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In episode 29 of “The JoyPowered™ Workspace Podcast,” JoDee and Susan talk about using communication to connect and become a thought leader with Alex Rufatto-Perry, founder of Practically Speaking, LLC. Topics include what makes someone a naysayer vs. a thought leader, why HR professionals are often perceived as naysayers, and how to build a personal brand.
Naysayer vs. thought leader boils down to optimist vs. pessimist; “How can we do this?” vs. “We can’t do this.” Studies show that thought leaders use more optimistic language than their peers. People who are really effective communicators develop self-awareness around their communication and seek out ways to improve it, taking into account everything from tone of voice to word choice to non-verbals and body language. JoDee, Susan, and Alex discuss why HR people have a reputation for being naysayers.
There are lots of things we can do to change our language and how we’re perceived. Pay attention to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it, and don’t spend the whole time someone is talking thinking about how you’re going to respond instead of listening. Plan ahead for your communication, and ask lots of questions. Make sure your language is clear, concise, and direct, and that everyone is understanding what you’re saying. And when you do have to say no to someone, discuss what they’re really trying to achieve and whether there are any other ways you can get there. Finally, consider your personal brand and develop habits around how you want to be perceived.
Planning for your communication in advance is key. Think about why you’re there (for yourself, others, and the organization), who you’re talking to and what they might ask you, and how you show up, position yourself, and follow up. Know how to read the room and when it’s the right time to say – or not say – something. Keep your message consistent throughout the organization by using the clearest, most concise, and most direct way to give the message, knowing your audience, and knowing whether (and why) you’re telling people at the same time or at different times.
In this episode’s listener mail, Rita asks if she needs to give her employer a two weeks’ notice when she has a training class for a new opportunity next Monday. JoDee and Susan discuss some funny reasons people have given for being late to work.