I grew up in a family with traditional values. As an immigrant, and being in a melting pot neighborhood, those traditional family roles were all that I experienced. There was tons of diversity in ethnicity and cultures, but not in traditional roles in the family.
My family wasn’t completely traditional, in the way others were, because of my mum being a single mum. My dad left before I was born. Even so, she grew up in a traditional family, so that came through in the expectations that were set.
When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.
There are so many reasons why misunderstandings occur, and for as long as I have been in the business world, core issues come from miscommunication or an entire lack of communication.
This goes back before the technology we have now. When I started, it was carbon paper memos. Back then, it was a delay in hand delivering the memo. Not to mention the imprecision of words and context.
With the current age of technology, information comes quickly; however, it is still imprecise and still lacking a narrative that is easily understood and relatable.
Face to face dialogue often skirts around challenging topics, and you typically are the last to know if something is off when it pertains to you. 🤷♀️
How many times have you been involved in something and just wondered where in the world did that story or premise come from. 🙄
I mean, it can be crazy and take so much time to get to the bottom of the issue.
Owning your story is just like owning your professional brand. You create it, nurture it, be consistent with it, and communicate it clearly.
Convey your story
In the past several years, leadership gurus have been talking about being vulnerable to connect to other people and, as a leader your staff.
I agree with that guidance.
When you unpack that, the way you communicate your story and convey it in a meaningful way, makes all the difference and allows people to see your vulnerability.
In the world of communication, how effective you are is always determined by the audience, never the narrator. Therefore, your story becomes the connective energy with your audience to build and deepen relationships. And let’s face it, we all like a good story!
How do you tell your story?
Why should you tell your own story?
First things, first! Why is this important?
When we don’t own our narrative, others will fill in with their assumptions, their part of the story and what they perceive. Next thing you know, misunderstandings have creeped in, and you’re having to spend time unwinding the narrative that was created.
Also, in business, if you don’t share your story, and you wait to be discovered, you’re probably going to stay undiscovered.
So here are some tips:
make time to connect with people so you can tell your story. Don’t rely on electronic communication only.
no matter what industry you work in, it’s a people business. Stories connect people.
build relationships with your colleagues, peers, and leader. Tell your story on what is going well and where you need help.
be open to exploring the narrative to ensure that your being honest with yourself.
make time to communicate, communicate, communicate, and then when you’re tired of communicating, communicate some more. People only hear a portion of the story each time you tell it.
be authentic, slow it down, and be clear and present. Ensure you’re connecting your head and heart.
For my female readers, this is going to be hard. This isn’t about bragging rights, this is just about shared experiences and also ensuring those around you have an understanding of what your contributing.
For my male readers, if you find this easy, my ask is to mentor a woman in the team to help her gain comfort and confidence. Men typically do this really well, so help a girl out. 🙌
Life comes at us fast. A lot of times, we miss the opportunity to communicate clearly because we believe we are just too busy.
This takes place in our personal or professional lives. We often treat it as additional work and put it off. If we are not comfortable with what needs to be communicated, we will procrastinate and put it far on the back burner, choosing other activities.
However, when we take the time to own our narrative, be open to discussion, build our story, we can save endless hours of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and lost energy and purpose.
When we incorporate this into just the way we work, we can increase the effectiveness and engagement of the team.
Don’t leave holes in your story and Shine Brightly!