Ah, perfection. Have you ever turned down a speaking engagement because you tend to trip over your words? Have you ever ended a conversation before getting into the meat of it because you weren't sure how to start? Have you ever struggled to find the right words or completely misread the room?
We've all been there. But if it feels like these challenges might be holding you back, it might be time to take a slightly different approach. Even with the best intentions and great communication tools (which I can teach you), conversations can still fall apart. We can only control our side of the interaction. And so, we need to let go of our need for perfection.
As CEO of Hands-Off CEO, Mandi Ellefson helps consultants scale their agencies, creating rapid growth while reducing reliance on the principal. She is a successful businesswoman and a sought-after speaker, but she struggled with communication for most of her life. She missed a lot of unwritten social cues and was once criticized, in front of a live audience, for her public speaking skills. "I've had to learn so many things to overcome what the rest of the world would consider such huge flaws," says Ellefson. "I found mechanisms to be able to communicate using my own strengths. It compensates for not being as eloquent and allows me to be effective without being perfect."
How did she do it?
When we consistently show up authentically and with integrity and turn toward the other person, letting them know that they matter to us, we build trust and credibility. You don't have to be the perfect communicator. That does not define who you are.
Your message, your mission, and your work are what matters. And if you're stuck in a perfectionistic cycle, consider the other person's needs rather than staying stuck in your internal negative dialogue.
People work with people they trust, even those with imperfections. "You don't have to be perfect," says Ellefson. "Bravely take action forward, ignore the noise around you, and just keep going because you are on a mission. You're here to change the world."
©Copyright 2022 Debra Roberts, LCSW All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced without permission from the publisher.
A version of this article was initially published on Inc.com as: You Don't Need to Be Perfect to Be an Effective Communicator
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