Today you’ll learn how you can become a stronger communicator by creating your own Personal Compass. This is inspired by the Dan O’Connor Communications Training I’ve been doing online recently.
A key principle of strong communication is understanding that everything you say is a reflection of the person you believe you are.
You may believe your communication is largely an involuntary reaction, determined by how others speak or behave. So if someone treats you with kindness and respect, you respond in kind. If someone treats you rudely or without consideration, you respond in kind. If this is the case, you’re missing the opportunity to elevate yourself to a master communicator and influence the outcome of every interaction.
Master communicators are proactive about communicating what they want calmly and with intention. When they do respond to others, their response is based on their own self-perception, rather than on what the other person did or said.
Dr. Wayne Dyer shares a well-known metaphor, saying “When an orange is squeezed, orange juice comes out, because that’s what’s inside.”
The same can be said of human beings. If kindness, love, curiosity and patience are inside you, then you’ll communicate from a place of kindness, love, curiosity and patience. Conversely, if anger, resentment, sadness, or unworthiness are inside you, then your communication will reflect those things.
For example, if a person bumps into you and you spill your drink, are you instantly enraged and take it personally? Or do you take it in stride realizing accidents happen?
It’s Not About You
How others communicate is not about you, just as how YOU communicate is not about them. The way you show up in relationships, at work, and in the world is a reflection of what is inside you, just like orange juice, being inside an orange, is what comes out of it.
To become a master communicator, start with shifting how you see yourself and what you believe about yourself, and your communication will change to follow suit. One way to do this is to create a Personal Compass.
In simple terms, your Personal Compass defines (and reminds you of) who you are, why you’re here and what you want. Once you clarify these factors, you’ll find communicating clearly and directly easier and less stressful because it’s never dependent upon what someone else says or does. Creating your Personal Compass is a three step process.
Who You Are
Most people, when asked “Who are you?” respond with what they DO. They’ll say “I’m a teacher” or “I’m an athlete” or “I’m a parent.” However who we are is not defined by what we do. If you stop doing those things, do you cease to exist? No. Therefore, those things are not who you are, but rather roles you play.
Who you are is not about what you do or who you are in relation to someone else. Who you are is the combination of what’s inside you that makes you uniquely yourself.
In the “Who Am I?” section of a piece of paper, write down what makes who you are, including those things you’re challenged with being but want to be more like. For example…
I am loving.
I am kind.
I am strong.
I am courageous.
I am humble.
I am enthusiastic.
I am smart.
I am focused and effective.
I am honest.
Why You’re Here
This can be a tough one because it’s not about what you’re here to DO for work or vocation or hobbies. And it’s not for or about how you can serve others, although that’s often an outcome. Why you’re here is about you. Here are some samples to get your brain going…
I’m here to enjoy myself.
I’m here to glorify God.
I’m here to use my gifts and talents to the fullest.
I’m here to learn and grow.
I’m here to become everything I can be.
I’m here to draw closer to my creator.
What You Want
What you want should be big and not depend on your chosen work. For example…
I want to be happy.
I want to be at peace with myself.
I want financial independence.
I want a long healthy life.
I want love.
I want compassion.
I want understanding.
I want focus.
When you spend time thinking of who you are, why you’re here and what you want, it elevates your mind.
Regardless of what others do or say, you become able to behave and communicate as a person who IS ____________, because you ARE HERE TO _______________ and you WANT ________________.
Everyone around you and every situation is here to teach you something and offers opportunities to practice your skills of self mastery. When you use your Personal Compass as a daily reminder, your life will change because your thoughts, words, actions and your communication will change to reflect your compass.