaker’s perspective resonates with a different segment of the audience, simply because of the words they choose to use and how they deliver essentially the same information.
Listening – the key to understanding
My goal is to understand things from your perspective, and then help you understand your career or business journey in a way that makes the most sense to you, AND also resonates with your target audiences. There is no right way, no best practice here. We only consider what works for you and what does not.
Accordingly, while I have some favorite techniques and supporting materials that have provided terrific outcomes for certain clients, these may not fit your interests or situation. Rather than heading down a by the book path, we will explore the uniqueness of your position, direction, and interests several ways, from different perspectives.
Tools for Discovery
Here are some of the exploratory techniques and resources that I have found produce successful results, which might be relevant for you:
- Collaging: It’s artistic, but not exclusively and doesn’t favor the talented. It’s a way to let your ideas organize themselves without as much interference from your conscious mind. (Thanks to: Kat Tepelyan, for this technique)
- Looking back to childhood: Not everyone gets to (or even wants to) have the job that they dreamed about as a child. However, there’s a good chance that you can connect the child you were – hopes, dreams, likes, dislikes and all – to the person you want to be. (I adopted this idea from Wishcraft and Chase Jarvis.
- Mind Mapping: My favorite brainstorming and idea organization technique, since childhood (thanks Mom!). This is a great way to organize nonlinear ideas (ideas that don’t lend themselves to going from point A to point B), and to explain very linear ideas to a non-linear thinker.
I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences with any of these techniques, or other ways of organizing your ideas that work well for you when you’re exploring your self and desires.
It is essential to remember, we are all a little different in our thinking and experience, but our differences in perspective don’t have to trip up our communication. We can accept that we will never all see things the same way, learn what our style of thinking and acting is, and learn to communicate more effectively.
Having trouble explaining your entrepreneurial idea? to your parents? your spouse? your boss? Maybe their lack of support is because you haven’t yet figured out how to translate your idea into their “language,” not because they don’t understand it.
Is your non-traditional career path tough for others to understand? There may be other ways to communicate your experience and motivations that will resonate with more traditionally minded people.
We can all be better communicators… You can do this, and I’d love to help.
What are you struggling to understand or communicate?