Communication is Key

Chris Letts ACG Detroit

Being able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most important of all life skills. Today’s guest is Christopher Letts, Chairman and past President of ACG Detroit. In this episode, we discuss the importance of communication as a professional. Chris shares some thoughts on how to improve this critical skill set, firstly from the perspective of public speaking, and then in the context of interpersonal communication and the written word. Prepare, practice, learn from your mistakes, learn from others, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable! Vulnerability and transparency are important in breaking down barriers in communication, and putting in the time and effort to improve your spoken and written communication can differentiate you from your competition.

Key Points From This Episode

  • The value and power of communication and what it means to Chris in his career.
  • How Chris anticipates and addresses the anxiety and physical response to public speaking.
  • Controlling responses through repetition and preparing properly for public speaking events.
  • Learn from failure, watch recordings of yourself, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
  • Chris cites Winston Churchill as an inspiration for his own communication evolution.
  • Communicating with executives and clients – know your audience and find consensus.
  • The importance of vulnerability and transparency to break down barriers in communication.
  • The fine line between confidence and arrogance and knowing when to admit you are wrong.
  • Written communication like email, text, or long-form communication – be clear and concise!
  • Reflective communication – understanding how someone communicates and applying it.
  • What Chris has learned about control in long-form communication through practice.
  • Good public speaking and written communication skills are ways to differentiate yourself from your competition in nearly any industry.
  • How to ensure that others interpret what you say correctly by listening and asking questions.

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:01] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to Branch Out, a Connection Builders podcast. Helping middle-market professionals connect, grow and excel in their careers. Through a series of conversations with leading professionals, we share stories and insights to take your career to the next level. A successful career begins with meaningful connections.

[00:00:21] AD: Hey everyone, welcome to Branch Out. I’m your host, Alex Drost. Today’s guest is Christopher Letts, chairman and past president of ACG Detroit. Chris and I discussed the importance of communication as a professional as well as thoughts on how to improve this critical skillset. Hope you all enjoy.

[00:00:40] ANNOUNCER: Connect and grow your network. We are on LinkedIn. Search for Connection Builders.

[INTERVIEW]

[00:00:47] AD: Chris, welcome to Branch Out. Excited to have you here today.

[00:00:50] CL: Thanks, Alex. Grateful to be here.

[00:00:51] AD: Chris, you and I have talked a lot in the past about the value and the power of communication as a professional. Can you start by just sharing some of your general thoughts around why communication is so important and ultimately what that communication means to you in your professional career?

[00:01:08] CL: So when one asks why communication is important, I think it’s important to remember that generally speaking unless you’re in a very unique business or industry, you’re typically going to be interfacing with humans on a go forward basis, right? And so when it comes to dealing with humans, having the ability to communicate in a meaningful way in a way that’s intentional and delivers data that you’re looking to accomplish as a professional to a human audience, having communication just is paramount and it’s cornerstone to not only I think the industry that I’m in or the experiences that I’ve had, but there are very few industries that I’ve ever seen that doesn’t put an emphasis or give you a distinct advantage if you’re good at communicating.

I’ve spent my entire life building out my understanding of communication. What’s interesting – So I’m originally born in Canada, and where I grew up in Ontario just outside of Toronto also a Leafs fan, which gets me in trouble here in Detroit quite often. But one of the things that is part of Canadian curriculum at least where it was in Toronto is that at a very young age you are required starting in the third grade to public speak in front of your class. You cannot get to middle school if you haven’t presented multiple times. And so when I was very young, I got up and I was terrified. We’ve all felt it, right? And this whole concept of public speaking is one of feared more than death, right? And it was this incredible experience I’ll never forget as a third grader getting up in front of my class and nearly peeing my pants and shaking violently in a way that I had never experienced up to that young point in my life. And ever since then, I was just fascinated at how communication in its various forms, in this format it was public speaking, can impact you differently and how if you do it well, and that was kind of the starting of my journey and it was young, but if you do it well, you can be very, very effective, because so many people can’t do it well or don’t appreciate how to do it well. So my philosophy has been to be a lifelong student and kind of core guiding principles have come out of just my experiences as I’ve kind of gone throughout my career path.

[00:03:09] AD: Well, and you talk about the public speaking side, right? And I want to dive into communication a couple different areas, but real quick on public speaking for all of our listeners, we all get anxious when you’re doing public speaking, right? Even as you get better and better and the more you do it, of course, you start to feel more comfortable, we all get anxious with it, right? There’s a level of social anxiety. Like I always jokingly tell people, like I get social anxiety as much as anyone else, whether that be speaking or just walking into a big room. And do you know how many times I’ve been in a big room? Like it doesn’t change, it gets easier. You learn how to deal with it, but it’s there. So when you feel it, don’t think you’re alone and don’t think it’s going to hold you back from doing what you’re about to do. Don’t let it be that barrier.

[00:03:49] CL: It’s a physical response. And so what I’ve learned is to anticipate the physical response. And by the way the anxiety you’re talking about is something – I public speak probably 50 times a year, and every single time I feel that, right? And so understanding the way your body responds. Understanding the physical response and then coming up with ways in which you can address that physical response and even anticipate it I think is crucially important. But yeah, public speaking is – I think even when you do it all the time, it’s just the way that we’re programmed.

[00:04:17] AD: Well, let’s talk about that response for a second. Think about if you’ve ever been really excited for something, right? Something that jumps out for me is a number of years ago I went to Cedar Point for the first time and I was terrified of roller coasters, but I was so excited to go. I couldn’t sleep the night before. I had this like pit in my stomach. I was super pumped and amped. Isn’t that the same feeling you get when you’re anxious? When you really think about it. When you really think about that pit in your stomach, that kind of sitting on the edge of your seat feeling.

So what I suggest and how I’ve helped overcome some of my challenges when it comes to that anxiety is are you telling yourself that you’re excited to be doing what you’re doing? Or are you telling yourself that you’re anxious and nervous about where you are, right? because in the end if you can help your mind start thinking, “This is going to be fun. I’m pumped for this. It’s such an easier way to overcome those challenges.”

[00:05:06] CL: In addition to that, once you go through it enough times, it’s this concept of reps. If you get enough repetitions, you’re going to know how to respond and you’re going to know what works well for. Like for an example, for me, whenever I am in a position where I have to public speak, whether it’s at an ACG gathering or it’s at the TCF Center when we had the Capital Connection last year with over a thousand people, I know that if I’m prepared and I have bullet points and I’ve spent the time ahead of time doing the work, like I go in with confidence. The biggest thing I have done to myself in the past in terms of sabotaging my success public speaking has been being unprepared, right? So you learned that once or twice, or for me many times, and you have to be really honest with yourself. And then I know if I have a written out speech, I’m not going to be as good, versus if I have bullet points, right? Putting yourself in a position where you put yourself out there, put yourself out there to succeed. You also put yourself out there to fail. Learning from the wins and the losses is I think crucially important. It’s been very helpful for me.

[00:06:05] AD: 100%. In the preparation, I think that’s so important to take away, right? Whether you are publicly speaking or giving a pitch or going into a networking environment where you’re trying to build out new relationships, having some preparation work put in, some real thought around how you’re going to communicate what you’re going to communicate. One, it takes some of the anxiety out, because you are more prepared. But at the same time, how can you expect yourself to be able to go do something perfect the first time? That’s not how it works.

[00:06:35] CL: Yeah. I hate failing. I’m a perfectionist. I like to win at a high-level and do it as often as possible. But when I do fail, I consume that failure from every angle. I throw myself into it and then I make sure I learn some lessons from it. And I think recognizing especially in the area of public speaking, since this is the area of communication we’re focusing on, you almost have to be willing to fail in front of others and be okay with it in order for you to really break through and get better, right? And that started for me very young, but it still happens even today.

[00:07:08] AD: I would challenge you there a little bit. Is it failing or is it not performing as good as you could have? Right?

[00:07:13] CL: Yeah. Sure.

[00:07:15] AD: I mean in the end, you have to go, right? Listen, there are people that have failed at public speaking, right? We’ve all been to events where you’re like what is this guy doing on stage, right? But ultimately you go out and you do these things, and into your point it’s learning. It’s really – And I recommend to people all the time especially when it comes to speaking, record yourself. Go stand in front of the camera, turn your webcam and –

[00:07:37] CL: I’m very intentional about that, whether it’s an iPhone in my pocket.

[00:07:40] AD: Yup, re-watch it.

[00:07:41] CL: Yeah. And even the most cringe-worthy performances, like being intentional to get in front of that. I mean it’s a hard thing to do. Even I struggle with doing it, but it’s something that I think is immensely helpful and valuable. And the goal is to get better. And by the way that guy who failed on stage was still on stage.

[00:07:55] AD: Yeah. You’re in the audience.

[00:07:55] CL: I got mad respect for that. And in addition to that, you got to give yourself some grace even when you don’t perform. But when you do perform there’s nothing better, right?

[00:08:04] AD: Yes. Where I’d also make sure our audience is thinking through this, there’s always some room for improvement. Just because you did it better doesn’t mean you can’t constantly improve on it. Now I’m also a big believer in this idea of good enough to move on, right? If you’re practicing for a speech and you’re doing it to a quality that is going to meet the mark you need to, don’t waste more time practicing it because you’re good. Go. Go do it. But that doesn’t mean that you’re perfect and it doesn’t mean you couldn’t do better and you can reflect and you can learn. But at the same time, don’t get yourself too hooked up where that anxiety builds before you’re going and doing any kind of speaking or whatever it might be because you think, “Oh, I’m just not good enough. It’s just not good enough to be there.

[00:08:51] CL: I am a huge fan of history, huge fan. And part of my communication evolution over time has been learning from great communicators that have existed before me. One of them is Winston Churchill, and this guy was a brilliant communicator. Arguably communicated his way to victory by getting the British people to support a losing effort against the Nazis in World War II in those early days of the war. Winston Churchill famously said that for every minute of public speaking he would deliver to the British people or in parliament he would prepare 10 hours.

And so there’s a certain amount of I think that even the greatest speakers from history’s standpoint, and I would doubt anyone would ever argue that Churchill is on that list, even some of the greatest like Churchill spent an intentional and meaningful amount of time in every speech he ever did. So it’s a bit of a guidepost for me when I’m in those situations and when I really need to do well and operate at a high-level that it takes some practice and execution and there’s always room to get better.

[00:09:52] AD: I think that’s so well said there.

[00:09:54] ANNOUNCER: This is Branch Out, a Connection Builders podcast.

[00:10:03] AD: Let’s jump into a different angle of communication here for a minute. So we’ve got from a speaking or a verbal communication standpoint, you can be speaking to an audience or you can be in an executive boardroom or in a one-on-one with a client. Share some thoughts around where that’s important and what you can do to improve upon those skillsets.

[00:10:23] CL: Yeah. So when you have communication, it’s important to know your audience, right? That’s one of the first things that I’m always asking myself. And so when I’m speaking from a podium for an example, my audience is multifaceted broad, and so I’m going to communicate a message that’s going to facilitate that, meaningful to a lot of people. When you have a smaller group, let’s say in a board meeting, it’s really important to understand your audience and also have, for me, a general understanding of what the audience is looking to receive from you and what you’re looking to receive from the audience. I am a big, big believer with my communication style to have a consensus forward approach. And so when it comes to being in a boardroom, understanding where I can build consensus. Understanding even if there’s something I want to drive forward from a communication standpoint, understanding how I can get people around that board table to come to the place that I’m at in a group setting where I don’t necessarily have the benefit of having a one-on-one communication, a one-on-one time to be able to kind of individually bring people along. Usually I do that by finding consensus and speaking to consensus. And generally speaking if a consensus can’t be reached, knowing how to communicate your position in a way that gets your point across and is appreciated even if it’s disagreed with is really, really important.

So in a group setting I’m very intentional. Also one-on-one is a completely different approach as well. So one-on-one, you don’t necessarily have consensus because you have either one or a zero as far as agreeing with or disagreeing with the position that you make. For me I always – Again, this is true in a group setting. But for me, communicating one-on-one, it’s always important for me to try to come beside the person that I’m communicating with and understanding their vantage point, understanding what they desire and what they’re seeking to receive from the communication transaction, that dialogue. And then also seeking to understand my audience in the one-on-one situation first so that I can communicate to the point where they’re at and either move them towards my direction or having humility, which I think is really important around communication, be moved myself.

I’m a big believer especially, and I think this goes for any personal dialogue, and candidly in a group setting as well, I’m a big believer that vulnerability is such a powerful way to communicate. If you look at business relationships, some of the best relationships that I’ve developed through my own personal brand of communication has been really leading with a, “I don’t have it all together. Here are the mistakes that I’ve made.” I’m not always going to be perfect, and when I’m not perfect I’m going to tell you how I failed or fallen short, and I hope you’ll have an appreciation for that, but I’m not going to candidly lie to you or tell you that I’m always operating at a high-level. And oh by the way, here’s my journey, here’s my story which I share quite often because it’s important to me. It’s my story and it’s unique and it’s something I’ve learned a lot of lessons from. And here are the ways in which I’ve failed along my own personal journey or I’ve fallen short. Or here are the things that I’ve struggled with. And I have found when you lead with a certain amount of vulnerability, it just tears down walls. And when you lead with strength, those walls just get built even higher.

And so for me like being vulnerable and transparent even when I don’t have the answer, it’s been something that I think has been really appreciated by a lot of the personal relationships I have. And even within a group setting, at a board level or within a larger group level I think has developed a certain amount of respect and rapport that I don’t think I would have been able to develop if I didn’t take that approach.

Now ultimately at the end of the day you’ve got to come up with solutions, right? We’re professionals and we have to come up with strategies that make sense and create value for our clients, for our shareholders, for the people in our life. But I think the way you do that can be oftentimes brought from a place of humility and can be very, very effective in the effort of getting people on your side.

[00:14:09] AD: I think what you said there is so important. I want to I want to stop and focus for our listeners here for a minute. As a professional, there is a level of confidence in problem-solving ability that you are expected to bring to the table. There is also a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and it’s very easy to trip over that line when you’re not open and honest with yourself about where you may be wrong or where you may be weak. That’s the vulnerability. That’s walking in and saying, “Hey, I feel really confident and really passionate about what I’m saying, and I believe I have the right answers, but help me understand where I might be missing something.” And once you start opening that door up, you’re so spot on. It’s amazing to watch, as you said, the walls fall down. That’s such a great analogy to think through.  You talk to someone say. You say, “Hey, look. This is how I think about it. Could be totally wrong. Help me understand.” And they open up and tell you their point of view and then you’re like, “Hmm, it’s a good point of view. Maybe I am wrong.” And I don’t even necessarily like using the word right or wrong. It’s just the differences of view and opinion.

[00:15:11] CL: But you know what? Alex, sometimes you’re wrong.

[00:15:14] AD: Totally. 100%. 100%.

[00:15:15] CL: I kind of like right and wrong, because sometimes you’re wrong and being able to be like, “Dude, totally wrong on this, and thanks for the insight. And by the way I’m grateful we have this exchange in this interaction and this vulnerability where we can speak candidly to each other is powerful stuff.”

[00:15:29] AD: So spot on. So, so spot on.

[00:15:32] ANNOUNCER: This is Branch Out, bringing you candid conversations with leading middle market professionals.

[00:15:40] AD: Let’s shift topics a little bit here on communication still. Let’s go to written communication, right? So 2020, we use email quite a bit here. What are your thoughts around written communication both from whether it’d be email or other ways of using it? Share some of your thoughts around, one, why is it important to you? And then two, what have you done to invest in yourself there?

[00:16:00] CL: Yeah. So I’m glad we’re spending some time on this. So really when I see written communication I break it down into two kind of categories. The email/texts that are very task-oriented and what I would call more kind of long-form communication in the form of letters, in the form of opinion pieces, for an example, if you’re writing an opinion for a paper, etc., etc. My general rules when it comes to email and text for that matter is that you’ve got to be very clear. You have to be concise. And you can’t leave a lot of space for innuendo or for misunderstandings from a tone standpoint. Emails I think where people get in trouble is that they’re either too short and can be perceived as offensive, too long to be perceived as babbling. I’m always very intentional to reread and I have a little bit of a trick where when I have an email that I’m writing, I will put it in Outlook and I will change. As my final review, change the size of my Outlook screen so that the email kind of comes in a different form so I’m able to read that in a different way than I would otherwise read it if it was just in a standard box size, the one that I started with. It forces my brain. This is just a little bit of a hack for me to read the email in a different way having the sentence structure changed physically from my original form. But I’m always looking for, “Can this be misunderstood? Is there any misinterpretations here?” And I think this sign off is really important. I’m always like, “Hey, thanks for reading this.” Or, “Hey, I really appreciate your time.” Or, “Have a great week.” I think putting a human element in emails is really important. And we’ve gotten in the world of like the one-line emails, and it’s great and sometimes I do it, but I like putting a bit of a human spin on the communication, because that’s a moment in time you have with that person, exchange of ideas or information and I want that to be perceived in the best possible way. With that being said I feel like emails are so time consuming and they drive me insane. Text messages included. But welcome to 2020, especially in the world of a pandemic where we’re all kind of remote and don’t necessarily have the opportunity to communicate face-to-face like we once did.

[00:18:04] AD: Well, on the topic of email, right? As much as anyone else, I dread looking at my Outlook. I assume all of us have an inbox that never ends and email takes up such a tremendous amount of time. The one area though I would step back and say, “Listen, imagine if every one of those communications you had to do by writing a letter and putting in the mail,” right? That’s how we used to.

[00:18:26] AD: And so we may have found the one more terrible way than email to communicate, right? Yeah. That would be unimaginable.

[00:18:32] AD: But think about that there is a level of importance that comes with that. Now you always have to balance the difference between time and making sure you do it right, right? You can’t rewrite every single email and spend time ruminating and thinking in every word for every email you send. I send probably 25 to 30 emails on a slow day and a hundred plus on a busy day. You cannot go through every email detail. But you do need to step back and say, “Okay, think about –” And this comes back to intentionality and being cognizant of what you are communicating and who you are communicating to. How important is this email and what could go wrong in there?

And what I really challenge people to think through as well, when you’re communicating, everyone has a different style. If it’s someone you communicate with often, you can start to understand their style. People who know me, I do not like long emails. I don’t write long emails. If I get 200 words in an email, I’m starting to push kind of the upper end of what I like to put in an email. And if someone sends me three paragraphs in an email, I’m probably going to skim it. And recognize – And again, you don’t always know that, right? So you can’t always prepare for that. But think about that, especially if you have a client or a co-worker, someone you’re communicating with all the time. If they’re constantly shooting you back one line emails, you should probably communicate to them as concisely as possible.

[00:19:49] AD: That’s a great point.

[00:19:50] CL: Because if you start writing a paragraph, it doesn’t matter how elegant it is or how perfect it is written out and explained. They’re probably not going to read it.

[00:19:57] AD: Yeah, I think that’s a great point. Something I’m very intentional. It’s funny. This is this concept of like reflective communication. So it’s a thought process of people generally speaking like to be communicated with the way that they communicate, right? And so not only an email form, which you bring up, which I think is very relevant. But an important point to discuss as well in terms of like in-person communication, understanding how a person communicates and being able to mimic and come beside them in a similar way will be very effective. It has been very effective for me. So that’s this idea of reflective communication. And you can do that both in spoken handwritten word.

I think beyond just emails, something that I have spent a lot of time on that has proven to be very successful for me, is knowing how to long-form write. So for an example, as chairman of ACG, I was president last year, there was a number of times throughout the year that I would send a letter to our membership. And that letter was generally speaking long, but covered a lot of data and was really important highlighting not only some successes for the organization, but also individual members who are leading those successes.

The thing I love about written communication, I feel like this is an area that’s lacking with most business professionals in particular, right? Because we weren’t English majors, we weren’t journalist majors, right? And so what I found is one’s ability to communicate long-form using the ability to write and doing in an effective and meaningful way, you get to control everything on that paper, everything on that piece of paper. Everything in that letter, everything is controlled. And so you have such an ability to communicate massive amounts of information. And if you know how to do it well, really capture the attention of the reader and bring them into your world for as long as they’re willing to spend going through whatever you’ve written. It’s been really effective for me professionally and communicating with my clients. It’s been really effective for me from a relationship standpoint, communicating things that I feel both good or bad going on in my personal relationships, whether friendships, family or otherwise, and it’s something that I feel like most business professionals overlook and don’t spend enough time practicing and engaging.

And so this is also true for providing opinion pieces. I just had a piece published in DBusiness Magazine about the effect of COVID-19 on middle market entrepreneurs. I was able to get that done because I’ve spent the time and put in the work and really building my craft and knowing how to master the written word. It’s something quite often in my opinion overlooked in business.

[00:22:22] AD: You’re spot on there. And you’ve put in the time and you’ve practiced to get better at it. You’re right, a lot of professionals aren’t good. Candidly, it’s a weakness of mine in general. And I think for many of us we don’t spend time doing that and your career on a day-to-day basis doesn’t necessarily create the opportunity or the venue to be able to do that. And if you don’t seek out, find and practice that, you’re not going to get better. You’re certainly not going to wake up one day and all of a sudden be a great long-form writer. So it is something, and I fully agree. It’s not necessarily a tool that you’re going to pull out once a week to use depending on and where you’re at in your career, but there are a lot of places where it is highly beneficial. And again, you have to practice it. If you don’t practice – Let’s tie this back to public speaking. If you never practice public speaking and the first time you public speak is in front of 2,000 people in a large audience, that’s terrifying and you’re probably not going to do that great of a job at it, right? You’ve got to start somewhere.

[00:23:19] CL: Again, recognizing that every industry needs these sort of talents, right? You can leverage the spoken word. If you’re good at communication,  you’re going to win in just about every industry, every profession. The written word’s the same thing. And so public speaking and communicating long-form via written word are complete differentiators. It is a way to differentiate yourself against a lot of your competition, because most people are either unwilling or can’t spend the time. And really I say can’t. I’m a big believer that you communicate at survival every single day. You can get good at this if you put in the effort, right?

Beyond that, like writing is a learned craft. You can get really good and differentiate yourself in a way that most people will never be able to kind of compete against. Or you can take yourself and stand out from the crowd if you know how to do these things well, and these are things that make you stand out in a major, major way, which is why I’ve spent so much time on it personally.

[00:24:13] AD: Again, it’s so important. It’s why we’re making the whole topic of today’s show around it. So last thing I want to jump into here, Chris, reflective communication, right? You mentioned it there. It’s this idea that you’re really being thoughtful and conscious about how you’re communicating with someone else. What I want our listeners to make sure they take away here, when it comes to communicating, it’s about how the other person interprets and hears what you say. Simple as that. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to say. It’s really about what they hear. Can you share some thoughts around how you’ve worked to improve your ability there, but then also how you’ve stepped back and make sure that in the heat of the moment you’re also finding and getting that feedback to know if it’s working.

[00:24:53] CL: Yeah. I’m so, so happy we’re covering this. So early in my career I had a veteran in my industry come to me and say, “All you need to know to be successful is that,” And you may have heard this before, but I hadn’t up to that point, “you have two ears and one mouth. Use them respectively.” If you want to get good at this, learn how to listen, because if you know how to listen and you know where people are coming from, you can meet them where they are and guide them to where they need to be, okay?

So for me one of the things that I am very intentional about especially when seeking to facilitate a point or point of change is I ask a lot of questions. In fact there’s a part of me when I first meet someone, I make it a purpose not to end a sentence unless it has a question mark. It is a great way to get to know somebody and it’s a great way to communicate. And people think communication is about making points and driving people in a certain direction. Being able to ask intentional questions, being able to be very specific about how you get to know the person across the table for me is going to allow you to accomplish that ultimately, right?

And so by asking questions, I’m able to understand where a person’s coming from. I’m able to understand their perspective. I will be intentional with the questions that I ask. And then as far as communicating, being intentional about the communication style I take and reflecting back how I feel like I can best move them to a place that is going to be beneficial based on the top conversation. Even if I’m not, let’s assume for a moment that this is not a moment where I’m trying to move anybody, where I’m just looking to get to know someone and build rapport. It’s the best way to build rapport and get to know someone is by asking them questions versus telling them exactly how you feel or what you believe.

Now certain situations call for different approaches. But for me, generally speaking, I’ve been so intentional to really hone in my ability to not only be intentional about asking questions, but asking a lot of good questions. And that’s a communication art in of itself.

[00:26:45] AD: It takes conscious awareness to say I’m here to ask questions. I’m not here to tell someone something. And listen, when it comes to communicating, there’s times where you want to go and there’s a message that you are trying to communicate. So there are things that you have to tell the other person. But especially if I tell you, if you’re sitting in a situation where you feel like you’re having a hard time communicating or someone’s not hearing what you’re saying, step back and start asking some questions to them to start understanding where they’re coming from. And that’s likely where you’re going to uncover where the miscommunication is, right? And in the end, I said when we started here, what you say is one thing. What they hear is another. And what matters is what they hear. And not what they hear in terms of what words they hear, but how they interpret it. And every one of us is different. We all have a different background. We all have seen the world only through our eyes. The way we interpret things is always going to look different and you have to make sure that the other person is interpreting what you’re saying the right way.

[00:27:45] CL: Yeah, we say it all the time. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. That’s everything. It’s everything. And how you say it needs to be custom designed during every interaction you ever have with any human being in your life, not just professionally, if you want to be successful. And I think it takes someone who’s really been disciplined in his approach to communication as a discipline to really get that.

[00:28:08] AD: It’s like any other skill, any other muscle out there, you have to work it to make it stronger. You have to practice and you have to be intentional about it.

Chris, this was awesome. I mean frankly we could talk about communication for hours and hours here. This was really great. Appreciate your contribution to the show here and looking forward to doing another episode sometime soon again.

[00:28:24] CL: Such a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

[00:28:25] AD: Awesome.

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