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Trevor E. S. Smith | Change your fortunes by changing your communication - A 3-step transformation plan

Published:Monday | December 31, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Communication is a key determinant of success. Think about the brands that you buy. There is something about the message they send that attracts you.

What about the columnists that you read? Is there something that they share that you find valuable?

The same thing applies to your social-media follows and the blogs you read.

Among many choices, you buy those brands, read those articles or posts and follow those individuals.

You may not have thought about it, but your choice is driven by how they are communicating with you.




It is important to understand communication in a very broad sense. It is not limited to the words that are spoken or written.

In a very basic sense, it relates to the overall 'feeling' you get from the interaction.

If a creepy-looking guy asks if you need any assistance, your inner response is to fear for your security.

We filter all incoming information. The filters we use incorporate many factors. Some include age, gender, culture, beliefs, preferences, status, race, nationality, security, and so on.

What we take as having been heard or read has already gone through processing by our filters.

That is one reason why communication is so challenging. Sent messages are filtered by each recipient. What they receive may not be even close to what was intended.


3-step path to high-impact communication





Work to communicate from inside the shoes of your audience. In order to do that, you need to know what size they wear.

Understanding the filters that they will use to process your communication gives you an advantage. It allows you to adjust your message so that what is actually received is closer to your intention. For example, if they are suspicious, support your message with evidence.

Taking the care to observe and better understand others is an important starting point in changing your communication and thereby transforming your life (or business).

This might not come naturally, but there are techniques that can be taught to make it easier and more effective.

However, I don't want us to lose sight of the issue of empathy.

Do you share the view that as humans we have a sense that we are vulnerable in some ways?

Also, that our vulnerability makes us place a high value on allies?

The more we reduce sources of threats, the safer we feel.

Consequently, getting a sense that someone cares makes a huge difference in how we relate to them.

If someone cares enough to understand our issues and to empathise with us, this is an ally. Stick close to this one!

When readers write to say thanks for advice, it is because the insight reflected an appreciation of their reality.

Even the very fact of recognising their situation is enough to provide some comfort.

Communicate with empathy from inside the shoes of your audience and marvel at the positive changes that it produces in their life (and yours)!




One reason why we reject 'too good to be true' offers is that they lack credibility.

Trust is another powerful motivator for us. If someone proves to be trustworthy, then there is one less threat source.

Positioning yourself as being credible is the ultimate communication gold medal.

Credibility is intertwined with trust. No matter how long trust has been established, it can be busted by one thoughtless act.

Credibility with respect to communication means that you have to be on point every single time!

That is a huge challenge, but the prize is worth training for it.




We can classify actions according to the mind-set that drives them. Understanding the thinking that goes on behind different behaviours gives you a huge edge in communication.

We risk getting our car hit rather than allow the aggressive taxi driver to cut in front of us. (He wants to dominate me).

However, we might be a lot more accommodating to someone who meekly and politely asks to be let in. (She submits to the fact that I am in charge)

To be honest, being able to 'read' and respond appropriately to behavioural styles is like having an unfair advantage.

With a finely-honed appreciation of behavioural styles, you can decode the most powerful filters and speak in the same behavioural language as your audience.

That immediately evokes empathy. And if you are so smart and caring as to understand me so well, then credibility might not be too far off.




Send me an email now to discuss how we can guide you or your team into changing your communication and changing your fortunes. Take action!

Why miss opportunities and put off aspirations? Stop having people talk past you. Don't get overlooked for another promotion. Reduce the risk of being misunderstood.

- Trevor E. S. Smith and the Success with People Academy empower individuals, teams and organisations. We prepare and certify leadership professionals and coach/mentors and develop engaged, high-performing teams. Hire smart with our recruitment solutions. Now enrolling coaches in the ICF/SHRM-accredited Certified Behavioural Coach programme. Email: