Today’s fast-paced business environment requires leaders who can create impact and influence others with sound communication practices. Stacey Hanke has trained over 15,000 executives to influence, persuade, sell, or simply effectively communicate face-to-face with a clear message. Below, Stacey explains the concept of “deliberate practice” and why it can help when it comes to influence:
If you’ve ever played a sport, musical instrument or participated in any similar pursuit that takes muscle memory, you know that improvement never occurs without practice. For example, let’s say you have been playing golf for 10+ years and you’re tired of your family and friends telling you what to do. You decide to hire a coach.
Your coach is going to ask you to show them your swing. They want to observe your style. After you swing the golf club several times, the coach begins to pick it apart. This is where some of my clients will give up.
Your subconscious tells you that if it doesn’t feel right or comfortable, it must be wrong. But if you take your golf coach’s advice and practice, suddenly your swing improves. Enhancing your influence is the same concept.
Being influential through your verbal and non-verbal communication Monday to Monday® requires deliberate practice. You can’t read how-to’s in a book or rely on your title and comfort level to be influential.
Harvard Business Review explained this concept of deliberate practice: “It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well – or even at all. Research across domains shows that it’s only by working at what you can’t do that you turn into the expert you want to become.”
Therefore, get comfortable being uncomfortable. Feeling uncomfortable is a completely normal reaction any time we start practicing a new skill that is outside our comfort zone or beyond our current competence. How many people do you think stop practicing on enhancing their influence skills because it felt a bit awkward or uncomfortable? A lot!
This week, take on the four-step commitment!
- Clarity. When you’re clear on what you want to achieve, you’ll be able to recognize when you’ve reached your desired outcome.
- Feedback. It takes discipline to ask for feedback. Do what it takes to get motivated and focused so you can take action on the feedback, which will get you to your desired outcomes.
- Take a look. The only way you can clearly know how others perceive you is through video and audio recordings. At your next meeting, simply press “record” on your tech gadget. You also can audio record your phone conversations.
- Trust. Recording yourself is useless without immediate playback. When you review your playback, do you come across the way you want to? What do you want to enhance or improve? Nothing is more honest than your video playback.