- Improve your personal and professional communication with Dr Ro
- September/October, 2020
- Hotel Sofitel, London Gatwick
Episode 063 – CWI™ Special – How to improve your communication in your career and the workplace – from Dr Ro’s Communicating With Impact™ Live WebClass
Here’s a special audio extract from Dr Ro’s Live Communicating With Impact™ WebClass. Where he taught an online audience how to improve their communication within their career and the workplace.
The WebClass was broken into two parts.
Part one focused on solving the most common workplace communication mistakes, by using Dr Ro’s CWI™ System.
In part two, Dr Ro coached live on screen a participant who had a challenge with communication in their career which involved: Lack of confidence, having their ideas taken by others and being cut off during senior meetings.
The coaching extract from this web class is shared to help you self-coach. By using the tools Dr Ro shares whilst coaching, you too can create a personal turning point.
To be invited to the next WebClass simply complete the Free Communication test: https://seekardo.com/test/
Dr Ro: Welcome to our first web class.
Today we’re going to talk about careers. This might apply to your job. It might apply to job interviews. You may have kids, teenagers n going off to into a career. It might even translate across into your business.
What we’re going to talk about today comes up in every situation. I had a situation today with a mortgage and we had some challenges and it resulted in a very quick dialogue with my mortgage broker and today you will see an example of how if you expedite things, the communication between myself and them was efficient, fast, and it meant we were able to pivot really quickly.
This can be applied in any situation and I want to talk about how to get to a result quickly, deal with the stuff going on in our head, but still communicate what we need out of the situation, so we don’t let circumstances, stress, pressure, nervousness affect our communication.
As ultimately we still have to get a result in any communication.
Originally I qualified in civil engineering many years ago, back in the 90s. I got my PhD degree and a PhD, I come from a mixed Asian background. My mother and my father originally came from Sri Lanka, so I grew up very conventionally and stayed very hard, got my head down and did all the things I was supposed to do as a good young Asian lad.
I had a real passion for communicating and personal development at a young age. I read my first personal development book at 18 years of age not long after my father died and then at 19, 20 I was in front of audiences, mainly young teenage kids and college students just trying to talk about their beliefs and I was learning so much, I was like a sponge.
Over 30 years I’ve been in front of audiences, I’ve worked in the corporate world, I’ve been a mentor, coach to help people both on the overall philosophy of the company’s beliefs, values, but also communication. I’ve been buying properties for about 20 years now and I’ve been teaching that for the last 20 years as.
I developed a system called communicating with impact and wrote a book called Turning point.
That is about personal development and there are some aspects of communication, but more about self-communication and how we build ourselves up to communicate really effectively.
Now today we’re going to tackle the subject of career and when I go through this with you I’m going to start by teaching and then pivot during the course of the talk to open up to you. And if you’ve never sat with a live event with me where we’ve done intervention work I’m going to coach anyone open to being coached.
All communication, whether it’s me today having a conversation with my amazing mortgage broker, or it’s me talking to you here or it’s me over the weekend I was up in Birmingham speaking to a live audience. Or if you’re sat down one-to-one having an interview doesn’t matter what it is there are three primary areas of communication.
One is you, the person that is communicating the second is them, the other person that’s receiving information from you and the environment is the tool and environment within which you are communicating.
As an example, this is me, Dr Ro speaking to you, them is you, the audience watching and then the environment is the zoom environment. It doesn’t matter what situation I was talking to my daughter. It was my daughter and I, the environment was suddenly lots of noise going on and one of my kids was running around.
We have to be mindful that at any one instant there are those three things happening at any one time.
Think about career but remember this applies to everything.
There are 38 components to communication and these components make up the overall system. There’s preparation going for a job interview then there’s state management, so how is my mental state going into this interview?
Then there’s the communication itself.
So how is the communication, how am I flowing? How do I get my message over?
Then there’s the other person at my job interview, the boss or the future boss, have I got connection with them?
It’s one thing to have you sorted out but now what about them? Am I connected to the person interviewing me? Have I made an impact with them? Have you created enough impact to get what you’re looking to do because ultimately you then want to influence that person?
It’s taken me 30 years of collating this and over the years people have paid me a lot of money to go communicate on one-to-one.
I’ve trained speakers to go make a lot of money at professional level, CEOs and heads of companies. I used to do all these things in the process, but never compressed into one place until about three years ago.
Then, of course, the environment, are you being interviewed on zoom? What’s the setting like? All those factors impact your overall communication. Within each of these now when you go for an interview for example outcome, message, timing, practice, mindset, physiology, presence, vitality, engagement, archetypes, vocal power, how are you projecting yourself?
How do you deal with rejection? Are you authentic? What’s your style of delivery? Are you watching them? Have you got rapport? Are you delivering with certainty? Can you get your energy up or has it flattened off halfway through the interview or the conversation?
Do you have social proof, NLP skills, are you able to mind? How do you sell yourself or your product, your service? Have you got the right equipment, layout? We’ve got support. We’ve got distractions.
Before you think that’s a lot to take in I just want to show you that in any one form of communication these are all the different elements that play out and some of them you will naturally do and others you’re thinking, that’s a good point that’s an area where I’m feeling a bit weak and that’s the point of these web classes.
A quick thing to do is to ask questions of people that keeps them engaged and then you move into that level of engagement with them.
So career, what are some of the typical mistakes people make?
Number one poor preparation, preparation is actually about understanding what the end result is you’re looking to achieve. So, for a lot of people they might have facts and figures and information, get the CV ready and are like this is all about me.
But actually the key to preparation is understanding when you steer this communication ultimately where are you steering it to?
Because you might’ve been really well-prepared, but you steer them down a different path and they’ve lost the focus they haven’t bought into you, because you sold them a red herring.
Think about the next time you’ve got a board meeting, possibly you are trying to get a pay rise, presentation to your peers in your career, going for a job interview, whatever it is, ask yourself a simple question, what is ultimately the thing I’m trying to achieve from this?
What do I need to prepare for it because you just need to prepare for that outcome?
Only prepare the material that is relevant to what you’re going into because often what happens is you’ve got all the preparation and you spew information on the other person and you’ve overcooked it. I’m going to refer specifically here when it comes to career with self doubt, so double guessing yourself.
Do they trust me? Are they going to take me seriously? When you communicate with people what would you say your biggest challenge is? It is the youngsters they don’t get me, maybe I’m too old but they don’t seem to take me seriously.
Even though you might think you’re 45 years of age and you’ve got confidence there’s a little bit of self-doubt as to whether you can’t necessarily connect with people who may be new, age gap, et cetera.
You’ve got to check in and be brutally honest with yourself about where there’s a slight block. It might be a communication block for you in your career, even to the point of you never putting yourself forward for standing up in front of the rest of the team and presenting. Or you’re always nervous about being the person that has to host a meeting.
This is quite important because communication problems in the career may not be the way you communicate but the fact that you’re holding back resisting actually going up and taking the time to do this as well.
This to me is like one of the biggest ones. It’s just not having a clear outcome and so much of the work that we’ve done over the last three, four years working with the CWI system every time somebody comes up, every time I’m working somebody or doing a coaching session and my question is what’s the outcome you’re looking to achieve?
Because then if we’re doing a short video to camera maybe it’s a training video for your job maybe you are being asked to stand up for half an hour to talk at lunchtime and you’re thinking get all the information pack as much as I can in, my question is what’s the outcome?
You get that right and anything changes, so we think out everything and that’s why number four is so important.
Think about an interview: what’s the outcome you want to get the job?
So now we need to work backwards from that. So what do they do? What’s the role you want? What are the key messages and if you ask me how many should I have?
Three to five is the maximum you go above that and people get confused. If someone starts throwing information at you when it comes in too much and too fast, it’s like going into a restaurant to open up the menu.
I love a menu that is relatively simple because it’s easy to make a choice. It’s the same thing when the menu is too busy when the conversation or a pitch, presentation, job interview, pay rise, board meeting simplicity actually gets the impact you want.
Then finally it’s just being nervous.
What I mean by that is, if you’re going maybe for an interview, pay rise, and present to your peers. You get up there and typically the classic thing is flipchart slides and because you’re so nervous because you’re thinking I’ve got to get this right, 90% of the issues I have when people communicate to start with is they’re so focused on themselves. How do I look?
It has to be perfect and you get up there and you’re so embroiled in this that you forget to get the connection, but inside the connection one of the key components is rapport. You haven’t gone up and broken the ice, you haven’t got the board on your side, you haven’t got the CEO on your side.
You want them to really like you, love you, get a sense of who you are and soften into it and then you do your presentation and then while you’re doing it that authenticity comes out and they go I like that person.
As opposed to loads of stats and they go okay, thank you so much that was very insightful. Okay Debbo saying he’s nervous okay, let’s talk about that. I am assuming that the nervousness is linked to the fact of how you’re perceived. Just explain to me where the concerns are specifically. Is this to do with a presentation, a talk or meeting?
The question is this, what’s the outcome of my meeting? What am I trying to achieve? Let’s say I’m nervous because you know I know my stuff? Are they going to treat me seriously?
Be clear on what the outcome of that meeting is, you can’t go into meetings with just a general we’re going to have a chat.
The meeting needs to have a direction.
The first thing for all of you in this situation is you have to state clearly we’re going to have a meeting on Friday and we will be discussing this with an outcome of achieving this, really black and white, boom, boom, boom.
Same thing with the meeting. If you go into the meeting Debbo and you feel like I need to impress, the best way to impress them is to be clear, concise, focused and directed and if somebody steers you in a different direction say I really appreciate the input that is extremely valuable.
The focus of today’s meeting is this, let’s stay on that.
Jasvinder is talking about being in a very male dominated boardroom 100% agree with that. But it’s the same thing, particularly the male ego kicks in. They are trying to impose their outcomes.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a Jasvinder or you go in with a female energy and you’ve got these big blokes around you, you can still have an immense presence or if you’re a big bloke but you’ve got a quiet voice and people don’t take you seriously.
All these factors play out, but guess what, the minute you go thank you very much Jonathan. I appreciate it but if you remember the focus of today’s meeting is this, and they go yes. You bring it back to point.
Keep the compass focused on the North.
You have to re-set that North because sometimes people’s compasses are all over the place. This comes down to the next part which is state management. So what’s the mindset going into this? Debbo does not go in thinking to himself shit, I’m getting confused. What if they don’t take me seriously.
Jasvinder’s thinking I’m going into an environment where there are a lot of blokes. The mindset has to be, you are a communicating with impact master and when you go into that you are in control of that outcome.
You’ve got the compass in your hand and the compass has a North and it has four checkpoints or five checkpoints or three checkpoints and the checkpoints are messages that you need to get across.
Anything that is not relevant to that particular meeting, or even the interview I’ve heard people say the person interviewing me got side tracked, or if you get side tracked, and it’s human nature to communicate around subjects that we feel very comfortable with and tend to avoid communicating about subjects that we are less comfortable with.
So what happens is, some people go into an interview or a meeting and they’ll go to the I’m comfortable with this and they start talking about it. They tend to lean on the leg that they feel strongest on and they don’t then move on to the leg they are less comfortable with.
Maybe that’s the one the other person needs to hear and especially if it’s part of your outcome. Not knowing the subject, what I would say is get prepared and anticipate the questions that are likely to come up. Sonia type in first of all, what’s the area you want to talk about?
Which specific area of communication and in the career are you feeling that frustration?
Sonia: Really briefly and working up the levels in my current job for the NHS and I’ve been thrown into a whole world. I’ve come out of my bubble and have to deal with directors and managers in other departments. It is great and I’m enjoying it, my husbands really good at making that connection with people and I’m like how do you do it?
How do you get them to care about you? Get them to help you? Stay on your side?
It is creating a story for getting them to care about you, he’s got really good emotional intelligence and he just gets in there with people and I just I think sometimes I can be very, very technical and I just want to get the job done.
I’m very efficient so I recognise that but it’s just trying to get the soft skills and building that rapport with people.
Dr Ro: Immediate feedback and I want the audience to type in their first response to this, that is, how do you all perceive Sonia?
As I disagree with what you just said there. I think it’s a belief but not the truth about who you are. Lovely, confident, friendly, genuine, kind and caring, honest, smart, approachable, open, confident, bright, caring. Sindhu saying, a little bit of self-doubt. Karen’s saying good communicator, confident, pleasant, approachable. Debbo is honest. Natural, honest, personable, thoughtful.
So basically anything you just said there about emotional intelligence about Sunny you got it girl.
When it comes to communicating with them how they perceive you, I just need you to see that from our perspective, you have a very, very authentic nature, so that is not an issue.
I have had people who are not they’re trying to be somebody they are or not, you are trying to be sunny and yet you’re being authentic. We’ve got to shift the focus so that you don’t need to be sunny, you just need to bloom now because you’re already a very authentic person. One of your challenges is your style of delivery.
There’s four styles of delivery. There is a commander which is very authoritative. There’s the messenger that delivers lots of information, usually very quickly. Then there’s the empathiser who listens and relates to people on a soft level and then there’s the empathiser who is quite vulnerable when they’re communicating with people.
Of those four types, which one do you think you are?
Sonia: Probably messenger.
Dr Ro: Yes, well spotted. Now what I would recommend you do is just move ahead. You’ve got to come down here now, so preparation, outcome, message. Give me an example of where you’ve been feeling this.
Sonia: Trying to speak to new people like an introductory meeting where I’m trying to find out more about the role I’m doing. No one’s told me this, but it’s kind of like get them on my side.
Dr Ro: For Sonia the fact that there is lack of clarity even walking in there your brain’s going where do I want this conversation to go? I think and even the way your face is reacting I get a sense there’s a little bit of fear in you to have that voice.
Dr Ro: This is really not about the person, it’s not even about the subjects. I actually think this is a little bit of self-worth going on here and in fact as you’re feeling emotional as I’m talking to you now, is that correct?
Dr Ro: This is about you and it’s not just about that little voice that is coming up and hijacking the outcome, the message and all those other things. What are your top qualities?
You’re a good listener, gentle. King is saying you are equal, so whoever you’re going to me you are you’re equal to that person. Give yourself permission to walk in there and say okay, in fact, you know the phrase I use Sonia when I’m teaching a speaker to go onto stage, I just say to them, you own the stage.
Just write that down.
I own the meeting. I own the conversation. I own the seat if you’re sitting down.
If you’re the only Asian lady in there and they’re all middle-aged white guys I can imagine you’ve got some interesting stuff going on there, but when you walk in you gracefully walk in and you’re a wonder woman.
My fiancé is Danish and the history of Vikings that had shield maidens. These were incredible women who had this immense power. She had femininity and if you meet my other half she’s got femininity and this presence about her. You have that but you’ve got to let her out now Sonia.
That was a sigh to say I really want to do that. I’m talking to Sonia this applies to all of us. Because we all, at any one time in communication will always have a little this self-doubt come up in a situation and we have to own that space.
So when you’re communicating it starts with the internal communication in our psychology so you’ve really got to work on the language that you use and that means communicating internally really powerful words. If you don’t do this, then I tell you now whatever is going on internally magnifies externally.
You wouldn’t even be having these meetings with people at that level. If whoever you’re working with doesn’t believe that you are credible and bear in mind, how many people your age, particularly Asian women who by now have gone off in a different direction and followed a different part as the family said to do this X, Y, and Z.
You’ve obviously found the independence you’ve got that power, you got a partner you care about and here you are communicating in front of people you know, so I’m sorry but I don’t agree with your beliefs.
I’m taking your beliefs, throwing them out because you are powerful.
Sonia: I do want to release it, I’m brave enough to say yes help me, tell me what I need to hear.
Dr Ro: If that’s the case, you have to stop talking about it as though it’s in the future. From now on you are a great communicator. Next time you go into a meeting hold some of those words coming in from people.
When is the next meeting where this might come up?
Sonia: On Friday. When something goes bad I’m not very good at staying positive. I handle negatives personally sometimes.
Dr Ro: What’s the first thing you do?
Sonia: I’ll say how do I fix this?
Dr Ro: There is that internal language again. Remember to get your compass out and bring it back to the centre. So what’s the outcome of that meeting on Friday?
Sonia: The funny thing is they trust me and let me do what I want.
Dr Ro: Why do you think they trust you? You’re honest. She gets the work done. Alan is saying they believe in you. Debbo is saying you’re a good leader. Professional coming from Karen. You don’t seem like a bullshitter, now that to me goes back to authenticity that is simply the most important thing I want you to take away.
You’ve got to take some of these qualities with you and I want you between now and Friday to write down three core qualities that you can take into that meeting, in order to communicate. What would you like to take in there?
Sonia: WhenI’m being over spoken by someone. Someone else starts speaking and I don’t want to take that over and I want to command the meeting.
Dr Ro: You are a commander. Give an example of that.
Sonia: Giving an update on the work I’ve done and the steps I’ve taken.
So they’ll take a step of what I was doing and say this was done and this is such a good idea but they had nothing to do with it. I’m the one who needs feedback on it, but I’m the one who has done it 100% from start to finish and takes ownership.
Dr Ro: Part of the reason for that is because what’s happened is your previous lack of commanding has created a space.
Think of communication like a sponge and if you squeeze it stuff comes out of it, and if there are any voids the voids represent maybe lack of communicating something, lack of confidence and you let the sponge go.
Nature wants to fill those voids.
Think of the voids as other people around you who have got something to say, the water needs to go back in the sponge, the water the words to fill the communication and other people are trying to fill that because you’re not filling it. At the moment their perception is she is unlikely to say it let me say it.
Sonia: Yeah and they probably see that hesitance in me.
Dr Ro: What’s another word?
Dr Ro: Does that feel different to commander?
Everyone going into any situation has to think about this. The next time you go into a meeting what are three really strong qualities and I ask the question how are they different? If they’re too similar, ditch one.
Sonia: Probably similar.
Dr Ro: Which feels like the word that is most powerful, confident or commander?
Dr Ro: Part of the reason you feel that the commander is naturally confident anyway. We still need two other characteristics to take to the table. You are a commander, no bullshit and graceful communicator.
She’s smiling and that’s how you need to go in. What’s the sequence for you? Sonia has just given us a recipe, and that recipe is her recipe to go in there and really be able to sit in a slightly different way and deliver in a meeting, but every recipe can go wrong if you get the ingredients in the wrong order. So take a deep breath, Sonia, and we are going to walk in with you.
So we all sat on your shoulder as you walked into that meeting together and in your mind which one comes first. Is it grace, commanding, no bullshit?
Dr Ro: So you’ve walked into that room with grace and with grace comes a sense of purpose. Sonia walks in with a really graceful sense of purpose. She knows how she can steer the meeting.
She appreciates that sometimes people might speak up and she can gracelessly say, I appreciate your input there, let them just finish what I was saying and you can add to that. As I’m saying that Sonia I’m hoping this is going to your unconscious and you can hear some of my language patterns. You’ve got your outcome in front of you.
What comes next? Is it no bullshit or commander?
Dr Ro: Now you’ve gone in and sat down at the meeting and they’re starting to ask a few questions and, maybe that little bit of doubt sticks its head up and basically I want you to imagine you have a really big pair of feet.
Think of a cartoon character with massive feet. It could be Mickey Mouse.
What is a pair of feet you’d like to quietly just press on those fears and just crush? What is yours Sonia?
Sonia: Krusty the clown.
Dr Ro: So that little doubt sticks its head up and you’re just going to tread on it and you say no you’re going to stay down and you do it gracefully. We’ve walked with a graceful sense of purpose, your compass is set.
I just want you to picture sitting down and write down your core outcome.
What is the outcome you want from this meeting?
What are three to five key messages that Sonia wants to get across before you even get into the meeting and you’re going to state that before the meeting starts or when you get to that point where you have to get involved in the conversation.
It’s a no bullshit statement. This is how it is. This is how it’s going to be delivered and appreciate some of you might have something to say but I’d like to just get these across. Take a deep breath and open your eyes for a minute, how is that feeling?
Sonia: So good. This is going to help me with every meeting I go in to now.
Dr Ro: Look at that face. Just imagine you walk in there now with that grace, that power. Show us how your body and your face feels.
Sonia: I feel really calm now.
Dr Ro: I’m getting messages like, confident, beautiful, you rock girl, she’s going to own the room and do it. Wish I could be there Terry is saying. That exercise is just five minutes. Imagine just having my voice whispering in your ear before a meeting.
Harms tells them what I do when I get in the room and what I do to prepare before coming to the camera when I’m running the big events.
Harms: There is an awesome trampoline, Ro gets balancing and gets into the right state.
Even just for this session it was about getting the right frame of mind. The right state and the preparation was key.
This is a one-hour class we’ve been preparing for hours.
Dr Ro: Our lymphatic System.
It is the system that gets toxins out of our body and the heart pumps all the blood and it pushes through to the lymph system.
The lymph system only works if you move. If you can just go for a brisk walk and I had an event at the weekend in Birmingham and each time I had a break I just walked around the back of the room and reminded myself I’m here to serve everybody.
You’ll be saying I am graceful, I am commander, no bullshitter, I’ve got a sense of purpose and this is my compass. If you’re worried about being stressed go from five to three messages. What are the three things you want to get across?
Now I’ll tell you it won’t be perfect the first time.
Have a simple thing, maybe inside your hand you draw a little North like your compass just that little anchor. I have my reminder if I’m talking in front of a really tough audience I have a picture of my kids on the phone. That’s my North star.
Anything I’m doing is irrelevant relative to those two amazing lives that I have got and I’m protective of. What’s something for you?
Have you got someone in the family you care about? Is there a person or people or an environment, a space, a moment in time in history that has so much meaning, what would it be?
Sonia: I lost my dad last year.
Dr Ro: Sorry to hear that.
Sonia: Just going through that process, everything just gets put into perspective.
Dr Ro: You know what he’s watching you.
Sonia: That’s who I talk to.
Dr Ro: That is your final point tonight is that from now on, dad’s there and he’s helping you hold the compass.
Do you have anything of his that reminds you of him or you keep on you?
Sonia: He worked at the airport and gave me a men’s AA watch and at the time I hated it as I was tiny and it filled up my whole wrist and I was the only one that had an ugly watch.
I found it the other day and I’ve got it on my desk.
Dr Ro: I believe everything in life happens for a reason.
This conversation tonight was all about me actually reminding you that dad is trying to say to you, you need to keep me close to you. How did we get to this point in the conversation?
Pure synchronicity, everything aligns and he loves you dearly and the point is that if he’s on your wrist any meeting you go into. He’s like you’re my daughter. You have power, you have beauty, grace, purpose.
Sonia: I can’t believe we have got round to this.
That watch now is your North, it brings you back to centre. You’ve got this special gift and you’ve got the power. If you think about a watch you’ve got the four points, the north which is now dad.
Then you’ve got grace which is 3 o’clock you’ve got commander which is 6 o’clock and then you’ve got no bullshit and are grateful. Four things on the watch.
Come on, he was trying to send you a message. He was just saying I’m getting you ready for Dr Ro’s talk.
Sonia: My dad is the biggest no bullshitter that’s where I get it from.
Dr Ro: If you go around the clock nine comes back to dad you’ve got the formula. I’m getting goosebumps because who would have guessed we’d get to this point, just beautiful.
Sonia: I was this close to not saying anything. I was thinking of letting someone else do it.
Dr Ro: What’s lovely about these coaching sessions is you never know who’s going to come up. I just think we all have the answer and if I’ve got the tools I’ll find a way to get the answer.
I just think everyone has a way to get themselves unlocked and the beautiful thing is that what we’ve just done there if you look at the feedback everyone is thinking I can do that. We’ve all got our own tools.
Sonia: Thank you so much and for the comments everyone.
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