A Journey Towards Well-Being
Communication Secrets I Never Thought Of
…Say “I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name” and, if the other person replies “It’s Jane”, you can say “Of course I know it’s Jane, it’s your last name I cannot recall.”
~ (Secrets of Confident Communicators, page 46.)
Where has this advice been all my life?
Or, at least for my life after undergoing ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) many years ago… which I still blame for my current memory lapses like where I forget your name within seconds of meeting you. Especially if you are a sexy looking young male- then I just go red and forget my own name.
So I am reading “Secrets of Confident Communicators” because I like to research on this blog and see what’s out there in the self-help world. Alright, I also picked it up because I feel like I need both a) confidence and b) communication skills… and I like secrets. (I’m the best secret keeper- I forget within an hour anyway but I am always thrilled to be in on something special.)
Now I’ve made myself look like I am a nervous pushover who also has a weird form of amnesia. I am none of the above, believe it or not! I just think there’s always opportunity to be better- and I caught myself almost quoting my workout video- so why not strive for even better?
I’ve also learned from this book that confident communicators create their own powerful “brand” of themselves- “the impression you make, the way you behave and the image you project”. It even specifies the type of pen you use. (Which I found ridiculous but at the same time I have to write with a black Bic Velocity gel pen or else I go to the nearest Staples and buy a pack.)
Part of branding yourself, and communicating effectively, includes your “look”. The book recommends: “be aware of your ‘default’ position when your thoughts wander and you stare blankly into space”.
After having been accused of having what my co-worker calls “anxious resting face” where I perpetually look like I might turn into a panicked chicken who is about to be slaughtered at any given moment, I have been more aware what my face is doing. It’s actually hard to not look anxious even when I’m not actually anxious but then again I probably get anxious wondering if my look is anxious. Whatever, it’s better than having her “angry resting face” where she looks like she might bite your head off if you say anything. (Which also contributes to my “anxious resting face” in the workplace, I assume.) Our conversations basically consisted of “what’s wrong?” and “are you mad at me?” until we realized it was just our faces in general.
Good life lesson to learn- control your blank face so that nobody knows why it’s blank… or smile and nod all of the time. I do more of that and it works pretty well, until I realize I’ve just smiled and nodded my way to taking on another task that I don’t necessarily want and hence the pushover dilemma.
So, I’ve got some work to do- what about you, fan club? Where is your resting face at?
About the Author
Tara Richardson is a Peer Support Specialist at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ontario. Her own personal journey through mental illness has led her to be a passionate and dedicated advocate for mental health recovery. Tara is an aspiring author who is in the (long) process of writing and editing her memoir compiled from journal entries beginning at age 11. Tara has a B.A. in Psychology, a diploma in Social Service Work, and a certificate in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Tara can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org Non-creepy fan mail gladly welcomed.