Did You Fail? Congratulations!!

Published on January 27, 2011 by Annetta Wilson

'The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people fail more'- Martha Beck, writer

That's quite a different take on failure, don't you think?

Sometimes our biggest failures show up when we try to communicate and can't seem to get our point across.  Of course, it's because of the other person, right?  NOT!

Your communication is only as good as how the other person receives it.  That puts the responsibility squarely on your shoulders.   I know it doesn't seem fair, but it's true nevertheless.

When you hear yourself saying things like "You never listen" or "Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall!' or "Why is this so difficult for you to understand?" maybe it's time to step back and do a little analysis.

On the other hand, if you often make statements like "I'm really shy. It's not easy for me to start a conversation" or "I've never been good at small talk" or "No one will want to hear what I have to say", you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences.

What are the consequences of communicating poorly?

Could that promotion have been yours if you had spoken up more in meetings?

Was there someone you recently met who could have helped your career or provided you with an opportunity, but you said nothing?

Did you often interrupt people or push your opinion on them?

Do you have a hard time 'reading' other people to know how you're supposed to respond?

All of those things cost you on some level.  You can turn it around.  The trick is to pay attention.

Tip: If someone asks you something and you don't understand, repeat it back to him or her and ask if you have it correct.

Tip: The next time you're in a group and everyone is expected to offer input, say something!  Make sure it's relevant to the topic of discussion.  Ease into your statement with words like "This may be something to consider..."

The best communicators didn't get that way overnight.  There was trial and error, missed signals, lost opportunities and plenty of room for growth!

What did they learn?  You only fail if you don't learn from what happened.

You only fail if you don't try a different approach.

Gifted communicators have failed often...all the way to success!

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-Tony Jenkins
Market President, Central Florida
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida


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