Ever wonder why people don’t get what you’re saying? Or they don’t remember (supposedly) what you told them? Or they interpret it in a way that happens to be more convenient to them that what you originally meant? Your communication is far more than the words you say or write, it’s part of how you are perceived by others. That’s why a huge part of the power of a message is the who says it; it’s your communication force field.
The strength of your communication force field is the result of how you interpret what is going on around you.
In 2002 I was teaching communication courses at East Carolina University, a job I started in 1997. I met a colleague, an ex-cop turned communication instructor whose real name I finally forgot, but we’ll call him Bob. I met Bob on multiple occasions (at least 6 times!) and each time it was like Groundhog Day; he not only never remembered my name, he never even remembered meeting me. My communication force field at that time was weak, especially outside my home. I did not feel confident as a communications instructor at the university and I was much more focused on communicating with my children and my students.
This communication force field is not about simply thinking positively (but it helps). Your heart and brain actually give off electromagnetic waves, the heart more so than the brain. These waves are shaped by the emotions you feel. Stress, anxiety, worry and self-doubt weaken your communication force field. Your emotional state is shaped by the way you interpret what is going on in your life right now. Do you see a trend?
Of course there are many habits that can strengthen your communication force field, including:
– Specific body positions (aka powerful body language.)
– Going beyond what is expected.
– Thinking out your message from others’ points of view.
– Regular follow-up and follow through on projects.
– Being enthusiastic.
– Thinking and acting outside all boxes.
– Expecting a positive outcome not matter what.
– Dressing up more than you have to.
– Pretending that you’ve already made it to where you want to be.
But there’s one factor that drives these habits, one which helps you constantly raise the bar of your own personal leadership and thus builds your communication force field. That factor is this: consistently adopting the best possible interpretation of people, situations and events.
Say you feel like your boss is micromanaging you. Blech, right! Stop and look for alternative explanations:
- The boss is lost and doesn’t know what else to do.
- The boss wants your project to be an overwhelming success so she’s on top of every detail.
- The boss is trying to be helpful.
You’re not really sure what’s going on with her, but give her the benefit of the doubt, and see how your feelings change, you change and the situation get better!
Here’s one simple example of how your interpretations invisibly shape your actions: One is the Eeyore Model: Do things interpreting yourself as the victim, the one who never gets ahead, the doormat, the hopeless, then everything you do and say reflects this interpretation.
Then you have the James Bond Model: You know you have the best people behind you, the best clothes ever made, the best equipment, and you know everything is absolutely working out for your best, even when they’re shooting real bullets at you.
People follow your energy. So if you believe things are working in your favor, so will others and they’ll act accordingly. Try channeling a bit of James Bond this week and see what happens. Watch how you take the James Bond interpretations of things and let us know what happens!