Everyone says to communicate better but the larger question is HOW? Michelle Gladieux is here to tell us all kinds of ways to improve our communication from the simple to the more complex. We talk about:
· The “feedback challenge” and how it went when Dr. Liz did it!
· And how you can do it in your own life!
· What to do when someone is mean with their feedback. Or you disagree.
· How your personality affects how you communicate
· How to start with a “Preamble” for better communication
· Differences between communicating in your personal life vs the workplace
· The 4 hidden challenges of communication
Michelle Gladieux (Glad-ee-oh) is author of Communicate with Courage: Taking Risks to Overcome the Four Hidden Challenges and President of Gladieux Consulting, a Midwest-based team known for top-notch design and presentation of seminars in communication and leadership topics around the U.S. She provides executive coaching and facilitates strategic planning for clients in diverse industries, in governments, at non-profits, and in academia. She’s served on several boards of directors including the National Public Radio affiliate in her hometown for more than a dozen years.
Contact Michelle at Gladieux Consulting at 260-450-4202 and https://gladieuxconsulting.com
About Dr. Liz
Winner of numerous awards including Top 100 Moms in Business, Dr. Liz provides psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and hypnosis to people wanting a fast, easy way to transform all around the world. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and has special certification in Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. Specialty areas include Anxiety, Insomnia, and Deeper Emotional Healing.
Do you have Chronic Insomnia? Find out more about Dr. Liz’s Better Sleep Program at https://bit.ly/sleepbetterfeelbetter
A problem shared is a problem halved. In person and Online hypnosis and CBT for healing and transformation. Schedule your free consultation at https://www.drlizhypnosis.com.
Listened to in over 140 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Liz Bonet, discusses hypnosis and interviews professionals doing transformational work
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HM263 Communicate with Courage Michelle Gladieux
Dr. Liz: Hi everyone. Dr. Liz here. Today on the podcast we have Michelle Gladio. She is the author of Communicate With Courage, taking Risks to Overcome The Four Hidden Challenges, and she’s the president of Gladio Consulting, which is a Midwest-based team that presents seminars, and training. About communication and leadership topics around the US.
She also provides executive coaching, um, strategic planning. She’s worked in private sector, obviously governments, nonprofits, academia. She’s really fantastic. I really enjoyed her book. You’ll hear on the podcast that I say a lot of books come across my desk and I don’t choose to interview everyone who sends one.
But she made the cut because I found her book, easy to read, easy to get through, useful, and I also felt like it came from the heart, like she really wrote from the heart. We don’t just talk about the book on this podcast. We’re giving all kinds of really concrete things that you can do in terms of improving your own communication, whether that’s in the workplace or at home with your family and friends. So I hope that you find it useful.
Now, before we jump in, if you are someone who gets anxious about communicating or about other stuff in your life, then remember that you can get free hypnosis. To reduce fear and anxiety when you join my newsletter, and that’s over at my website, dr.Liz hypnosis.com. Or if you feel like you need to heal some beliefs that are underlying so that you can communicate in a way that feels good and where you feel heard and respected. And really feel like that comes from inside versus outside, then please feel free to schedule a free 15-minute telephone consultation to see if we’re a good fit to work together.
All right, let’s jump in. I hope you’re healthy and safe, people. Peace.
Hi Michelle. Welcome to the Hypnotize Me Podcast. Oh my gosh,
Michelle: Liz, it’s so good to talk to you. Thanks for selecting me to be
Dr. Liz: on. Absolutely. And for the listeners, this is our second go at it. We had a technical glitch last time and the uh, recording that I did not process properly, so we are giving it a second go.
So it’s going to feel a little bit different, but I think even more informative in my opinion. I agree. Yeah. So, um, Michelle, why don’t you just do a brief introduction to the audience about who you are, and what you do?
Michelle: Sure. I’d be happy to. My name is Michelle Gladieux, one of those French last names that can be challenging to spell G L A D I E U X.
You can learn more about my team and my company at www.gladieuxconsulting.com and we do a quarterly newsletter filled with personal and professional development. So we’d love for you to sign up there to stay in touch. The book that I’ve written came out in November of 2022, and it’s called Communicate with Courage, taking Risks to Overcome the Four Hidden Challenges.
So I have made my living, coaching and teaching and training executives, employees at all levels, friends and family, just humans that I know. I’m trying to help them and myself become a better communicator, and there’s just often more that we can do to improve our life situations. When we start to look at how we communicate, there’s more that we can do than we realize.
Absolutely. And there are absolutely some obstacles in our way that we don’t realize. So that was really my motivation for writing this book.
Dr. Liz: And I want to say it’s a really good book. So listeners, you don’t always know that I have a lot of books that come across my desk and I actually, some, I turned down for interviews cuz I don’t feel like either it’s a good fit for the podcast or it, it wasn’t very well written, um, or enjoyable to read and I am like, Avid reader.
I read close to a hundred books, sometimes more a year. So Michelle’s made the cut. It’s a really good book. . I want to say that.
Michelle: I hear you say that. Cause it, it was, uh, you know, anything that’s worthwhile takes time and I spent about four years. Trying to write a really short book because I feel like we’re all busy, but it had to be deep enough that folks could see themselves in the pages and also feel the love, hopefully, and the strategy on each page.
So that means a lot to me that you, that you say that, especially as an avid reader. Yeah, absolutely.
Dr. Liz: I think it did exactly that. I think it was a great mix of professional tips and exercises and the person like, hey, um, this is what gets in people’s way as I see as a professional teaching this stuff going into organizations and trying to help people, and this is where a lot of that material comes from.
So I think it was a really good mix of that. I really appreciated that at the end of the chapters, you have two things. So you don’t just have exercises, which a lot of books have. They’ll, they’ll, you know, give the instruction and they’ll have you do a little exercise and they’ll move on to the next chapter.
Instead, you have exercises and pro moves, which are really concrete tips about what someone could actually do in their life. To improve their communication. So I am someone who will read the exercise and very rarely do it, but I found that the pro move, I was like, oh, this I can do like I can implement this immediately.
So I really appreciated that. How did you come up with that?
Michelle: I don’t know. I think I just tried to move through my day and my evening and my week and my month in my life, maximizing outcomes for myself and others and I would say that a pro move is a communication attempt. It’s a way to send or receive messages from others more deftly than the average bear.
Yeah. So, Liz, it’s like a, it’s a good try that might flop or that our listeners might pull off with flying colors and either way is okay but you are stretching a bit as a communicator, a bit more than most humans because they might walk on by the opportunity thinking, oh, that’s too much trouble.
Or I’m not, I don’t have the skill, and I’m not smooth enough to undertake that opportunity. And then they miss a chance to get closer to their communication. Yeah. A few sentences to a paragraph. Um, and it often means you’ll use your knowledge of yourself or you might be paying even better attention to other people after reading this book.
So you know what action to take or pass or decide not to take. And if your preference is, let’s say, to do or say X, you might read a situation when you’re being strategic to call for why. So you’re going to zig when you use to zag and you might stand out or stand up or stand down and just chill and listen.
But it’s not the easy choice. It is, however, the pro move, and it’s kind of funny. I’ve had a fantasy football team with friends and we bet on football for years. I’m, I’m based out of Indiana. In the Midwest, I’ve always named my fantasy football team pro moves and I’m usually last in the league with my picks.
But I found another way to use pro moves. And it’s in communication, not in picking football teams. Absolutely.
Dr. Liz: Absolutely. That’s fun. I’m going to share that I did one of the exercises when we talked last time. I had said, I didn’t ask my husband this question because I, it’s just a little too scary, or I think I know what he’s going to say.
So I remember in between then and now, I did actually ask my husband, so I’ll, I’ll share with the listeners, the question that I really loved and it’s pretty near the beginning of your book, but you encourage people to ask. Ask someone else what they like most and least about communicating with you.
And I really love how this question is framed because it’s not just saying the positive or the negative. It’s really both. Like, give me some good feedback here and give me some improvement basically. So last time we had talked about what my, what my daughter had said. Cause I asked my daughters and.
I’ll start with that and then I’ll move to my husband. I’m going to build a little, ok. Oh, I can’t wait A little bit. .
Michelle: How, how courageous. Good job.
Dr. Liz: Yes. It was courageous. I, it was a little scary, I’ll have to tell you but I took the leap. I’m like, Nope, I’m going to do this. So my daughter, the one who’s 17, said that I’m very kind and gentle about my communication.
Like I repeat things when she doesn’t understand, or I phrase it a different way so she can understand it better but she said, I don’t always explain the context. Instead, I often go straight to the solution. So that was an improvement that I need on my part, or you’re going to love this one. I’m on my phone sometimes when she’s talking to me and I say, mm-hmm
And then later ask what she said…(Oh, busted.)
Yeah, so she said, I do know that sometimes you’ll say, give me a minute and to finish this and then I can pay attention to you. So she. She likes it when I do that, and I was like, okay, I can totally do that better because sometimes she will come up right when I’m in the middle of something.
I don’t think I should have the value that I have to drop absolutely everything. The minute that one of my kids comes up like, no, it’s okay to wait your turn and I do have things I need to do professionally. And personally. And then, um, I’ll tend to you, you know, assuming it’s not an emergency or something, but I told her, oh, I am happy to do that a little bit more.
So that, that was, uh, really enlightening for me.
Michelle: Well done. And may I just say also anyone that we ask this question too, the question being, Hey, I listened to a podcast and there’s a challenge that I come to you to get some… Kara, what do you think? I’m interested to know, what do you think I do well as a communicator and what’s something that you think I could do better or differently?
Yes. Anyone, we ask that question to knows that we respect them and prioritize their opinion. So it can do wonders for a relationship, even a relationship that isn’t going well or that is strained or might be maybe a feeling a person you have feelings of competitiveness with at work or in your family. Just asking the question, even if they choose not to participate, I think there’s power in it because they will not forget. They might never forget that you came to ask.
Dr. Liz: It’s true. I think you’re right. The meta-communication there is you’re important to me. Your opinion matters to me, and that is something that people don’t forget.
Michelle: I have had folks tell me, I’m not sure, or I’m too, you know, this is not a good time for me. Or they’re nervous. Yeah. And they don’t want to participate in the feedback challenge as I call it, Uhhuh . And I’ll say, no problem. You know what, when, and if you think of anything, I’m always interested. Even if it’s a year from now.
That’s great. And one of my coworkers said, okay. I’ll let you know. And then we were in a meeting and Liz uh, the person said something that I thought the data was incorrect. And I spoke up and said, oh, ho, hold. No, no, no, no. And I started to talk and she said, that’s it, And I said, what’s it? She said the feedback challenge thingy.
That’s something I think you could work on. You interrupt sometimes. Oh, totally true. Uhhuh. Totally true. Maybe I wouldn’t have wanted her to say it in front of 10 other people. . Yeah, but that’s ok. Your ego. Your ego will rebound. Yes. A little bit of you feel. is going to be worth the gift of constructive criticism and praise that you might receive from this exercise.
And if someone isn’t skilled at giving feedback and so they’re a little more blunt than necessary or perhaps even unkind, so they’re unskilled at giving it. Hmm. The courageous communicator sorts through what they don’t need. They put that aside and they hold onto what they can use. Yes. You know, trying to forgive the person for being a little clumsy about how.
How they give feedback is also a courageous move.
Dr. Liz: Well, I think that’s wonderful to say. I, I like how you phrased it. Not that some people are mean, but some people are less skilled trying to put something in a way that, um, feels palatable to the other person.
Michelle: Love that. And if they are trying to, and there are a few humans out there that will try to be mean and I feel I can feel some empathy for them in that they’re unhappy probably generally and they’re seeking to share their unhappiness with others. You don’t have to get hooked. You can be a fish that swims on by that. The best thing to reply, whether you get kudos or you get complaints or you get some of both, keep it to five words. People just look the person in the eye or respond by email or text.
However, you’re choosing to do the feedback challenge and say, thanks. I’ll think about that . Thanks. I’ll think about that. That’s five words. All right, thanks. I’ll think about that and. Because we don’t want you to argue with someone. No, no, no. That’s not true. That someone might say, um, I wish you responded to my emails more quickly.
Well, I have a lot going, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Yeah. Slow your role and just say thank you. I’ll think about that and then go think about it. I prefer to get it personally. I prefer to get away from the feedback giver. Uhhuh. pretty quickly so I can go. Sit and think about what they’ve said.
Dr. Liz: I love that.
Michelle: I might need to nurse my wounds a little bit. I might want to pat myself on the back. It’s private processing. Yeah, that private processing can help us emerge the next day. and try something different, which is really how we raise our games as communicators.
Dr. Liz: Absolutely. I, and don’t worry, I am going to get to my husband’s feedback, but I, before that, I want to say that that brings up another sentence that you talk about, uh, later in the book, communication Models or Heroes, heroines, however, you want to put it.
The phrase that really stuck with me was this woman that you had admired, and she said, when the conversation has reached, Limit of usefulness that she’ll say, let’s give each other some time back. But reminds me of that. So like someone’s giving you feedback and maybe the conversation really has reached the limit of usefulness no matter what you’re talking about.
Not necessarily in this case where you’re, you’re asking for feedback, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to just take a step back and say, I’m going to think about that. That’s essentially what that same phrase is. Let’s give each other some time back.
Michelle: very similar. Yes. That’s Christine from Powered by Purple, Inc. Is a networking organization for people, and professionals based out of Indiana, and I’m very happy to be a part of that group. What I notice in her is, the expert way. She blends empathy with directness. Mm. And in her work, she’s constantly connecting people and she has more meetings with people in one week than most of us do.
So watching the time is important for both parties and she is doing what? A pro move that is blending. Concern for others’ feelings and concern for using time wisely. Yes,
Dr. Liz: Absolutely. Yeah.
Michelle: And I wasn’t going to let you forget about what your husband replied, so don’t worry about that.
Dr. Liz: We’re ready. I’m pretty good at tracking. So from being a therapist, you know, it’s like, wait a minute. Something you said in the first five minutes. Let’s go back to that. No. All right. So my husband said, He can tell me something without being afraid about how I’m going to react. Like he feels safe talking to me about absolutely anything.
And I will say that that has been a skill I have worked on for many, many years is really trying to create an environment of safety and I think that goes to emotional regulation too, particularly when you’re talking about, um, couples. It’s really important to work on your internal emotional regulation when someone is giving you feedback when it’s a partner that’s giving you feedback.
So I was really happy to hear that he said the least was that I interrupt or ask a question too fast, but then I’ve gotten better at it. So I’ll tell you a funny story about this. Um, he gave me this feedback, and then a couple of days later, We’re driving along in the car. Before that, he saw me put two tables together that I have in my house and clear them.
I told him, well, I’m getting ready to take the next step on my daughter’s quilt that I’m working on. I have to actually base the quilt and, um, before I can actually quilt it. And so I’m about to tell him what basting is cause I know he doesn’t know. And he interrupts and says, well, what’s basting? And I said, aha, you did it like you did the feedback that you gave me.
And he totally busted into laughter and, uh, and said, oh my God, I did.
Michelle: that’s, I mean, what an example of a team, a loving team. You two are, and I’m sure it’s not sunshine and roses. No. Yeah, I tell you what, I just don’t, I generally don’t like constructive feedback from my significant other or really close family members.
Ugh. I just have so much growing up to do in that area, and I think I really do, and every, it’s like every five or 10 years I look back at me from five or 10 years ago and I think, okay, so it took me 10 years, but I have learned to apologize, yes, without considering it a big loss. Yeah. Like I always thought the losers apologized and the winners didn’t have to apologize.
Oh, yeah. What a bunch of BS. I mean, right? When you make a mistake, the courageous thing to do is to say, Hey, I snapped at you yesterday. I was having a tough day. It wasn’t your fault. I’m sorry. Absolutely. You’re couldn’t try to be better. Yeah. Make you feel better too.
Dr. Liz: Absolutely. Restore harmony. Well, communication is probably the top thing that couples site when they want to come to therapy.
And I’ve done a lot of couples therapy. I was a couple’s specialist for many, many years and then I really switched to working with an individual on their, um, own stuff. Versus working with two people at the same time. But that is the top reason that people cite is communication. And I really feel like, oh, if you are courageous and you can ask your loved ones.
Okay, let’s, let’s start with me. What’s the good and the bad about me? Let’s not start with you. , right? Everyone’s willing to tell the other person what they like and don’t like, but it’s harder to hear it. I mean, your book is oriented more towards, I think, communication in the professional workplace, and there’s certainly how to use it in your personal life as well.
But it’s like any of them can benefit from reading this book in terms of taking it into their personal life, I believe.
Michelle: Thank you. That means a lot. I do have a friend who said her grandmother, who’s 87, has it currently and then will be passing it on to another son who has her 17-year-old reading it. So I hope it’s, I hope it’s somewhat universally applicable.
I wanted to add a comment. You mentioned that the couples that you counsel have mostly come in through the years citing communication. Yes. As an obstacle to a happy relationship. It’s the same. In corporate America, in academia, in governments and military teams that we work with, and in nonprofit teams, really, we do what’s called climate assessments which sounds fancy and yes, is based in organizational psychology, but it’s, it’s pretty simple in that we gather data confidentially from all members of a team or organization asking what they enjoy most and least about working at that organization, and what might improve the culture in the organization.
So that we can then have data to analyze and then get down to individual behaviors. And so 20 some years of doing this and thousands of these kinds of exercises, and we see communication has been number one, the number one thing people think that their team or company needs to work on for really across the board. And it has never deviated.
Dr. Liz: Fascinating. I find that so fascinating.
Michelle: This is possibly one of the hardest and most wonderful things about being human is to try to send messages that land correctly Yes and are understood and acceptable, and to hear messages as they are intended to be received. Really tough stuff because of course we’re all bringing all of our baggage and all of our past.
Yes. Disappointments and traumas and wins and experiences and we tend, I think, to think everyone, even though we know it’s not possible. I think we tend to think everyone experiences the world the same way we do.
Dr. Liz: Yes, yes. Even when you have an awareness that people don’t, you are still communicating from your own background as a therapist.
Um, most of us are, are taught or learn along the way how to pace with somebody else, how to use their words, not our own, to explain something because that does increase communication. It does increase a sense of being understood. and we developed that flexibility to be able to do that. But there’s still this, um, I think most people have the default to communicate from their own perspective.
Michelle: I didn’t realize how different human personalities could be until we started using personality assessment in coaching at my organization and of course that would mean I went first, as did my team, and I’m reading about myself and seeing all that, for example, high expressiveness. Um, a verbal fluency, a desire to participate as an extrovert, um, high assertiveness.
And I was thinking, and then I, then I met thousands of other people who are coaching clients through the years who have taken our personality assessment uhhuh and realized just how different everyone is and the different strengths, thus the different weaknesses we all bring to the table. And I have gotten a lot better at switching out my style.
yes. As you say, you know, speaking in terms that others understand or just appreciating, okay, this person’s going to be more thoughtful. I’ll use 10 times the words, but when they speak, they’ll have 10 times the thought behind the words sometimes. Yes.
Dr. Liz: So I tried to appreciate that. Absolutely. And I think when you can, uh, lead with that type of thing, it’s better.
I remember when I, this is the second husband. We’ve been married four years, and when I first met him, I said, look, sometimes when you’re talking and I’m pausing after you stop, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been listening. It just means that I’m processing, I’m thinking about it, and sometimes I need a little bit of time to do that.
So it’s like when you can lead with that, even. In a professional situation, like I’m starting to do adult autism evaluations, and we know with the autistic brain style that the way of communicating is different than the neurotypical brain style. And part of that process in terms of making this a useful evaluation for people is letting them know, like, the more you can educate the people around you about this, the easier your life may be.
This is my communication, um, brain style. And so this is what it means. It doesn’t mean that I’m ignoring you. I’m not listening. If I don’t make eye contact, let’s say you’re in a class with a professor or something, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been paying attention. It means I need to take that information, process it, and then come back and perhaps ask a question, or something like that. So there are all kinds of personality, uh, brain styles, let’s say that go into that. Not just autistic obviously, but that’s sort of an example that people can grasp pretty quickly.
Michelle: Yes. And I love the use there that you are describing of stating your intention.
Yes. So if I. To give feedback to someone. Uh, maybe it’s a college student, I might say, Hey, I see how hard you’re working to grasp these concepts and I am proud of you. However, we really need to work on your writing style. This won’t be useful to you in your career until you begin to get rid of these, whatever run-on sentences or you need to cite your research more specifically. But I’ll try to start with I see how hard you’re trying.
Dr. Liz: Yes. And
Michelle: I want to give you some feedback that can help make you better. Yeah. Because I care about how you’re going to do out in the real world.
Dr. Liz: Yes. Well, I think last time we talked about, um, preambles, right? Like giving a preamble.
Michelle: Preamble, yes.
Dr. Liz: The preamble.
Yes. Preambles are so useful. I think, you know, if we could start a lot of our stuff, the preamble, we’d set ourselves up for better communication.
Michelle: It would be good worldwide. So it would be something like, I’m so grateful for your help. May I offer you some feedback that I think would, would, uh, would make your input even more useful to my team?
Yes. We start with the, I oftentimes start with, Hey, I don’t know your job and I am not trying to tell you how to do your job. But I do have some feedback about how that email might have come across. May I share and then the person will likely say, sure. But if they, I just come in and say, Hey, do this better.
I enter the communication with, Hey, do this better, which I often do because I’m moving too fast as a communicator most of the time then their defenses go up and their first thought is, don’t tell me how to do my job. So I think I’ll just get that out of the way with my preamble by. I am not trying to tell you how to do your job.
You’re the IT expert, but I do have some feedback about the email you sent to my team. May I share?
Dr. Liz: Absolutely. Well, I hear too, permission-based, so I work a lot, a lot, a lot around a permission-based type of communication. When I’m working with people in my practice, when they’re talking about taking something home to a spouse or a partner, it’s like, Hey, is this a good time to talk about this?
Would you like to talk about something? If not, when is a good time? Um, or I am really tired from work. Let me go change my clothes and then we can sit and have dinner or whatever. That is like really giving where you are at and asking permission. Absolutely.
Michelle: Oh, my, and I as you, as you say that, Liz, I have to acknowledge, I’m thinking I have ruined some relationships in my past romantic relationships by assuming anytime is the right time, because what’s more important than communication? Yeah.
Dr. Liz: Right. You’re leading with that cause you’re a communication expert.
[00:26:25] Michelle: Yes. But more important why I, so what if we have to stay up all night to figure this out? And there’s an apology paragraph in the book, communicate with Courage to great guys.
I’ve dated that I wasn’t mature enough to realize. There’s a limit to how much people can communicate. I did see that. It’s
[00:26:42] Michelle: communicate about feelings and relationships and, um, yeah. You know, I’ve talked to one and, and he said, I really love the book. And I said, oh my gosh, it’d mean so much if you would write a review.
You put a review on Amazon, please. And he said, yes. I said, Did you? Yeah. Ex-boyfriend. I said, did you catch the, uh, paragraph about how I’ve been immature and, you know, messed up relationships pretty bad? And he said I did catch that. I actually, he said, I was listening on Audible and it was pretty fun to hear your voice say that.
Oh. And I said, well, I didn’t use your name and to be honest, there’s probably more than one name I could have included. So I left names out, but they know who they are. And I mean, we never graduate from working on communication. , even if we live to be 105, yes we still will not be perfect ever. Yes, we might get to be courageous.
We might get to be excellent if we really, really work at pro moves and strategies.
Dr. Liz: Absolutely. Yes. And I do want to highlight too, I had recently read a study, um, it’s really an article, but then it cited some research around. Different styles used at home with friends in your personal life versus the workplace?
So the article was talking about cooperative overlap. So in our personal lives, we tend to have a lot of us, not everybody , but a lot of us have what we call cooperative overlap, where we speak over the other person just a little bit, which usually is taken. Good when it’s in agreement or reinforcing something they said is taken as, an “interruption” when it’s not so, which is super interesting to me.
But it’s said that in the workplace, turn-taking is much more reinforced. But if you have this style of cooperative overlap, which is often, um, an enthusiastic way of interrupting, sort of like you were saying before, then sometimes it’ll. Bleed into the workplace and some of the task is to, uh, modify some of that so that you’re understood better, so that you’re perceived more positively, um, so that you’re not seen as someone who’s just constantly interrupting and to, to a lot of people, that’s annoying if it’s not done in the appropriate place or way.
I wanted your take on that.
Michelle: Well, I do think a lot of us save our best communication for our
workplaces, especially if we are paid and not volunteering in our organizations. And I feel sometimes when I get home from a 10-hour day of communicating and trying to communicate like a role model or teaching communication that it’s my family that gets the short end of the stick because quite frankly, I’m tired of monitoring my emotions, regulating them, listening well, taking my turns,
Yeah. Yeah. That’s no, right. It’s not a, it’s not a valid excuse. , what I maybe need to do is take a walk or take a few minutes to meditate or take a bath or a shower, or read for a little bit, or prepare some food, or have a snack, or drink a glass of water or something that’s related to caring for myself.
And then I’m ready to, I’m reset a bit. I find that my, uh, communication failings tend to happen when I’m not taken care of. and I allow myself to get into a feeling of being overwhelmed and then the littlest things, of course, can set us off. Absolutely. That’s true. But I do think that we should mention, you and I have talked a lot about, we were both very verbal, so we’ve talked a lot about our struggles with interrupting, which probably relates to about half of the audience listening.
Yes. The other half is thinking, wow, I don’t do that. I’m a good listener, I just don’t speak up. Okay. And that’s why I’ve got so many tips through the book and exercises, baby. baby steps people can take to find their voice and use it. Because there’s only one of them in all time. There’s only one of each of us in all time.
Yes. And if we don’t get comfortable with our voice, even if it shakes, even if our face turns red, even if we can’t find the right words or we stutter or it takes us longer to make the point we all, uh, especially those of us who have a tough time finding their voice or their. Can start working towards believing that we are no less valuable than any other human.
Yes. And when we start to believe that we’re no more valuable or no less valuable than any of the other, what now, almost 8 billion humans running around on the planet, then we will put our hand up and say, okay, excuse me, I’d like to add something if I may you know, and, or you might need to say, the person who is speaking a lot like me, you might need to say their name a few times, Michelle, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Michelle, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Michelle.
Dr. Liz: Great. Yes. I love that is their first name three times.
Michelle: But don’t let the meeting end. Don’t let the dinner end, if you have a question or a piece of praise, or a comment, or a concern and opinion, you’re worthy. And we need to hear that. And if the people at the table don’t treat you as if you’re worthy.
Please don’t let that convince you that you’re any less than them. That’s a deficiency on their part because we are all equally valuable humans.
Dr. Liz: Yes, I love that.
Michelle: I do a lot of public speaking and that gives me courage. I remind myself I’ll do my best. , I’m bringing my unique perspective and they are not less important than me, these listeners, and they are not more important than me.
These participants, they’re not just listeners. They’re participating in our training and then I can meet them where they are, and then the communication feels like it’s heart-to-heart. Mind to mind on an equal playing field. That’s one of the main reasons I wrote the book to try to also help those who are working on self-esteem.
Dr. Liz: Great, great. And I think that there’s an important distinction to make here that sometimes people only focus on the behavior and they don’t focus on what’s going on underneath the belief. So you’re speaking to the belief. And sometimes that’s where I come in as a hypnotherapist, as a therapist, it’s a therapist of changing these beliefs that are going on of I’m not worthy of being listened to, of speaking up, of sharing my ideas, of sharing my opinion. And once we change those beliefs under there, once we heal that, wherever that came from, then it makes it easier to implement the behavior of speaking up and making sure you don’t leave before you ask your question and, and all the behaviors you just cited.
That belief does stop people sometimes, and then they think, why can’t I do that? I heard that podcast, or I read that book and I’m, I’m supposed to do this, and I didn’t do it , because that underlying belief is, is running the game Sometimes I don’t think that gets said enough that often the corporate coaching world these days is just focused on thoughts, change the thoughts, your behavior will change. That’s often true. It can actually be helpful a lot of the time, but if you find that that’s not being effective, then I say, look at the beliefs underneath.
Michelle: I couldn’t agree more. And then maybe play a little game with yourself. Chapter three is about settling for good enough. There’s a section about if you suspect you’re settling for good enough on page 50, and I say this, no one is saying, you constantly have to be striving. At least I am but pushing yourself to excel sometimes is good for your mind, heart, soul, and relationships. So play a little game. What if in your next interaction, you figured out a way to give just a little more effort? Here’s what will likely happen.
You’ll put pep in someone’s step and add a nice glow to how you feel about you. At the same time. On the flip side, you might rile someone up, but bring a problem to light diplomatically so it can be addressed, maybe even. Some positive self-talk will ensue, which builds of course your self-esteem.
Be careful. It can be addictive in a good way. You might start to ask yourself, what if I give just 1% more here in interactions, which sounds like a pro move to me. Don’t you agree? Then you find yourself doing so. You’ll often end up receiving much more. I was doing, um, a customer communication skills training recently in the insurance industry and I ask a big auditorium of people, um, hey, let’s just think of recent communication from today before you came to this seminar. And just a simple, you know, could be walking down the hall, picking up the phone, answering an email, normal stuff, talking to a family member on your way out the. . And now I’d like you to look back with your hindsight being closer to 2020.
Take a piece of scrap paper and just jot down to me a secret little note. Just jot down one way you could have improved your part of the interaction by 1%. Mm. Don’t think about what the other person could have done better. We can’t control that. What could you have done better than they passed all these pieces of scrap paper to me and I put them in my briefcase and I have some of them here, so I want to share those A, a couple of these if that would be okay.
Dr. Liz: Oh, great. Yeah, let’s hear ‘ em
Michelle: here’s what anonymously, which I think means truthfully, Yes. Often people said, um, one person said, I could have verbalized a positive before I made a complaint. I could have sounded more confident. Someone else said, I think my tone was kind of arrogant. Another said I could have let it go and not chewed on it so long in my brain. Mm. I could have gathered the other person’s opinion first. I could have listened a little longer to diffuse their frustration. I could tell they were upset. I could have reread my email before I hit send. I could have prepared before I made the call.
I could have avoided saying something rudely. I could have followed up but didn’t. I could have used their name but forgot. I could have not interrupt. . I could have copied those who need to know or who might like to know. I could have got to the point faster. I could have slowed down a little.
And then my personal favorite, I could have picked up the call sounding like I cared. Ooh, that’s a good one. Honest is honest one, and that is because some of those folks had just started and were fresh out of school in their first professional job. Some folks sitting in the back were founders. Owners, executive.
Seems like everyone quickly could tear a quick piece of scrap paper and pass it forward. Yeah. And if we start thinking about our interactions that way, not to beat ourselves up but this is why I’m doing dishes at 8:00 PM most nights and I’m replaying the conversations I’ve had. I’m just Remi, I’m remembering them and I’m thinking about did I bring, especially to the most important ones, did I bring my full body. My full mind, yes. My full heart to that interaction. And if so, then I definitely did the best I could do. I might have some notes for myself. Yes. Or if I ask others, what do you like about how I communicate? What’s something I could do better? They might have some notes for me to consider.
Tomorrow I wake up and I’m using more pro moves, and I think this is how we win the game. Absolutely. Or absolutely to it. Absolutely.
Dr. Liz: And there’s two things. One is that I love the concept of just the 1% because it feels less overwhelming to me. It’s not like, oh, I have to change all these things.
It’s like, no, how could I have improved? Just simply 1% and you’re coming up with it yourself, someone. Telling you, like you were talking about before. I love that. The second is you say in the book, your reputation and happiness are determined in large part by your communication, and I think that’s the point you’re making here at the end.
And I found that just so true. True enough that I, I like wrote it down by hand. Okay. I didn’t just like highlight it. , oh my Kindle. I wrote it down by hand. Because it’s so true. And so that means that if we make the effort to do just the 1% to just thinking about it from time to time, then that also means we’re making the effort to increase our own happiness in, in terms of how we live and how we are in the world.
Michelle: Uh, you know, even on walks, I try to take a daily walk to eliminate some stress or like go of some things. I’ve started just raising my hand at folks who drive. Oh yeah. A little wave. Yeah, some wave back. Some do not. I don’t know. I don’t know what kind of cross they’re carrying, , but I know we’re all carrying, yes, we’re all carrying burdens.
We all carry across. And maybe if I lighten their load just a little bit, now they’re going to go to that, um, meeting. They’re going to interact with someone next. And what kind of a chain reaction might we, so when we talk about the 1% game or the 1%. I would recommend that for overcoming, um, the fourth hidden challenge I write about, which is settling for good enough.
And that means we could stretch a little towards a better interaction and perhaps, I mean, we’d have to be optimistic that there might be potentially more rewarding outcome and it takes courage and strength to be optimistic but that can help us overcome settling for good enough. Yeah,
[00:39:59] Dr. Liz: I love that. I love that on so many levels because we know that just interacting with random people in our community increases our happiness.
Period. Research on that is clear. So I love it in that way. Um, it reminds me of, I also take walks along this one street. There’s this guy who, I mean, he’s a tough-looking guy and he stands outside around the same time every day that I’m taking my walk. And he smokes a ci. and one day I decide, oh, I’ll just wave at him.
Usually, I’m walking across the street from him. That’s just my route is not on purpose. Sure. But sure. I said, okay. I’m just going to give him a little wave today. And I did. And he, he sort of nodded his head. And then the second time I did that, he like smiled at me and waved back and it was like, oh, here’s this really tough, mean-looking guy who’s now a friendly in my community. Yeah. like, and.
Michelle: If we have the gift of sight, yes, if we can see, then we can see what people look like. Keep in mind that is just the cover of the book. That is not the important part about that human right. Yet we’re all judged by our, we’re all judged by the package that we came into the world in.
Yes, some are much more harshly than others. Yeah. So that gentleman might have the softest heart . Yes.
Dr. Liz: We don’t know.
Michelle: That’s certainly been my experience. Um, I write about my brother Mike, who was a Harley Davidson guy, and um, he passed away when I was 19. He had a heart arrhythmia. We think. We don’t really know.
We know that it wasn’t. We know that it wasn’t anything that the docs could figure out, but when his Harley Davidson friends came to the church on the day of his funeral, my heart was largely healed all those years ago because they all came in as themselves. And I write about that on page 31 in the book, and I tried to be as evocative as possible so that our readers or audible listeners can understand what it looks like to watch 52 Harleys roar into a church parking lot, and then come, the black leather and the chains attached to the wallets and the jeans and the black boots, and these guys sitting in pews and crying just, I, you know, I’m sorry for their loss. I know they still miss him, but something about them being willing to show up as authentically themselves and then communicate what was in their heart. Yes, healed mine, helped heal mine. I should say.
Dr. Liz: Yeah. Thank you for that. I do remember that story. Yeah. And it was very touching in the book.
I think that a part of the book I really liked is that you told several personal touching stories from your life to give the reader context. Like where do some of this stuff come from?
More of a first, for me, I thought I should, you know, thousands of seminars I’ve created and delivered around the US and um, in a few other countries as well and I’ve really not done as much of that as I could. But I thought if I’m going to write a book about communicating with courage, I’d bet lower the wall and be brave and share some of the most, um, Painful and joyful memories that I could if it’s going to help make a point about communicating better.
Yes. Well, I think it does it very well.
So we are coming to the end of our time here. I want to thank you once again, for your wonderful insight.