Except that's a paradox isn't it?
I think a little background is important here: a lot of my peers who coach and train people in how to communicate are actors. They are used to it. I was listening to Mark Rylance on Desert Island disks while I was away on holiday and he summed it when talking about his early career...
"I think I had some issues with honesty too. I don't think I was able to be honest. I needed to be liked too much. I think that's the kind of miners dust of an actors life, that you are a professional liar, and you can not only lie to others, you can lie to yourself."
For me, interpersonal communication should be all about authenticity and a little bit about acting.
Let me explain.
When a client came to me, and said “I have a gig next week, and I need to be better between songs" then acting and interpersonal communication really came to the fore. I needed to make a difference to them immediately.
However there needed to be a secondary process going on between us as the acting will only get them so far. In some ways the acting and basic skills are what a paramedic would do to you in order to get you through the journey to A&E.... They aren't and shouldn't be, the end in themselves.
We also explored how she spoke to herself, her intra-personal communication (very dismissively, similar to how she was with fans when she was tired) and how she'd been taught to communicate inter-personally. For example one of her problems is that she tends to speak very quickly, which she knew was as a result of her grandmother always shouting at her to "spit it out".
Ok, now you may be thinking, so what, you know where the root cause of the issues is, what now? Well, we explored a bit about why things needed to be spat out, and she was worried that she was talking nonsense... She had no confidence in what she was saying. This naturally meant we worked on her content, so that she knew what she wanted to say, and that it really meant something to her.
And how did we get to that point? By looking at how she saw herself, what image she wanted her fans to know. So her coming and asking me about her inter-personal communication skills ended up addressing her intra-personal communication.
I can help you communicate more effectively. With yourself, and with others. Consistently over time. So stop acting authentically, and really get in touch with who you are, and how you want to be seen.
N.B. The client is a fictitious amalgamation of a number of people and problems. If you can identify her bravo, as she couldn't identify herself!
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