Featured Get Your MoJo! Guest Blogger, Sharon Sayler, Communications Expert
“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
My clients are smart and they know that good communication is at the heart of most success. I went in search of someone who could shed some light on this deceptively simple and critically important skill and found Sharon Sayler, MBA, who knows how to “how to use words to change minds and behaviors to change outcomes.” And that is, as she says, “beyond lip service.”
Sayler is a behavioral communications expert, certified executive coach and founder of Competitive Edge Communications. She clearly understands that communication is the key to quality relationships and how when applied to business relationships effective communication results in mutual understanding, trust and a common goal to get things done. Who doesn’t want that? Read on and find out why she has recently been voted one of the 50 Authors You Should Be Reading in 2011.
Describe your current business and what you are most proud of regarding your current business.
Competitive Edge Communications (CEC) is an internationally known consultancy developed to provide relevant and up-to-date communication skills and techniques for leaders and emerging leaders. CEC’s core message is delivered through one-to-one coaching, workshops, trainings, keynotes, video, audio and written materials. Competitive Edge Communications’ purpose is to enable individuals and businesses to effectively lead and inspire others, build trust by positive and strategic communication and understanding common points of differences and conflict.
My juiciest moments are when I hear someone tell me the positive changes that have resulted by coaching with me or using my work to benefit theirs and others lives. I am most proud at this moment of my latest book What Your Body Says and How to Master the Message. I am a self-published non-fiction author of two books and John Wiley and Sons Publishing picked up the rights to my third and latest book. What Your Body Says has been published in 5 languages since its release just last year and is being used as suggested reading in universities around the world.
Why did you choose your current career and how did you get started?
Sometimes opportunities present themselves and a leap of faith is required. Approximately 15 years ago, I had the opportunity to mentor with one of the foremost authorities on nonverbal communication. At the time I was running a marketing and design business, yet felt compelled to take the opportunity. I haven’t looked back. I firmly believe I’m doing what I was meant to do.
What is your favorite “Mojo Mantra”?
Enjoy the adventure ~ life is in the doing.
You are a very self-driven individual who values productivity; what practices helped you increase your productivity the most?
- Develop systems to keep repetitive business tasks on track and effective. Systems make it easier to delegate as your business grows and helps keep you focused and balanced on what you do best.
- Plan each year by choosing no more than 4 specific items you want done that year and add to a planning calendar. Choose the date you want “it” by, then work backwards to add all the steps/actions needed to finish by that desired date. Work in 90-day segments. Be realistic and specific.
- Choose your team wisely. Choose them for their values and work ethic; you can always train skills.
Do you have a personal role model that you feel has “got his/her mojo”? If so, what do you admire about this person?
I don’t believe in role models. Nobody is perfect, too often people believe in another person “hook, line and sinker” only to be discouraged when the “real” picture of the whole person emerges.
We are all flawed in some way. We can appreciate the value of behavior(s), choice(s), and value(s) another has made, and choose to implement those that will make us more effective, bring more joy etc. To pattern your life based on another’s life is limiting your choices, experiences and you miss the adventure of your life unfolding.
I admire those that choose to improve, are life-learners and work of self-awareness.
Being a successful professional embodies being an excellent marketer (so that people know your name and service!), how do you reach out to your wide range of customers to build a trusting relationship?
Marketing for a small business or service professional is all about one’s interpersonal skills more than what some might call traditional marketing techniques. Referrals and word of mouth are an integral part of my marketing. Public speaking including keynotes, trainings, radio and television interviews to associations and groups that have as members those that would be interested in my coaching services allow me to reach a broader audience. Internet marketing includes guest articles and blog writing, social media and my own Internet radio show Beyond Lip Service are the ways I have chosen to market. Knowing who you are marketing to is more important to know, once you are clear on who your audience is, the appropriate marketing techniques as easy to put in place.
Communication is such a critical issue for so many people struggling to get their mojo. What are your 3 top strategies for excellent communication?
- Know your objective/intention before you begin to speak.
- Keep whatever you say short. If you can’t say it in 100 words you are not being specific enough. Short sounds confident.
- Understand how others perceive you and work to have you body language congruent with your verbal message.
What are two books that you recommend to help our readers “get their mojo”?
Of course I would hope others would read and find useful What Your Body Says (and how to master the message.
I love reading so narrowing it to two books will be difficult.
First, anything by Dr. John Gottman. I always learn something from Dr. Gottman. One of my favorites of his is The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships. It is filled with specific and helpful advice. I love his concept of emotional bids and how so many of them are nonverbal. Dr. Gottman helps us realize where we may be sabotaging our relationships, desire for connection and how we can cut-off what we desire most, heartfelt communication. The book is full of examples, vignettes and stories from his many years in his “Love-Lab.”
Second book From Coach to Awakener by Robert Dilts. This book isn’t for everyone. This is a technical book. If you are a coach or trainer though, this book is full of tools and techniques to help people explore his or her beliefs, skills, characteristics and leadership style. Mr. Dilts is best known in the world of NLP, however this book is not to be considered an overview or introduction to NLP.
Looking for some resources on Communication?
Check out Sharon Sayler’s website
Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Board Certified Coach and an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. A MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.
BCC Board Certified Coach #1487
“Short sounds confident.” This seemed counter-intuitive at first glance, but is really SO insightful. So often I find myself rambling on and on during a presentation or in casual conversation, attempting to get my point across more clearly when really I am doing more harm than good!
What a great reminder, Christine. I don’t know why we think that saying more is better, but I think we think that being concise is the same as being curt or abrasive, when it is not. Curt and abrasive has to do with your tone, not what you say for the most part.
It really is one of those simple little changes that make all the difference.
Enjoy the adventure
I agree-communication and the way one communicates can make or break personal relationships and business relationships. It’s a learned skill, which teaches you to think about others, how they feel, and how to get agendas done in a productive and none threatening way. I have taken some business courses, and they touch on communication. I would love to be coached someday.
Let’s get together for a complimentary coaching session!
I like that she says keep it short. As a “talker” that is something I must keep an eye on!
Your work sounds very interesting. I was wondering how you alter your coaching or training methods or message based on the different cultures of your participants. For example, how would you train someone who was born in the US versus someone from Latin America or Europe about “effective” communication when they have been brought up with such different norms and styles of communication? I am interested in entering the field of coaching international professionals so I would love to hear more about your work.
That is such a great question. Intercultural coaching is such a great field as organizations are increasingly global and you are so right that the nuance of communication become really important in being emotionally intelligent in a multicultural environment. I have a colleague that specializes in that work and would love to put you in touch with her if you want to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.