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Episode 127: Commanding Communication: Master it with Confidence

Brief summary of show:

In this episode, I’m sharing my 7 strategies for better communication, and how this can help you in relationships – from kids, to spouses and colleagues.

The art of communication is important to continue to practice. What I’ve learned in my career as a TV anchor, and now podcaster and teacher, is that the most powerful communication starts with genuine listening and attention.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:05] Assertive communication

  • [3:10] Learning to be present in conversations and practice

  • [4:25] Paying attention to body language

  • [5:25] Asking genuine questions

  • [6:20] The balance between ‘telling mode’ and ‘engaging dialogue’

  • [8:10] Tailoring your communication style for your audience

  • [9:15] Learning from feedback

Notes from Natalie:

Connect with Me

View Transcript for this Episode

Natalie: The art of effective expression and communication, how to master it while enhancing your relationship.

Natalie: Hi everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I am thrilled that you've joined us for today's episode. Sorry, I sound a little bit nasally, but I've had a cold the last couple of days, so I am just going to power through. Okay. Today we're going to dive deep into the power of effective communication. We

My experience as a communication specialist primarily comes from my 27 year career as a reporter and TV anchor, but my other roles, which include mom and high school teacher required this skill as well. So today, let's go into how to be a. Better communicator. If you're wanting more tips and tricks for navigating your busy life, be sure to join me on my website, natalytisdal.

com, where you will find blog posts, podcasts, and so much more.

Now more on communication. I want to start by saying that it's a journey, a journey of effective communication that will probably include several roadblocks. I'm very well aware of that. And that those roadblocks might include time constraints, stress, technology, glitches, right? And just fatigue. We all have busy lives.

Navigating these things really requires a conscious effort and many strategies, but that's what we're going to talk about today. So let's get on with it.

Strategy number one, assertive communication. Let's kick things off with this strategy. This is a skill that is an absolute game changer, whether you're delivering a news report or maybe navigating a conversation with your kids. Imagine this scenario. Your teenager asks if they can attend a party that you're really unsure about instead of simply saying yes or. No, try saying, I appreciate your enthusiasm and I'm concerned about your safety.

How can we work together to ensure that you have a great time while also keeping you safe? So this type of statement allows you to express your concerns in a respectful. Nonjudgmental way that invites them to contribute their ideas and also their solutions. It also helps establish trust and understanding.

Assertive communication can be applied to almost any situation. And it's really important, a really important tool for overcoming any type of roadblock.

All right. Strategy number two, learn to be present in conversations and practice. Active listening, being present in your conversations. We know that's crucial for effective communication and active listening. It's the key that unlocks potential. It involves not merely hearing the words of others, but really understanding their message and their intent.

My motto, and this applies to my students, my husband, my kids, everyone else. And that is. Understand before being understood. Active listening requires full attention, a clear mind, and a genuine interest in the speaker's perspective. I really want to emphasize that a genuine interest in their perspective.

It's about acknowledging their ideas, asking thoughtful questions, and providing constructive feedback by practicing active listening. We not only improve our comprehension, but we also show respect and empathy toward the person that we're trying to effectively communicate with. The real benefit here, your conversation will be better and probably even more important.

Your relationships will be deeper and more meaningful.

Strategy number three, body language. Have you ever considered the impact of your body language during a conversation?

It's likely not something that crosses your mind, but by increasing your awareness of it, you can greatly enhance the comfort of the person that you're speaking with. As a television anchor, we would have consultants who analyzed, well, Pretty much everything, but they often would analyze aspects of our presentation that included body language.

One invaluable piece of advice they always shared was to avoid crossing our arms. Crossed arms give off a closed off vibe, which can make the viewer or anyone that you are interacting with feel Unwelcome. The same goes for having stiff posture, leaning in with your arms open and relaxed. That signals you're welcoming the conversation.

Also adopting a warm facial expression can help make people feel more relaxed and comfortable around you.

Strategy number four. Ask questions. This one is my favorite. I think as a reporter, I definitely learned to ask not only good questions, but open ended questions. And this is so important. Asking questions shows that you're really interested in the conversation.

Not that just you're interviewing someone, but that you are Interested in them and you want to know more from them. It makes it easier for people to open up and just have an open conversation with you. It also gives you insight into what kind of person you're talking to and what topics they're interested in.

It's also a great way to show that you are invested in the conversation and you want to build a connection with other people. Asking questions also helps foster an environment of trust as people begin to feel more comfortable opening up to each other and sharing their stories.

Strategy number five, strike a balance between telling mode and engaging dialogue, you know, striking this balance between telling and engaging.

It's crucial for effective communication. It's about understanding when to share information, when to listen and when to ask for a two way conversation. So let me give you an example. Maybe in a meeting, you need to use the telling mode to share maybe new company policy, something important. So obviously this is really important and it needs to be conveyed accurately and concisely.

However, after sharing the information, maybe shift into dialogue mode. And let me tell you why this is important. It could involve asking these open ended questions like, What are your thoughts on this new policy, or do you foresee any new challenges in implementing this? This encourages feedback and discussion, fostering a more collaborative and inclusive environment.

In personal relationships, this balance is just as important. Consider a situation, maybe where a friend is sharing a problem that they're having. You might. Initially go into telling mode or offer advice mode. I have fallen into that before and I catch myself. It's even more effective though, to engage in a dialogue, asking questions that might help your friend explore their feelings and their thoughts.

This might look like. How did that situation make you feel, or what do you think you could do next time? By striking a balance between telling and engaging in dialogue, we can create more meaningful and productive conversations. I find this strategy especially important in the classroom as my students learn more when they're engaged versus me just telling or lecturing.

And that leads me to strategy number six. Tailoring your communication style to suit your audience, whether you're talking to a friend, a colleague, or for me, maybe a student, it's important to adjust how you communicate. For example, when I'm talking to students, I often. Stop myself and make sure that my language and my tone remain calm, yet assertive, because this helps create an environment where they feel comfortable.

They're able to share their thoughts without feeling judged. On the other hand, when I'm talking to my colleagues, I might use more technical terms or structure my conversation differently to be sure that the other person really understands what I'm saying. Ultimately. Tailoring your communication style to suit the context is key to effective communication.

Thinking before you communicate and the old adage remains, know your audience.

Lastly, strategy number seven. Learn from feedback. We all make mistakes and it's important not to be discouraged when you receive criticism or constructive feedback. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow at any age, no matter how much experience you have, either professionally or in the classroom or as a mom.

We are all Growing day by day and learning and dissecting what maybe went wrong and implementing strategies that can help you do better in the future will make you a better communicator. Receiving feedback graciously, and let me emphasize that graciously because our natural tendency and its human nature is to be defensive, but to ask and really understand that feedback is a vital skill in professional and personal relationships.

It's important to listen to that feedback without interruption and maintain an open mind and positive attitude. I also want to encourage you to take time to contemplate the message behind the feedback. For example, if your manager maybe gives you feedback on your presentation skills, Don't just brush it off.

Instead, spend some time thinking it over. You might realize that you tend to rush through a presentation because you're just nervous, but becoming aware of your tendency to be nervous is going to make you better next time. Come up with strategies to get over whatever it is that led you to that. And remember, feedback.

It's a gift. It's an opportunity to learn and better yourself. Well, that's it for today. It was short and sweet. Thank you so much for joining me. If you found these insights valuable, be sure to subscribe and stay tuned for more podcasts. Until next time, keep the conversations flowing, embrace every role you play, and continue to communicate with confidence.

Talk to you next week.

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