Communication: why do keep on failing at it?

If you are an entrepreneur, you know about the importance of communication. You communicate daily with your clients and your team members, probably weekly or biweekly with your providers and monthly with your investors.

But let me ask you: how good are you at it?

No, really. I’m not talking about mastering persuasion techniques, knowing it all about influence and have all the rules for guaranteed engagement.

I’m talking about the basics of any communication!

Let me ask you:

  • Can you clearly convey your message, or do you struggle with it?
  • Do you pause and give yourself time to listen and fully comprehend what the other person is saying?
  • Do you dedicate enough time to create the space and time that each conversation needs?
  • Are you aware of the fact that communication goes beyond words?
  • Do you devote yourself entirely to it, or do you usually pay half attention while doing other things?

Communication

 

The truth is our communications are filled with all sorts of problems: misunderstandings, interruptions, things we don’t say, but we would need to, things we say but not precisely in the best ways or with the best timing.

Yet, we don’t think about it too much until a problem arises – when some noise disturbs the communication.

Usually, this happens when

  • the person we are talking to doesn’t understand what we are saying or asking
  • we don’t find the right words to express an idea
  • we want to talk, and the other person keeps interrupting
  • somebody is saying something with their “mouth”, but the message “feels” totally different, probably because their body language is conveying the opposite message
  • we are hijacked by our emotions, and instead of responding, we react.

 

So, how do we find a solution?

Communication

 

 

Well, we will need to develop 3 groups of fundamental skills:

• Awareness (of the present moment) and Active Listening (how to listen effectively)

• Focus (what to say /what are the others saying) and Feedback 

• Boundaries and Timing (when to say what you have to say)

 

Let’s not forget that communication is always a process; it is not something static.

It involves a sender, a receiver, a message and everything in between.

It involves two or more people, one or more spoken languages, one or more body languages, one or more ideas, one or more channels, and it is affected by other factors such as culture, location, etc.

 

So, why do we fail to communicate as senders and receivers?

Well, because we are human, and feelings and emotions fully pervade our communication.

Acknowledging that is the first step.

Then, we can begin to improve our communication.

Communication

 

 

I hope this post helps you to reflect a little bit about this crucial part of our daily entrepreneurial work, a part we all need to keep working on.

 

 

Focus: how to regain it with the square breathing exercise

If you need to regain focus quickly, practice the square-breathing exercise.

Have you heard of it? It is also known as the 4-part breath exercise or the box breathing exercise.

It has multiple benefits besides the obvious, which is to strengthen the lungs muscles.

It also helps your brain, allowing you to concentrate on the here and now, the present moment. It helps to better-controlling spatiality and also emotions.

It is also a must-do to increase performance. And yes, it helps tremendously to increase awareness.

 

So, are you ready to tune in and increase your focus? Let’s practice together.

 

  •  Find a comfortable place and sit with your spine straight
  •  Exhale through the nose, fully
  •  Inhale also through the nose, and count of 4
  •  Hold the breath, once again for a count of 4
  •  Exhale fully, always for a count of 4
  •  Hold the breath again for a count of 4

Begin again and repeat the whole cycle three times. You can also increase the count to 5, 6 or more if you feel like it.

But always remember to be gentle with yourself. Don’t push too hard.
If you feel dizzy or uncomfortable at any point, stop the exercise, but try it again later or the day after.

So, next time you’ll need to be in the present moment, regain focus and clarity, give it a go and let me know.

Stress vs. Burnout: can you tell the difference?

Stress vs Burnout: do we know how to differentiate them?

Stress is the condition that is usually associated with huge work overload – particularly with the feeling of losing control, is almost accepted as “normal” among entrepreneurs. 

Burnout, on the contrary, is more like a hidden threat. 

Which are the common signals of stress?

Are they different from burnout?

 

I hope this visual will help to understand them better.

 

Stress vs Burnout

 

If you want to dig deeper, check out this article: Stress vs Burnout

 

At risk of burnout? Watch out for this 4 signals

If you are a busy entrepreneur, we need to talk about burnout.

Yes, I know we all have in mind that sort of “collapsing” scene that usually depicts it. You know, the one of a person that, after months of being completely unable to cope with the daily tasks, full of worries and responsibilities, feeling tired and not interested, in desperate need of sleep without being able to get any, finally collapses.

But this is the “final scene” of the movie.

Burnout is not something that suddenly happens, without warning.


It is a slow, cumulative process that, let me tell you, is more common than what you think.

 

So, what if tell you that there is a way to avoid burnout? What if I tell you that your body talks to you and that if you learn to understand its language, you might be able to prevent it?

Your brain is not only capable of recognising the first symptoms, but that it also sents out certain signals through the body?

So, if we want to talk about prevention, fundamentally, we need to recognise first the signals, and then we will be able to do something about it.

Of course, ideally, we wouldn’t need to arrive at that extreme if we were able to take certain precautions and adjust a little bit our way of doing things. But I will leave this topic for the future.

Today, let’s concentrate on the signals. There are many, but the main four are the following:

 

burnout

 

The right questions that you can ask yourself to check if you are at risk are:

Do I feel depleted?
Do I feel completely run out of energy, like spent?
Do I feel tired all the time?

Note: Remember that exhaustion can also be emotional.

 

burnout risk

 

All of us get to experience some lack of motivation now and then. Even if we love what we do, it is pretty normal to be less enthusiastic about things, for a short period of time.
Moreover, we don’t need to love every single task involved in our work, so we might find ourselves procrastinating, for example.

But what if we lose the enthusiasm completely?
What if we have no more interest whatsoever and cannot fall back in love with what we do?

And what if on top of that, each task seems a mountain to climb, to the extent of having difficulties to drag us into work or even getting out of bed?

Pay attention. It could be symptom N2.

burnout signals

 

The right question to ask yourself here is related to your vision of the world and the future.

After so many dreams and disappointments, ups and downs, you might have begun to lose optimism. Moreover; you are almost convinced in the end, everything is pointless, and you feel hopeless.

You might also have begun to wonder about the real meaning of your purpose and mission and why it is worth to keep on trying.

The whole world appears negative at this point, and you might be secretly feeling like you don’t care anymore.
But you don’t share this thought with anyone.

Beware: frustration and cynicism can also be burnout signs.

burnout

 

Have you been facing memory problems lately? And what about the ability to stay focused and centred?

Consider that burnout interferes with your abilities. If you feel foggy and somehow lost, making an effort to concentrate and pay attention, or if you have experienced repeated episodes of loss of memory, it’s time to stop and make a consultation.

More signals and symptoms are usually present in a burnout syndrome, but only a physician and a psychologist can make the final diagnosis. Burnout can be easily confused with chronic stress, for example.

What you can do is to pay attention to your body and check if you’ve been having 2 or more of the signals we discussed here.

Don’t wait to collapse. Be proactive.

If you want to learn more about this topic, feel free to send me an email or, even better,

Book your Free Discovery Session

 

I am happy to be of help.


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