Featured

The Epiphany Wake Up Call With Kevin Roth

On episode #13 of the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast I have famed musician Kevin Roth. 

Kevin Roth On The Dulcimer

Kevin Roth had an epiphany wake up call and he shares with me how he leveraged that to tap into greatness.

While most people may not know the powerful way forward Kevin used this as an opportunity to lean into his own limitlessness and come out on top.

Kevin was given a scary medical diagnosis that he now calls his – “epiphany wake up call”. 

And as a result of that diagnosis he turned everything around for himself. 

He says he stopped living in fear and decided to leap forward into fearlessness, success and optimum health. 

He began a daily practice that returned him to wholeness through his own deeper understanding of life. 

He is now teaching people this way of living. He used this adversity and turned it into something for his higher good and is now living his most awesome life. 

He teaches people how to live their dream life and alleviate the stresses of fear and uncertainty that hold most of us back. 

He has so many great insights and a sense of peace about all that is. 

We had a very insightful conversation and Kevin has so much to share that will help you on your journey.

I believe his spiritual nature and being a musician and artist has a lot to do with that. We get into all of it. 

Join me for his remarkable story of overcoming fear and leaning into joy and living his most awesome life fearlessly. 

Kevin has powerful wisdom for us all and teaches us how even the most scariest thing can lead to finding our inner resolve and strength to forge ahead powerfully. 

To learn more about Kevin Roth click here. 

To hear Kevin’s music go here. 

And if you’d like to work with KevinRoth.org or get in touch. 

To check out some of my previous conversation on the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast click here.

6 Tips For Being Happier Right Now

Everyone wants to be happy. We search for happiness in the things we do, the people we spend time with, and what we buy. But as it turns out, you are most likely happier when you stop looking for it! In this blog post I am going to share some of my favorite strategies for feeling happy right now – no matter where you are or what is happening.

person sitting on cliff raising up both hands
Choose Joy | Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina on Pexels.com

1. Smile – it’s contagious

People say that smiling is contagious. They’re right, but the science behind it goes much deeper than just a smile on your face. Smiling can increase happiness and decrease stress levels in turn making you healthier overall. The physiological benefits of smiling include: increased blood flow to the brain, decreased muscle tension, reduced heart rate, and improved moods. These effects have been shown to be as strong as medication for some people dealing with chronic pain or depression! That’s pretty amazing! With so many reasons to smile we should all try our best to do so more often because it really does make us feel better inside and out!

2. Take time to do something you enjoy – Hobbies Are

Many people have hobbies they enjoy, but not enough of them consider how healthy a hobby can be. Hobbies range from extreme sports like skateboarding to more relaxing activities like knitting. All of these activities are good for you in different ways and provide different benefits that improve your physical and mental health. 

Blog post intro paragraph: For example, studies show that knitting improves blood pressure while providing stress relief. On the other hand, skateboarding is a great way to get exercise as well as release pent-up energy or anger. It also teaches control over fear and helps build resilience which is important for managing anxiety and depression symptoms or any other kind of mood disorder . No matter what your interest may be there are plenty of positive benefits associated with being

woman sitting on brown stool
Make Art or Take Up A Creative Hobby | Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

3. Think about what makes you happy and find a way to make that happen more often

“This post is about what you should be doing more of in life. More importantly, it’s about the things that make you happy.” “It’s a little bit self-helpy and a lot motivational. If you are looking for some new ideas or inspiration on how to live your best life, then this blog post may be worth checking out.”

When it comes to happiness, there’s a lot of talk about what you should do more of. But no one ever tells you what makes them happy! So I’m going to tell you some things that make me happy and hopefully they’ll help someone else out too. There are plenty of articles on the Internet with tips for people who want to be happier, but this is different because it’s written by someone who is already happy. If you’re feeling down or just need a little pick-me-up, try doing something from this list and see if it works for you!

close up portrait photo of woman sitting by window looking outside
Be Aware Of Your Thoughts | Photo by Marcelo Chagas on Pexels.com

5. Be aware of your thoughts, don’t let negative thoughts take over your mind 

What’s wrong with being a negative thinker? Aren’t you just thinking about the facts and what could happen? I’m not saying it’s always good to think positive, but sometimes there are things that make us want to be more optimistic. We need balance in life. That means we need both positivity and negativity in our lives. If we don’t have any of one or the other, then our lives will be out of whack. That doesn’t sound very fun or healthy at all! So let’s stop being so negative and keep on living life like a real champ!

What’s the point of living if you’re just going to be pessimistic about everything? You can’t go through life being down and out for every little thing that doesn’t work out. The key is to focus on what’s good in your life, not all of the things that could potentially go wrong.

6. Focus on the good things in life!

The world is an interesting place. There are so many people, places and things to explore. If you’re looking for a way to get out of your comfort zone and see more good in the world, then this blog post is for you! I’ll be sharing with you 10 inspiring quotes from famous authors that will help put everything into perspective. Grab your favorite coffee or tea (or if it’s not Sunday morning yet, grab a cup of hot chocolate) and enjoy these amazing words! 

The world is beautiful but sometimes we forget how lucky we are to live here. This blogpost contains some great quotes from famous authors who inspire us to look at the brighter side of life and appreciate what we have instead of dwelling on the negative aspects.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “focus on the good things” before. It’s a cliche for a reason, and it will never be more true than in this post. You’re about to find out how focusing on what’s going right can change your life, and anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Let me tell you my story- I was so negative that I thought everything was terrible, but then one day something happened to make me happy…and I realized that there were actually tons of great things happening all around me! So now when bad stuff happens (which it does), instead of dwelling on it like I used to, I just focus on all the other cool stuff that is happening too.

Give yourself a little love while you’re at it. Check out these 3 Self Love Exercises.

Oh and in case you need a little more of a pick me up – check out my Blossom Your Awesome Podcast. We are having powerful conversations with awesome teachers, trainers, writers and inspirational people with awesome tips for leading a more dynamic and of course – happier life.

For a big warm burst of love – kind of a like a virtual hug – check out one of my favorite exchanges on Compassionate Listening. Lean in to joy right now won’t you?

xoxo

Yours,

Sue

I’m On Marty’s Anger Toolbox Podcast | Powerful Tools For Anger

MEETING ANGER POWERFULLY 

Anger is one of those things that can really throw us off. It can end up being hurtful, resentful and at times even hateful. None of us truly wants to lose our cool and blow our top, but hey it happens. 

Life happens. People piss us off and we may get really reactive really quickly – you know that whole – zero to a hundred in sixty seconds thing. 

I had the pleasure of speaking to facilitator Marty Wolner on his Anger Toolbox podcast. We had an insightful conversation about managing anger, tips and tricks. Listen to our conversation by clicking the link below. 

Sue Dhillon On Marty’s Anger Toolbox Podcast. We are talking about healthy ways to deal with anger and the power of mindfulness when it comes to anger.

toddler with red adidas sweat shirt
Anger Management | Don’t Lose Your Cool | Photo by mohamed abdelghaffar on Pexels.com

DEALING WITH ANGER IS POSSIBLE

Marty wanted to me to dip into my toolbox to see what tools I rely on when it comes to anger. I share very explicitly ways to manage anger powerfully. 

I hear a lot of complaints from people about their struggles with conflict. There is someone in their world who is really difficult, even combative and it’s an ongoing struggle and challenge to deal with this person. 

It seems as if they were born to fight and the conflict looms unendingly for years. Many times we are left hurt, distraught, and heartbroken. We even take measures like cutting people off so we could potentially be estranged from a loved one indefinitely all because someone lost their temper. 

It’s never people’s sincere intent to harm and hurt and many times this person who crushed you with their screaming and angry verbiage very likely feels horrible, but doesn’t have the means to make amends. 

That’s where you as a person who is interested in soul growth, learning, evolving , doing better and of course you are committed and want to at all times Blossom Your Awesome – well then you can be the bigger person and reach into your toolbox with some powerful go-tos and make it right. 

You don’t have to keep up the fight. You can let it go. Let is subside with the incredible potentially of deepening the bond. Yes! 

“When you think you’re about to lose your shit take a moment and just breathe.”

Sue Dhillon
mad ethnic female gesticulating while having video conversation on smartphone on terrace
Anger Is Pain | Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

ANGER IS PAIN – DON’T ENGAGE IT 

You are never really ready for someone to go off the hinges. However when you practice mindfulness your reaction is far more measured than without. 

I for one as a meditation practitioner don’t need to raise my voice or scream. I don’t need to react immediately, but instead like to lean back and observe. It takes practice to get to this point, but it’s a powerful place to arrive. 

Once the antagonist knows you are not engaging they are essentially rendered defenseless. 

Yes it is absolutely possible to resolve conflict and end conflict once and for all with a difficult person. 

A person can only scream at you for so long if you do not react. They will end up giving up. It’s inevitable. 

That energy is looking for like energy. It wants to be fed and lead and screamed at and affirmed. However when you see it as a negative means to communication you reach in your toolbox for more powerful ways to deal with someone who is enraged and angry. 

Remember anger is pain externalizing itself so always meet it with compassion. 

MY MOST POWERFUL TIPS FOR DEALING WITH ANGER 

  • Just Listen First – just let them speak and tell you exactly what they are mad about first and foremost.
  • Listen at length – this takes practice and extreme patience, even skill if the person is screaming or shouting profanities at you and combative, but you can do it. I promise. 
  • Have compassion for their pain – anger is pain – always remember this person is hurting. Happy people don’t scream at people or say and do mean things. 
  • Be an empathetic listener – listen with your heart not your ears. When you begin to see the difference you will feel less defensive because your listening will be accompanied by sympathy. 
  • Say this – tell them in your own words you love them and you care for them and you are sorry if you said or did something to hurt them and you do not want them to be upset. Tell them you’d like to find a powerful way to get over this hurt. 
  • Ask them – “Are you open to us finding a powerful way to overcome this. I don’t want you to make me wrong and I don’t want to make you wrong.”

For more tips and insights on powerful ways to communicate and connect check out my video on Mindful Communication below. 

Mindful Communication With Sue Dhillon

And for even more insight take my free Mindful Communication Next Level training by clicking the link below. It’s 35 minutes of jam packed insights, guidance and actionable tips. 

Liz Lewinson | On The Power Of The Loving Man & Letting Women Lead

On this latest episode of the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast I have award winning author, speaker and teacher Liz Lewinson sharing some powerful insights.

Liz Lewinson

She is the author of The Power Of The Loving Man and Women, Meditation and Power. Her award winning book American Buddhist Rebel is critically acclaimed and widely received.

We talk about Men and Vulnerability and men allowing women to lead, the importance of that and the power of that. Liz has a depth of wisdom around this subject. She shares her thoughts on why at this particular time it is critical that men are able to express vulnerability and allow women to lead.

We speak candidly about societal pressures men face in having to always put up a tough exterior, but the necessity for sensitive, loving kindness and warmth. 

It’s a powerful conversation with a meditation and mindfulness practitioner who has spent a life time on this beautiful journey of elevated awareness. 

Join us for this beautiful and powerful exchange. 

It is as always my sincere hope you will find a little golden nugget, a tidbit of wisdom or a loving insight that will fill your heart with warmth, kindness and a little joy.

Get in touch with Liz at this link here – Liz Lewinson.com

On Grief, Loss & Healing With Alison Pena

On this episode of the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast my guest is Alison Pena aka Bad Widow. 

After losing her husband to pancreatic cancer just months shy of their 20 year anniversary Alison began a journey of healing and learning how to overcome the death of a loved one. 

She said she did not know that there was more still for her in life and the future held possibility still. 

Through an incredible resolve she discovered life does go on and you can continue to discover future possibilities for yourself. 

She talks to us candidly about moving through grief on your own timeline. She learned and shares the power of the insight of expanding new and existing relationships. 

She now teaches people how to move through grief of a loss or failure or whatever it maybe in powerful ways. 

She also is committed to showing people it is indeed possible to love again after loss. 

Join me on this episode of the show to hear how Alison overcame grief and began living life fearlessly once again. 

It is my sincere hope you will find wisdom and a few golden nuggets in our exchange. 

Her new book – The Harvest Moon is out soon. 

And you can get in touch with her through her website – Bad Widow @ Badwidow.com 

Check out my conversation with Susan Partnow on Compassionate Listening. This is one of my favorites.

Spiritual Journeying And Self Renewal With Andrew Oser

On my latest Episode # 10 I am talking to Andrew Oser about spiritual journeying and the power of self renewal.

Andrew is spiritual guide and modern day shaman.  He teaches people how to connect to the authentic true self by connecting with the “Magic Of The Mountain,” as he likes to call it. 

Andrew first came to Mt. Shasta in 1978 and he says, “his heart exploded open.” He knew that Mt. Shasta was home and he returned time and time again over the years to tap into the sacred vortex of the mountain receiving all of its gifts and power. Finally he officially moved to Mt. Shasta where he has now been leading spiritual journeys for more than 15 years. Andrew has lead more than 1,100 tours and has guided more than 5,100 people. 

He is a former lawyer who studied at Princeton. He went on to found the Joy Of Light Foundation which has served more than 50,000 children and was honored as a Point Of Light by President Bill Clinton. 

Andrew left that life for one he says is far richer settling in Mt. Shasta. He said he knew it was home when he first came to the mountain. He says he feels so blessed and empowered in the work he does leading people to discover not only the gifts of the mountain, but to learn through the power of the vortex to tap into their own true authentic selves. 

You can join Andrew on a guided tour and learn the power of self-renewal and tapping into the wisdom of nature. 

We talk about it all in this episode. He shares is wonderful insights into the power of nature, self-renewal, dharma and truly living from a place of authentic freedom and power. 

Join us on this light filled episode. 

For more on Andrew Oser or to sign up for one his retreats click here. 

What Is Your Wellness Routine?

Wellness routine. Yep. That’s what’s up. Let’s talk about well being. First and foremost cause this is where it all starts. Did you know that success goes hand in hand with wellness?

Did you know the more you work on your well being – that is your state of mind, feeling mind, awareness, emotional intelligence, meditative work let’s say – the more you get this dialed in the healthier you will feel, the more successful you will be, the happier you will be, the more drama free.

The Wellness Routine

So what are you doing for the soul, to nurture yourself, take care of your not only physical, but emotional and mental state?

What’s your thing? Do you journal?

Do you take baths? Do you meditate? Please say yes!

Ok so maybe you don’t do any of this stuff. That’s not good.

We are so busy constantly looking out for the well being of everyone else that we seem to very easily skip over our own need for love and relaxation, rejuvenation.

It’s necessary, essential even.

We suffer far more than necessary in life. If we get clear on who we are, our worth, our calling, our joy and really start living from this vibrant place of pure love and joy life begins to change for us.

And that is very much enraptured in wellness and your overall wellbeing.

So here are some ways you can start right now – no excuses – 5 minutes.

When we begin to stick with it, you’ll feel airier and lighter and that’s why I’m always pushing 5 minutes on you cause that’s not asking for much.

You’ve got 5 minutes without question so let’s go!

Ok so start with some of these suggestions and add your own stuff and see where it takes you.

calm lake with mountain terrain
Wellness Routine & Nature Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on Pexels.com

Wellness Tips

Working on yourself – so this could mean physically, mentally, emotionally?

So what exactly does this entail – exercise, a run, a jog, the gym? Sauna, spa? Getting your nails done, mani, pedi is always good for the soul.

Or perhaps you enjoy nature. I certainly do. Nature has been my greatest healer and companion offering me so much love and abundance. You can check out my story on Forest Bathing with Nature Connection Coach Hana Lee by clicking here.

Are you taking care of your emotional health – are you talking to people? Getting things off your chest? Or are you simply listening till the cows come home and offering all that wonderful selfless advice and therapy for everyone else?

Having someone to talk to, release to, chat it up with is important. Find that certain someone – a spouse, sibling, friend, parent, therapist – it doesn’t matter, just someone – anyone. You need to vent too!

Wellbeing & The Outcomes Of A Wellness Routine

One of the most exceptional things that comes out of honoring yourself and working for the greatest good of your overall well being is growth. Yes. You grow as a person. You grow spiritually. You build emotional resolve and you can train your body for physical resolve as well. Absolutely.

You do not limit yourself when you see yourself and your overall wellbeing in this way. The opportunities for soul growth are truly limitless and that will help you discover the limitlessness of your own potential on every front – work, family, home, self.

We have to always keep evolving in life as I always say. We are here to learn and grow and evolve and find our own inner truth in deep and meaningful ways to make it all truly powerful and soulful.

There is no shortage of a need of self-improvement. I promise you this. As you begin doing the work you will find that self-improvement or the inner work as I like to call it is a lifelong journey. It never ends.

So being leading that life of vitality and joy won’t you?

Check in on yourself. How are you doing? How well are you eating? How well are you sleeping? And most importantly how well are your retreating?

Make those adjustments and for more on going deeper – you can get my free course on self inquiry right here by clicking on this link.

Bonus Tip For Your Wellness Routine!

Practice gratitude every single day. No matter how hard or rocky life gets there’s always something we can be grateful for. Let the small stuff go and here’s the beautiful thing the more you practice gratitude the more you are able to let things go. You’re just happy. You are in state of being happy and it’s positive vibration pulls you. Here’s one of my favorite gratitude rituals I have kept going year after year.

3 Self Love Exercises Everyone Should Practice

So I talk about this all the time if you’ve been following me for a moment. We do so much for everyone else we seem to have a knack at neglecting ourselves.

Self Love – How Much Time Are You Making For It?

We are busy with work and wanting to give to others. We are busy showing up for loved ones. There is always someone who needs you or something that needs to be done. That’ll never change – so how do we find time for ourselves? How do we find time to step away from the monotony and love ourselves?

I’ve got exactly the answer and I’ll break it down for you with sincere hope that you will take my guidance and try it at least once. I’m here to use my hardships to help you with yours. There’s no way all this awful stuff just happen to me for nothing. It can’t just be that life is just so rough and that’s it. No there’s more to the hard stuff when we dig deeper. And I want you to start leaning into the pain a little more for your own soul growth.

Self Love For Singles

Now I have the good fortune of being single – yes I feel blessed for this. I feel chosen. I feel God has given me ample blessings by teaching me how to be whole alone and how to go inward to gain better understanding of myself and life and all of the struggles.

Sure I’ve loved, but I’ve been broken in the process and returning to wholeness is a long journey, sometimes far longer than we can ever imagine.

I have overcome so much trauma that I’ve had to lean into God and lean into love probably far more than the average person.

I’ve found myself asking why on so many occasions in life that I had to go digging deeper within myself for those answers. Because as we know and if you don’t you know I’ve said it before – the answers are inside. They are inside of us.

So while the world may feed us all of these sugar coated ideas and want to lump us in a box with conventional notions of how life should go – it never really goes that way. And for us singles self love is even more important. You need to love yourself and you can love yourself – Yes and be totally whole with our without a man or woman by your side. I am living proof.

I’m confident. I’m happy. I’m loved. And I’m whole.

It can be done. And while it’s difficult for most it takes a lot of work – self work – soul work to get to this point of deeper understanding and greater awareness where you realize the conventional dogma of needing a husband or wife and white picket fence and kids and the whole 9 might be great for some, but is IS NOT necessary to live a happy fulfilled life. Know this.

I’m here to help if you need.

Self Love For Soul Growth

The self-journeying all the pain has afforded me has come at an exuberant price and that price is so astronomical and actually priceless that I feel blessed beyond measure for it all. I would’ve never gone so deep with my own soul journey had it not been for all the trauma. And I would’ve never had come to discover self love in the way I have and this deeper understanding of life if it were not for all this pain and suffering.

Had I not had so many hardships in life I would’ve just kind of sailed through it and never truly been challenged to go deeper with myself. I would’ve just been ok and lived on the periphery like so many of us do.

However all of those struggles were a blessing. And while we’re going through it feels hard as hell we manage some how. We somehow in those awfully painful times find our resolve to continue. Our strength to keep pushing and we make out on the other end a little harder a little more fragile and little more delicate to the touch, but with a little prowess we can learn from those hardships and allow them to teach us and allow them to let us grow into majestic butterflies who can transform and fly.

3 Tips For Self Love

  • You Time – of course it’s got to start with this. If you can’t get away from everyone even if for just 5-10 minutes then we’ve got a big problem. I want you to ask yourself how you can make this happen in your life. If you’ve got kids – if you’ve got pets – if you’ve got parents – whatever it is that need your undivided attention – how can you set that aside for 5-10 minutes a day to do you? This is serious. We have to make a concerted effort, no excuses for making this happen. It does not matter what is going on – YOU CAN figure this out – 5-10 minutes of quite you time. Ok I’m not bragging whatsoever – but this is a so huge for me and where my good fortune kicks in. I have ample time to myself – where I get to read, write, meditate, do Reiki, listen to music, just be, whatever and it has been so incredibly awesome for my soul. I count my blessings for this every single day and I want you to figure out how you too – can take a few minutes for yourself – do nothing and just close your eyes and breathe. Start with 5 minutes if that’s all you can manage to muster up, but just START!
  • Nature – Ok so this one is kind of cool – cause it can be done with others and will feed you and nurture just the same – ok, that was a little fib, might be a little better alone, but hey I guess I’m just spoiled. The point of me exaggerating my love for alone time is to help especially those of you who are alone to learn to treasure it, honor it, feel the blessings. And for those of you who have a significant other – stepping away from that person for a little while and taking some me time can do wonders not only for your soul, but your relationship as well. If you can – someway some how find some nature near you and if you can’t get into the redwoods, get into the grass, get under a tree, get under the sky and sink your soul into it for – 5-10 minutes a day. (Always puzzled at how many excuses we make for coming up with 5 minutes.) Come one guys – you can find 5 minutes in your day – alleviate some of the social media or random chit chatter for 5 whole minutes of self love. You’ll be so glad you did.
  • Be heard – if you’ve got something on your mind – then let it out. Don’t always be the listener. You don’t always need to be the one giving advice. Get your own stuff out. Call a friend, ask a your mom, ask your dad, ask you sibling, your significant other – say this – “I’d love to share about what’s going on in my life right now. Would you be open to listening for 5 minutes?” You’ve probably never said this or asked anyone in your world to just be open to listening to you. Maybe you have, but very likely you haven’t. Getting some things out. Getting affirmation from a loved one for all the love you put in can be so powerfully fulfilling and meaningful to you and your relationship. Ask to be loved back. Ask to be honored.

If you need help or want to go deeper with yourself – then start with my LITE (Look Inside To Enlightenment) Guide. It’s the first step to learning to be with yourself in a deeper way and learning the magically powerful process of self-inquiry. Get it here.

Leadership Communication Skills

Leadership Communication Skills

Any good leader must have good communication skills. They are crucial in leading.

Let’s consider it for business and how good communication skills are an important part of effective leadership.

WHAT IS EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN A GOOD LEADER?

Some are born leaders and others might find themselves thrust into a leadership role and have to put in a little effort to master the necessary skills to lead well.

What doe Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett have in common? The ability to lead and lead well. They are all effective communicators.

They understand the importance of conveying a vision people want to participate in. Julius Caesar and Napoleon both understood propaganda and were able to convince people that their defeats were actually victories. Effective modern leaders like Branson and Jobs built companies from scratch, with every employee and financial backer convinced of the importance of the mission and willing to contribute in his or her own way.

No opportunity has ever been without obstacles, pitfalls and shortcomings. It’s never just success. It’s how leaders respond to adversity that sets them apart and makes them a great leader.

As with many things in life, timing is also critical. Learning how to communicate effectively to your chosen audience at the right time and the right place can be difficult, but can reap great benefits.

Know Your Audience

The most important aspect of any effective communication is knowing your audience.

No two audiences will ever be alike so being flexible with communication styles is a great skill for any leader to have. You’re audience whether it’s –

  • Staff
  • Shareholders
  • Business partners
  • Prospective business partners
  • Vendors
  • Customers
  • Children taking a tour of your facility

…and more.

What you say and how you say it is the basis of effective communication.

The Right Timing

Timing is key. For example, no business leader looks forward to giving out bad news, but sometimes the more you avoid it, the worse things can become. If there is a downturn and you have to start laying off people, this needs to be conveyed sooner rather than later.

THE RIGHT STYLE

Using the example of having to give bad news, you also have to choose your moment and communication style. Should you say nothing to anyone other than those getting the pink slip? Email everyone? Or should you send out an email to make a date for a very important meeting?

Once everyone is at the meeting, how should you announce the news? Do you just blurt out that there will be layoffs and leave it at that? Or will you explain the reasons behind the decision, what the next steps will be, and what you think will happen going forward?

Listening is just as important a leadership skill as speaking. Will you give staff a chance to ask about the redundancies and the situation as a whole? Or leave it to your managers?

Once the meeting is over, you will then have a number of follow-up steps and options. Will you speak to each person getting the pink slip, or let your hiring manager do it? Or will these workers just be given notice and no-one will say a word of regret or appreciation for all their past efforts?

Sometimes communication, for good or ill, comes from not saying anything at all. A worker with a pink slip who has not been given clear reasons or thanked is likely to feel a lot more disgruntled than one who is treated like a human being.

WHAT YOU SAY AND DON’T SAY MATTERS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

On the other hand, going into too much detail might open up an entire legal minefield if the worker believes the lay-off is because you “donít like them” or some form of discrimination is going on. Accusations of racism, sexism, age-ism and other forms of discrimination can all damage your company and even leave it open to serious financial repercussions.

Therefore, it is very important to be clear about the way all workers are spoken to, and this will come from you as the leader, to filter down to managers and staff. Any forms of off-color jokes, bullying or aggressive tendencies should be discouraged at all times, and in all forms – including email and social media accounts, as well as face-to-face dealings between colleagues. Even “harmless teasing” can be hurtful and seem bullying to some individuals.

Following Up

Whenever something important is being conveyed, follow-up can make all the difference between success and failure.

Using the lay-off example above, for those staff who remain after the cuts, holding another meeting to talk about the next steps will be important. Meetings will also need to be held in order to make sure every task that the people who were laid off were doing will be covered now that they are gone.

Being Visible

When times get tough, even the best leaders want to just go in their office and hide. But being visible can often be one of the best forms of leadership. So too can an open door policy, in which people feel that they can come to you with questions and concerns and that these will be taken seriously and treated with respect.

Setting the Tone

The most important aspect of leadership can often be to set the tone. A positive, upbeat leader with a can-do attitude is more likely to gain followers than someone who delivers consistently negative messages. Even when things are bad, a leader with good communication skills will be able to reframe the issues in such a way as to maintain a loyal following.

For example, in terms of the lay-offs, it should be made clear that these short-term losses are being made in favor of long-term gains.

If two departments are merged, a good leader would indicate all of the benefits and how the work can be done more efficiently.

Conveying Change

Many people hate change. Even though it is an inescapable fact of life, people get so comfortable in their routines that any change can be very upsetting and even seem like a serious threat to all life as they know it. In most cases, this will not be true, but having empathy for this point of view can help smooth out the transitions.

Being a Good Listener

Many people believe that being a good leader is all about speaking powerfully. The truth is that a good leader listens as well. They show empathy, value opinions and are constantly learning from others rather than thinking they have all the answers.

Understand that people are only human. Everyone makes mistakes. If a mistake was made, find out the reasons why it happened. Listen and share viewpoints. Seek ideas and innovations. Give people another chance if you think they deserve it.

Treat colleagues the way your best boss treated you. We can never walk in another person’s shoes, but we can try to be more understanding and tolerant if they are having professional or personal problems, so that everyone feels valued.

Never Assume

Always be clear in your verbal and written communications. Confirm anything important in writing, including email, such as after a phone conversation or team meeting. Check and double-check, especially when any deadlines are approaching. It is better to summarize important points and dates briefly in your communications and repeat yourself, for example, than assume that everyone knows it all already when they might not.

These are some of the most important aspects of effective communication if you are a business leader. Your approach will differ somewhat depending on whether the communication is verbal or written. Letís look in the next section at verbal communication.

EFFECTIVE VERBAL COMMUNICATION

Verbal communication is often taken for granted because we can all speak, even if we are not good writers. However, effective verbal communication does not come naturally to everyone. Fortunately, it is a skill that can be learned with a bit of time and effort.

The Importance of Verbal Communication

Spoken words matter beyond just the clear exchange of information. Style and tone of delivery can also affect what is being said and how it is being received by the audience.

Speaking in person and over the phone clearly and concisely is an important skill for any leader to develop. In addition, a good leader must understand the difference between the two and other things that contribute to communication other than the words and phrases being used.

Face-to-Face Communication

Communicating in person can be one of the most efficient ways to convey ideas and open up the floor for discussion. It may not, however, be the most efficient way to give detailed information. Knowing the difference between the two can often mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to planning new projects and initiatives.

For example, it’s great to be able to chat face-to-face, but a rushed conversation as you are passing someone’s desk is not an efficient way to expect things to get done correctly. A formal meeting or an email would be a better choice.

Body Language

Your body language will say a lot about who you are as a person and what your communication style is. Careless body language can also undermine the message that you were trying to convey. If your body language does not match your spoken words, there can be a serious disconnect which can be confusing or suggest to people that you are not telling the truth or are in some sort of mood.

For example, if you speak and listen with your arms crossed in front of your chest, this could relay a number of negative messages. Your audience might think you are defensive, angry or disinterested, especially if you donít look at them or turn sideways.

Folded arms also send out the signal that people are supposed to stay away from you. They might even indicate stubbornness or refusal, so that people may never ask for what they need because your body language already seems to be telling them no.

Act Natural

A more relaxed and natural body stance with your arms hanging loosely at your sides is a much more welcoming posture when you are dealing with people face to face.

When speaking, try not to fiddle. Practice stillness. Maintain eye contact. If you are in a large group, look around the room. Donít pace, but do move around as needed. When listening, nod your head. Listen carefully. Donít try to jump in to speak. Wait until the person has finished. Then repeat what you understand to be the essence of the question, in case anyone hasnít heard, and to be sure you have heard correctly.

In terms of presentation such as PowerPoint decks, these days many businesses live and die by their decks. Therefore, it is really important to focus on this skill so you can create and give presentations that will maintain interest, persuade, and inform, rather than send people off to sleep.

Public Speaking

In the course of meetings, presentations, conferences and so on, you will have to speak in public to audiences both large and small. Studies have shown that public speaking is the number one fear that most people have, while death is only number three. As someone once joked, this means most people would rather be in the coffin than give the eulogy over it.

However, this does not have to be the case. There are many ways to practice public speaking in order to become better at it and do it with more confidence and effectiveness. It is just a case of being willing to put in the time and effort to practice until you are perfect.

Or, if you are not perfect, at least you can do a much better job than you are doing at the moment – if you feel that this is a personal weakness that needs to be addressed in order to become a better communicator and leader.

Conveying Confidence

One of the reasons why it is so important to be a confident presenter is that if you look and sound confident, your audience will feel confident in your message, and that you are telling them the truth and not covering up anything.

Going back to the example of having to indicate that lay-offs are imminent, people will feel much more confident about the future of the company if you sound positive about this being a necessary development for the strength of the company going forward. If you sound hesitant, nervous, or unsure about the need to take these steps, your audience in turn will also grow nervous.

Inspiring Your Audience

Great leaders inspire people to follow them. Julius Caesar would have never been able to cross the Rubicon and become the leader of the Roman Empire if he had lacked confidence or shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “Well, maybe it will work out.” Instead he said, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

In every company, there will be certain leaders who set the tone and who people look to for inspiration. Even if you are currently working in a job that has no leadership responsibilities at the moment, it is still possible for you to set the tone and take the lead on projects and initiatives.

If you are willing to do so and can inspire people to follow you, it will be easy to demonstrate your leadership potential, and use what you accomplish as concrete examples of real achievements when it comes time for your end-of-year review or you decide you want to ask for a raise.

For all these reasons, face-to-face communication is key to getting things done and sharing a common vision for what the company is supposed to be like. Phone calls can help as well.

Watch Your Words

Words have power. Just look at any interesting editorial in a newspaper or some of the worldís most famous speeches in history. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Thereís no need to use fancy words and sound like a dictionary. Be clear and to the point so that everyone who reads what you have written can understand it. Use a thesaurus as needed to find synonyms. Look up any words in the dictionary that you donít know.

Watch Your Paragraphs

Short, sharp paragraphs work best for business writing, as well as for digital communications such as emails, websites and PowerPoint decks. Thereís no need to write long-winded college essays to get your point across.

Teaching leadership skills and good communications might be difficult at times, but it can be worth it if you are able to run a more efficient company – with better communications that people will be interested in reading, and that instruct your staff and ensures everyone is on the same page.

CONCLUSION

Some people argue that there will always be leaders and followers and that some people are born leaders. They might have a strong personality and wish to be a leader, but it will take a special kind of person to get other people to follow them. They will usually accomplish this through visible achievement – that is, leading by example and thus showing others how things are done.

A good leader can demonstrate how to communicate well through doing it themselves, making it a priority in their face-to-face, phone and written interactions. Assess yourself as a communicator in your leadership role and see if you can improve. In this way, you can travel even further along the road to success as a leader.

To your best success!

FOR MORE CHECK OUT MY SHORT VIDEO ON MINDFUL COMMUNICATION BELOW