Internal communication influences our external communication
I needed a par on the 16th hole. I was having a great round and as a result, I began to put myself under pressure. I stood over the ball and took extra care to line up properly. I visualised my landing spot—a nice flat patch about 40 metres to the left of the green. A perfect spot that will allow me to chip up between the bunkers—I even visualised the winning putt that will follow.
I took my stance, went through my pre-shot routine and swung my club. The ball took flight but as soon as the club head connected I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. I’d sliced it, the ball sailed to the right and bounced into the deep right-hand bunker.
“You stupid woman, what a dumb shot,” I said to myself
“I’ve blown the match?”
“Typical, I always slice.”
And along with a few other words of self-abuse, I marched to my ball.
Would I speak to a friend of mine like that? Would I point out the error of their ways and deride them? Certainly not! So why do I do it to myself?
I teach my business writing clients to write in the positive. I tell them to tell their clients, customers and staff what they can do, not what they can’t do. People respond more positively to a message that allows them to do something. “Put your dishes in the dishwasher, is a more positive message than “don’t leave your dishes on the bench”.
Have you noticed how the signs of old have now changed? No longer is the message “In the event of a fire don’t run,” instead, it’s “In the event of a fire walk.”
Negative language can subtly infer blame and the recipient of the message feel that whatever they can’t do is their fault.
For example, a negative message can go something like this, “We can’t complete your application because you haven’t filled out all the forms” Do you feel like a child who has been told off? Wouldn’t it be more constructive to say something like, “Thank you for your application, can you please fill out the attached form so we can complete your application by the due date?”
So with this in mind have you stopped to think how you talk to yourself? Do you give yourself positive messages during the day or is that small voice in your head telling you what you haven’t done, what you should do, how you can’t keep up, how you are so busy…you know the drill.
How we communicate to ourselves is equally as important as how we communicate to those we are dealing with every day.
Think about how you talk to yourself. Perhaps if you were more friendly and positive to yourself, your external messages to your clients, family and friends may be more positive. The way you do business will be more positive and your outcomes more positive. Give it a try. It’s never too late to do a new thing. People like to be around positive people.