There’s so much noise out there that we really need to stop talking so much and start listening. Listening is undoubtedly one of the great skills that have been lost in our society. That’s why we need to talk about the importance of communication and the way you live your life both professionally and personally.
I had a conversation with Marcus Sheridan, the ‘Sales Lion,’ about communication and how we live our lives at home and in the office. His obsession with listening saved his business in a recession and brought him into the limelight. It’s clear that listening and communicating effectively has a HUGE impact in all areas of our lives.
Here are six strategies to make the most of communication in your professional and personal life.
1. Always Share Your Story
Your story is the foundation of you. No matter how many times you’re asked or how embarrassed you feel by what you used to do, you should never have a problem talking about it. So many people will develop a brand and lose their ‘before’ story. Don’t forget about who you were. You should embrace what you were and add something new. There’s something magical about pivoting and being able to talk about what you did before that. Every iteration of your business has been part of the process of getting to where you are. You can acknowledge your past AND own your current expertise.Your story is the foundation of you. No matter how many times you’re asked or how embarrassed you feel by what you used to do, you should never have a problem talking about it. Don’t forget about who you were. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
2. Carry Over Principles of Communication
If you ask a CEO if content marketing is going to be relevant to their business in 20 years, chances are they won’t give you a resounding yes. But if you ask them if great teaching, solving customer problems, and communicating better than anyone in your space will be relevant in 20 years, they’ll say, “Of course!” That’s the essence of all this inbound, content, and social stuff. They are all principles of communication. If you don’t carry over principles of communication to each area of your marketing, you might be good at Facebook today, but not good at the next platform tomorrow. While you might understand the tool, you need to understand the principle.
3. Think Progress in the Long Game
It’s fundamentally impossible to see where your business will go until you start working down the path. As business owners, however, we have to know where we’re going. With this paradox, you must ask yourself, “Am I making progress?” Do you feel like you’re making progress personally and professionally? Even if you don’t see yourself on a superstar trajectory, you can know that you’re making waves in your own way. You can crush it in the home and in the office, but you have to do it at your own pace.
4. Mix Your Professional and Personal Life
Mixing your professional and personal life is a no-no according to society, but it may be a skill to be learned. Taking your family on business trips can create some of the most amazing memories. Just ask yourself, ‘Is it possible for my partner or child to travel with me and have this experience?’ It may not be convenient, but it’s interesting what can occur when you go with that.
5. Find Your Inner Teacher
There is a world-class teacher within each one of us that’s simply not tapped into. If you’re willing to find that teacher within yourself, you can do amazing things within your space and your company. Watching your stuff change people’s lives is well worth the discovery.
6. Stop Trying to Sound Smart
The moment you try to sound smart to your audience is the moment you begin to look stupid. Your audience is obsessed with communion. They want to be able to get you and understand you. They don’t want to feel like you’re on a plane above them. Communing with your audience is what leads to trust. Make your intention creating positive change and insights for your people in a community instead of trying to sound smart for them.
Chris founded Youpreneur® in 2015. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling books “Virtual Freedom” and “Rise of the Youpreneur”. He hosts our weekly podcast, Youpreneur.FM, as well as our annual conference, the Youpreneur Summit. Chris is based in Cambridge, UK.