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3 Don’ts That Crush Your Ability to Succeed

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Imagine trying to be successful without being able to communicate effectively with other people. Whether it’s success in your personal or professional life, one thing should be clear, you need to know how to communicate with other humans to succeed. You can overcome a lot of obstacles on your road to success but one you cannot just bypass, crawl over, or avoid is communication. It’s a skill you need to learn.

The trouble is, there are three “Don’ts” that crush our ability to succeed. I first discovered these three no’s while attending an ACA meeting. ACA is an organization that teaches people how to deal with growing up in dysfunctional families. I was encouraged by a mentor to attend even though I was sure dysfunction didn’t apply to me and my upbringing.

One such dysfunction is that we never learn how to relate or communicate with people in a constructive and powerful way. The thing is, we don’t even realize we aren’t good communicators. Why? Because we’re playing by a set of rules we adopted while living in a house of dysfunction.

And this lack of ability to communicate powerfully becomes a huge stumbling block on our road to success — and even in our ability to find happiness. The question is, “What, specifically, happens in these homes that stifles our learning to communicate?” The answer is that there are three no’s, either spoken or unspoken, that crush the spirit of communication in our homes. Sometimes these don’ts are subtle, sometimes they are very clear and very loud. Either way, they become our “truth” about how we should show up in the world.

Here are the 3 Don’ts that crush our ability to succeed:

1. Don’t Talk

Imagine you’re 8 or 10 years old and your dad comes home from work after a tough day at the office. You’ve got questions about why a hippopotamus has such a fat face. So, you start explaining and setting up your question when your dad looks at you with that look. That “don’t talk to me right now look”.

It doesn’t take too many attempts for you to come to believe that what annoys people is talking to them. As a result, you don’t talk unless someone talks to your first. Even then, we keep answers short.

In other homes, it may be much more direct. I have a coaching client who was told by his father “Do not speak unless spoken to.” You can’t get much more clear than that. Finally, “don’t talk” may mean don’t talk about anything important or too personal.

The bottom line is “Don’t Talk” crushes any hope of effective communication. Next time you’re visiting the folks at home, or visiting siblings, see if you can spot the “don’t talk” rule in effect.

“Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.”

2. Don’t Trust

If you live in a world where most people are not to be trusted, it’s going to be very difficult to communicate openly and honestly with people, especially people with whom you want to have a working relationship.

In my home, there were always “bad guys” out in the world. Maybe it was my dad’s boss, or the government, or that suspicious neighbor down the street. My guess is there were “bad guys” in your house too. And we all know we don’t trust bad guys.

The trouble is, we were never given specifics about what makes a bad guy bad. We just picked up that there are a lot of bad people out there. After all, when you live in a house for 18-20 years you’re going to store away a lot of conversations about bad guys.

The other way we learn “don’t trust” is through broken promises. For instance, when our mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparents, or other people we look up to promises to invest time with us and then something happens and they don’t… again… then, our excitement turns to sadness.  We quickly learn “don’t trust” because, well, trusting hurts and never works out.

3. Don’t Feel

This third don’t is often the result of the other two. It’s a coping mechanism. If we’re not to talk and if we’re not to trust, then the natural next step is “don’t feel.” As I said, this tends to be a result of wanting to talk, being shut down, and experiencing pain.

It’s a result of trusting, our trust being betrayed, and us experiencing the pain. Repeat that cycle a few times and we learn it’s probably best if we simply “don’t feel” from the start. As you think back to your home growing up, you’ll probably begin to see one, two, or all three of these “don’ts” were present in your home.

What’s tough to understand is that most of these rules were also rules in our parents’ homes. It’s a learned behavior. Unfortunately, many of our parents didn’t have access to articles like this one or to sites like Addicted2success where they could notice and unlearn these subtle but deadly rules.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

So, next time you notice that little voice in your head saying, “don’t talk”, “don’t trust”, or “don’t feel”, question where it comes from and then ask if not talking, not trusting or not feeling is going to improve or crush your ability to succeed in that moment. If it’s crush, then speak up, trust, and feel into the power and opportunity of the moment.

What No’s do you have trouble with the most? Comment below!

Sean McCool is an award-winning copywriter, business consultant, and coach to the highly committed. Sean's clients say he offers them a perspective that allows them the ability to see possibility unlike anything they've seen before. From that place of possibility, his clients are able to take bold new action and create a new future for themselves and their customers and clients. You can connect with Sean through his website www.SeanMcCool.com or follow him on Facebook.

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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