THE BLOG
11/15/2013 01:46 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Communication -- Yes, That Word Again

As far as communication is concerned, you've probably heard it all before. Furthermore, you've probably done a lot of it too. However, you know what they say, it's repetition that enables new habits to become sticky. So, much of what you are about to read is not new. However, some of it might be different from what you are expecting. I've been in the world of how to communicate effectively for many years. Private clients have included business luminaries, politicians, actors and famous authors.

Each of those I've guided successfully through my process, have the most important trait of all when it comes to communicating, they don't pretend to know it all. Here, I'm talking about having a well-managed ego. Because if our ego is in any way inflated, it'll get in the way of any progress we can potentially make to improve our communication skills. To begin: Of course you can communicate -- we all can. More importantly, can we all communicate effectively? By that, I mean are we able to get our point across in an effective, compelling manor? Moreover, can we do so equally online and in person?

So much of what we do is online that it seems we've lessened our ability to communicate effectively in person. So much so, I'd describe our online/offline persona as Jekyll and Hyde. Problem is, when/who is going to emerge, Jekyll or Hyde? More often than not, one never really knows. That's because so many individuals have one face for their online activities, and another for their in-person interactions. And until we are able to have some congruence, there will always be a strong mismatch. Or, even worse, a big discrepancy between who you say you are, and who you actually are. As you might imagine, this is not good.

Online, there is much talk about authenticity, in my opinion, a somewhat over-used word in today's world. In essence, being authentic is as much to do with what we are willing to shed. In fact, it's the conditioning, social mores and self consciousness that prevents us from being who we really are. That's not to say we should let it all hang out -- far from it. What we need to do is very seriously edit our content. By editing, like any well-written book, we leave in everything that's relevant. In addition, we take out anything that is superfluous. Therefore, what remains is both compelling and eminently readable. And we need to be eminently readable.

So, in short, ensure your personal brand online and offline is something you are proud of. Do this by editing, developing and honing -- until it becomes super effective for you. Important to remember, how we come across is as much to do with the impact we have on others. If we fail to acknowledge this factor, we will end up upsetting some, while perhaps pleasing others. To avoid taking this risk, be super aware of how you communicate. And if in-person, do so focusing on your manner, body language, voice and your level of empathy.

If online, ensure you speak with an authentic voice. A voice that is congruent with who you are in life. Then, ask yourself how you'd like others to perceive you. By doing this, you gain a perspective about yourself, that otherwise, you may be blind to. And remember, these kinds of inquiries help you to understand you better, who you are, and perhaps more importantly, who you want to be. Then, being authentic online or off line will become second nature to you.