We’d like to welcome guest blogger Kiana Thomas, currently Humanergy’s intern and a student at Albion College.
Communication is a part of our everyday lives, whether it be via email, text, a post on social media or (sometimes as a last resort) in-person conversation. I’ve been working on being more confident when speaking and writing.
Here are four things I’ve learned:
- Don’t apologize when it isn’t warranted. Example: “Sorry for asking you so many questions,” or “Sorry to bother you.” In both of these examples, an apology is unnecessary and makes the tone of the communication unsure or even insecure. Instead, I’m working to embrace my inner leader. I’m asking more questions and making sure I’m doing a good job. Nothing to apologize for there! (If I spill coffee on someone, or otherwise mess up, then I’ll apologize.)
- Stop using the word “just” to soften the message. Example: “Just wondering if you are free for lunch on Monday” or “Just checking in on your progress.” Think about how much more confident those sentences sound when the “just” is removed. The difference may be a word, but the impact and the tone of the message change dramatically.
- Think of your own unique ways you may communicate less confidently than you’d like. Write down and rehearse alternative words to convey your message. Post reminders where you’ll see them.
- Create an accountability plan to make sure you avoid meek communication. Ask key colleagues and/or friends to give you immediate, concrete feedback when you slip up AND when you’re doing great (your communication conveys your self-assured professionalism).
Even the most self-confident person can lapse into unconvincing communication habits. Make sure that the words you use don’t create an impression that you’re doubtful of your value!
Have another powerful idea for communication? Comment below or message us about it.