When we talk about success one of the biggest factors that determine whether we will reach our goals, is our communication. To make life easy for everyone, Addicted2Success decided to interview the world expert on the subject, Colin James.
The part of the interview that left me speechless was when Colin talked about his recent battle with cancer where he had half his bottom lip cut out and cancer on his face. He told me that we are all going to die at some point, and a lot of people live in denial of this fact.
Colin’s way of thinking is “hey I survived cancer twice… so who really cares about anything – just go for it.” I absolutely loved the way he reframed this difficult experience and how he is 100% committed to delivering the best knowledge and insights he can to help people in different area’s of their life.
The business that Colin has run for 27 years is mostly centred on teaching corporates and individuals in the areas of leadership, communication and followership. Leading up to the interview I attended one of Colin’s master classes to find out if all the talk was just marketing hype or genuine.
That night, while watching Colin, I took pages and pages of notes and laughed harder than when I used to watch Seinfeld. It usually takes a lot to make me laugh, but Colin had me thoroughly entertained and educated the whole time. Check him out; he will redefine who you are!
Below are Colin’s eleven ways for anyone to build mastery as a communicator.
1. Belief is part of the skill
One of the difficulties with communication is that people don’t believe that they can master it. Everything in your life that you believe is an arbitrary intellectual construct that you created and can be changed at any time.
During one of Colin’s events, he proves this by getting the audience to draw a three-dimensional, artist quality picture in sixty minutes that most believe they can’t do. One hour later, Colin, has them holding their finished portrait in their hands. Every skill can be learned.
After deconstructing the ‘talent vs skill’ paradigm (for example, the belief that artistic ability is a talent), he then tells them “if it’s possible in the world then it’s possible for you. It’s only a question of how, and a skill is just the how.”
2. Follow what good leaders do and pretend you know how
Good leaders pretend they know what they are doing. When you are the leader, there is an assumption or a presumption that you know what you’re doing in regards to managing the business and the strategy. This phenomenon creates an artificial sensibility that these leaders are somehow in an elite level of capability.
Have you ever been in a room when the CEO walks in? The whole vibe of the room instantly changes and people all of a sudden become self-conscious, they talk differently, they change their posture, their tonality alters, and they become more formal
The moment the CEO walks out of the room people then visibly start to relax again. What’s going on here is that a human being has walked into the room and the assumption of this person is that they have some sort of prowess or elevated state. The reality is that this human being is just making things up as they go along just like everybody else is.
“Everyone tries to make up their version of reality and then try and encourage other people to comply”
The future leaders will be the ones who have the courage to say and reflect that they too are in a state of creation on a daily basis. What the CEO has isn’t some special capability or gift, but more likely a result of circumstance and intent, rather than a gift they have been given.
This trait amongst senior leaders is a weakness because it creates a divide between the senior executives and their staff. Finding more of a sense of equality would be a lot healthier for the business.
“Millennials aren’t impressed with status anymore; they are impressed by competence”
3. Become “other conscious”
Always think and design everything you communicate from the audience’s points of view. The way you position or frame your messages needs to be within their reality.
Let’s say you have an idea or strategy you want to get across. You can’t persuade someone from your position towards theirs, you must start with their world view first. There are a couple of benefits to this way of communicating. First of all you start to think the way that they think which means you understand their frames of references and what’s important to them – this will give you the framing references for your content.
The other benefit is that you are focusing on someone other than yourself. The biggest mistake people have in communicating is that they become self-conscious, and they worry what people will think of them. I am sure everyone has been in an interview where you have thought to yourself while communicating an idea, “I hope this is making sense, and I am making a good impression.”
An internal dialogue that is self-conscious in its origins will immediately impact on your ability to communicate a concept to someone. Become what Colin calls “other conscious.”
4. Change the self-talk in your head
Try to get yourself familiar with the idea of consistent commitment to excellence, which is that you never have a bad day or an average meeting. Every meeting you attend, you should go in with the intent that the meeting is going to be significant rather than being in cruise control like most people.
Tell yourself that this meeting will be useful and that what you will say, do and participate in will leave the people you encounter better off as a result of your contribution – this is how reputation is built.
Most people will have good days or moments rather than having excellence as the norm. Ever noticed how in sport the great players are consistently great? The reason this occurs is because of their consistency, which ends up building their reputation.
If you would like to know more about Colin’s training programs or watch some videos of him in action, then visit his website colinjamesmethod.com