Easy vs. Effective Communication

“Colleen, I know what you’re saying is true, but it’s just so much easier to not do that.”

This is what a C-suite executive was saying to me as I was there on-site with him and his leadership team. I was there to train and coach on communication, and he simply shared as I was going through the strategies and the coaching and he said, “Yeah, I get that, but it’s just so much easier for me in that moment when I’m having that dialogue, that communication with a direct report or another employee in the organization, it’s just easier to say what’s top of mind. It’s easier to just tell them what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling.”

And I looked at him and said, “Well, how’s that working out for you?” Not how he wanted to. So yes, while I recognize it’s easier in the moment to say and blurt out in a reactionary way what we’re thinking or what we’re feeling, it is not easier on the other side of it. I was sharing a story on a recent video here about one of the account executives that I managed years ago in another lifetime, and how she was banging away at her keyboard, typing this angry email in response to an angry email from a client.

Through coaching, I was trying to get her to change this, because in the moment it was easier for her to get those emotions out. But if she had sent that email, all of the other crap we would’ve had to deal with, all of the things we would’ve had to make correct on the other end with this client would’ve been much harder, much more difficult, versus taking that moment. And on that particular video, somebody commented and said, yeah, but how do you stay kind of calm, cool, and collected, right?

If you’re sitting there in some sort of communication where you have this reaction, whether it is anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety, fear, how do you manage that? And the one simple tool or strategy to give you is that we’ve got to think about what the goal is on the other side.

What is the ultimate goal?

And if your reaction is not going to get you to that goal, then you need to rethink – instead of having the reaction – what that intentional response is going to be. So, I offer for you that as you may be struggling or wanting to say, “Well, this is how I am. I am going to tell you how I feel,” I’m just going to ask, how’s that working out for you? Because while it may be easy in the moment, it is certainly not easy on the other side. Comment below, I’d love to hear from you. I’m here to unlock your x factor and to elevate your communication and your impact!