Today I’m letting you in on a big communication secret. It’s overcommunication. What I mean by overcommunication is going beyond what appears to be necessary to get your clear message across. It means being more intentional and thoughtful in what you say and how you say it. Here’s an example.
Normal communication: I’m not sure if I can make it to your party next Saturday, I’ll let you know. (Truth: There is no way I’m going to that party because I want to rest on Saturday and this person is not someone I want to spend that much time with anyway.)
Overcommunication: I appreciate your inviting me, but I have other plans for next Saturday.
Overcommunication doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes, it means you become more clear, and then so does everyone else around you. It means being more truthful.
Most people simply don’t bother to even think about overcommunication. I know I never did until just over a year ago. I have made many mistakes in trying to be clear, rather than sticking with my tendency to want to be liked. Nevertheless, being crystal clear has helped me and it’s helped my clients be more powerful as well. Early this year one client got clear on making some big structural changes in her life, and shortly thereafter got not 1, but 2 job offers.
Overcommunication is something that’s made a huge difference in the way people respond to me. That’s because my message is a lot more clear. It doesn’t mean that absolutely everyone I encounter thinks I’m fabulous (the morons!) 😉 Overcommunication can become your second nature when you let go of wanting everyone else to like you.
Donald Trump advocates overcommunication. So does Seth Godin. Another good thing about overcommunication is that you don’t have to get up extra early to practice this, nor does it cost you a cent. And yet the benefits of overcommunication include abundance, peace and an incredible level of authentic self-confidence. Here are some tips to get you started on overcommunication.
1. Be clear with yourself. Do you really want something, say a new job, or is it more true that it’s time to upgrade your job and you should want a new job? Do you want to be on that committee, or did you feel manipulated into agreeing to serve? It’s go to review what you really want and what you really like in your life. That helps you overcommunicate with ease.
2. Watch your language. Is is more true that you can’t attend that seminar, or that you don’t want to? Is it true that you can’t exercise, or that you don’t feel like it? Is it true that you have to pick up your kids from soccer, or that you want to because you’re so glad they’re getting that exercise?
3. You don’t have to explain your choices. Being clear about what you want is not the same thing as expecting everyone else to be so very happy for you. Overcommunication often involves making sure people got your point. You can ask them to repeat what they think you said. That’s a time-honored communication tip. What you don’t have to ask, or even imply, is "Is that all right with you?"
4. Even when you overcommunicate, the universe does not revolve around you. Hate to break the news, but….we are all connected to each other at some deep level. Overcommunication does not free you from consequences. Everything you do, I do, affects other people. But the thing is, trying to fulfill other people’s agendas is not necessarily helpful to them. And it certainly doesn’t help if you’re doing something that you resent. Being truthful is ultimately the best thing you can do for everyone in your life. Overcommunication helps you get that truth across to others.