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October 20, 2020   |   Episode #:

195: How to be an Effective Communicator & Find Your Leadership Voice

In This Episode:

Why is it SO difficult to step into ourselves authentically and to see ourselves, our goals, and our visions as worthy? We’re digging into the importance of communication this week and how learning more about your communication style and preferences (and those of others!) is critical to achieving your goals and earning the success you want. I also discuss the importance of standing in the seat of your own power AND share two momentum builders to get you started!

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

Open communication helps us and helps others.

Questions I Answer

  • How can I communicate more confidently?
  • How can I share my opinions with others?
  • What the best way to communicate as a leader?
  • What’s my leadership style?

Key Topics in the Show

  • Why people hesitate to communicate their goals with others

  • The importance of taking the leap and speaking your mind

  • How to build confidence in yourself as a leader and communicator

  • How to tap into your leadership voice and stand in the seat of your power

Resources and Links

Show Transcript

This is the Intentional Advantage podcast with your host, Tanya Dalton, an
entrepreneur best-selling author, nationally recognized productivity expert, and
mom of two. This season is all about strategies for success, helping you confidently
step into leadership, purposefully, intentionally, and mindfully. Are you ready? Here’s
your host, Tanya Dalton.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Intentional Advantage podcast. I’m your host,
Tanya Dalton, and this is Episode 195. It’s also the last episode of season 15.
All season long, we have been talking about strategies for success. Now, let me tell
you how we map out our seasons, because every time we have a season coming up,
we sit down–my team and I–and we gather together in the conference room, and
we map out what we want to talk about and what we want to think about.
And we are really, really intentional. No big surprise there. We are really intentional
with what we want you to walk away with in each of those 13 episodes; what we
want you to be feeling; or what we want you to be exploring and thinking about. So
when we sat down all those weeks ago and mapped out this season, Season 15, I had
every intention of closing it out by talking about the different strategies to make
opening up conversation about your goals, easier–particularly in the workplace.
We’re not exactly going to do that today. You know how I talk about flexibility all the
time? Well, this is flexibility in action right now. Here’s the thing: just because I
planned it all those weeks ago, it doesn’t necessarily mean I need to stick with it
because I really felt the pull to lean into something else today. And I think it’s really
been spurred into being because of those last few episodes that we’ve had here,
where we’ve been talking about why we hesitate, how we can start seeing ourselves
as an expert and sharing.
Mary’s amazing story that we talked about last week; all of these episodes have a
very common thread communication: feeling confident to express and talk and
share about your vision and your goals. So I didn’t want to do an episode getting into
the nuts and bolts of goal-setting. We’ve done that in the past, and I know we’re
going to do it again in the future.

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What I really wanted to get into, what I was really feeling called to do, was to dive
into the why. Why is it that we find it so difficult to step into ourselves authentically
and see ourselves and our goals and our visions as worthy? You know, when we
chatted with Mary last week, part of her power is in the fact that she is sharing her
story, the hard parts, the difficult parts, the parts that she really had to work through
to find.
And here’s the truth: your story, your goals, your ideas, have value. And I think we
really need to dig deep and get to the root cause. Communication. Why is that so
hard? And here’s what I think, I think far too many of us get caught up in the how:
how do I start these conversations about my goals and my vision for the future?
And the reason why is we don’t even know how to begin those conversations. You
know, our goals and the vision that we have for our future is an incredibly personal
thing. Even when we’re talking about career goals or business goals, they’re very
personal. And so we tend to hold on so tightly to them, don’t we? For some of us, our
goals and our dreams, they’re like our children, our beloved possessions of some sort.
And we guard them as much as possible because they’re so meaningful. They’re so
personal to us. We clutch them tightly to our chest for fear that if we dare share
them, maybe people might laugh at them or question who in the world do you think
you are, right?
Or even worse: what if we say them out loud? And what happens if we tell everyone,
and then we fall on our face? I understand that. And this is why women tend to
hesitate to speak up, to share ideas, and to truly go after what we want. And I think
that if we start to build some confidence in how we communicate in tapping into
our own leadership voice, that’s going to help us feel better sharing, communicating,
and creating conversations because that is truly how we’re going to make that
We want to move forward in a positive direction, and we can do that when we do it
together; it is oh so much more difficult when we try to make it alone. When we
keep our ideas and we keep our vision close to our chest and we don’t share it with
others, we don’t allow them the opportunity to support us and encourage us. And
that is truly what we need. We need women next to us, shoulder to shoulder, ready
to help push us and encourage us and get us into action.
And that only happens if we communicate. So let’s build up our confidence in how
we talk about our goals, how we communicate with our team, how we
communicate with other people, and how we share our goals and dreams, and
visions. It’s interesting because, in the last five years or so, there’s been a lot of talk–a
lot of articles about why you shouldn’t share your goals and why you should keep
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your visions of the future to yourself. And here’s the thing: it is one of those
counter-culture marketing strategies designed to get you to click the article, drive
traffic to the sites.
I don’t agree with those ideas at all. I’ve read the clickbait, I’ve studied the thinking,
and I completely, fully, wholeheartedly disagree. You should absolutely share,
especially if you are truly setting goals for the right reason. And I think that is really
the big catch here. And when I say right reasons, we’re going to come back around
to that because it’s not about whether your goals are right or wrong. It’s really about
whether they are right for you.
You see one of the arguments against sharing your goals is that the act of talking
about it is enough of a dopamine hit enough of a win to make you feel like, you
know, I did something worthwhile. So then you don’t feel like, you don’t have to do
anything else. I’ve already gotten that, that big hit when I’ve checked that box.
Okay. I can buy into that if you’re setting goals because you think you should; you
know, if you’re looking around and feeling unsure about what you want for the
future and you borrow someone else’s goals. Here’s what I mean by this: it’s New
Year’s Eve, and everybody’s talking about their goals. You don’t really know what you
want to do for the upcoming year. And you hear everybody else talking about all
these exciting plans and what they want to do, and you think, yeah, yeah, I should do
that too. I don’t like running and I hate getting my hair wet, but you know what? I’m
going to run a triathlon.
But that’s not really your goal, it’s someone else’s right?
You’re not really excited about it or passionate about it, you just throw it out there
because you felt like you needed to have something. We’ve all done it. It’s okay if you
have done that yourself; we’ve all done that, where we’re like, I don’t know what to
say so I’m just going to say this. But here’s the thing: we want our goals and our
vision for the future to be truly our own.
That’s what I mean when I say the goals are right. Let’s choose to live our lives, not
someone else’s. Goals should be tied to you and what you want, not what you think
you are supposed to want. Okay?
And here’s the other time that I think that these anti-sharers, for lack of a better
term, when I think they’re right. If you think that future visions are ‘set it and forget
it’, I mean, goals are not a crockpot, although I do love a good Crock-Pot recipe; pot
roast is perfect for set it and forget it. Goals, not so much. But again, this goes back to
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that whole idea we talked about a second ago with this–the vision we’re talking
about here, isn’t really yours, right?
When we have a goal or a vision or an idea that we’re truly passionate about, when
it’s something that we really do want, we should absolutely share it. Shout it from
the rooftops, put it out into the universe, let anyone and everyone know about it.
Because the more that we openly communicate our big goals, and we share our
vision with others, the more likely it is that we’re going to actually follow through and
accomplish them.
This is similar to when we get an accountability partner or a coach: the more that we
speak our truth, the more that we share our ideas and our goals and big dreams, the
easier it becomes for us to truly own our ambitions and to see them through.
So if the stumbling block is communicating, then let’s tap into your leadership voice.
Let’s understand more about how you communicate. And for me, it all stems from
tapping into the way that not only I like to communicate, but how the person I’m
looking to communicate with likes to have these conversations as well. You see,
becoming a better communicator is not just the act of standing on stage or
standing in front of other people or leading a Zoom call. It’s beyond that.
It’s not just this one size fits all. I feel fairly certain that you’re like, ‘Yep, here we go
again. There’s no one size fits all.’ We talk about that all the time, don’t we? And so I
want to tap into this idea. I want to take a look at how we can learn to become better
communicators and become more comfortable using our voice, no matter what the
context is; whether it’s talking about your goals or your visions for the future, or your
dreams, or whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. I want you to feel self-assured. I want you
to stand shoulders back, chest out, chin up high, and ready to share because that is
truly when we make things happen.
I truly believe that by getting a better understanding of what communication entails
and when we have more tools that we can use, we’re going to be able to move
forward more easily. And we’re going to move way past that hesitation that we can
run into. But before we dive into this idea, I want to push pause. I’ve got to take a
quick sip of water and we’ll take a quick mid-episode break. All right?
Okay. Before we get back to our episode, I want to give you just a little heads up that
next week is the beginning of a brand new season for us here on The Intentional
Advantage podcast. And it is going to be a doozy. I don’t think I have ever been more
on fire for a topic than I am for this one coming up. I don’t want to give you many
details, but here’s the thing: it’s going to be a big one. And this is going to be one
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that you’re going to want to be a part of my Facebook group with because in my
Facebook group, we talk about these episodes.
So if you haven’t joined, go to TanyaDalton.com/group and sign up for my free
community. It is one of the most helpful, encouraging places you’re going to find on
the internet. And if I’m being honest here, and you know, I’m always honest with you.
I think we can all use a boost of positivity, especially right now in the world. And
that’s one of the things I love most about my group. We keep it real. We dig even
deeper into the different things that we touch on the podcast each week, but we do
it right. We keep it positive. We show up for each other. We’re solution-oriented. We
encourage each other to keep moving forward and keep chasing after our goals and
big dreams. And we share our experiences and the tips that we’re learning along the
way as we pivot and shift and roll with the changes that life brings.
In other words, we live up to that standard that I’ve set for myself and my business of
women, linking arm and arm together, working together to build each other up and
to spread that feeling of empowerment worldwide. So if you haven’t joined yet, what
are you waiting for? Head on over to TanyaDalton.com/group. You’re going to love
this next season coming up and you’re going to want to be a part of that group. So
head on over there, I cannot wait!
Okay, so let’s jump back into how we can become a better, more effective
communicator. All right? And again, here’s what I want to emphasize with you:
taking the leap towards embracing ourselves as leaders in our own lives, and
communicating our goals and vision to those around us, doesn’t need to be
terrifying. It doesn’t have to be something that we’re dreading or that makes us
nervous. It’s one of those things we tend to build up. And then once we tackle it, we
think, Ugh, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.
In fact, tapping into our own leadership voices is something I’ve been exploring with
my own team because I really believe everybody on my team is a leader. And I want
to understand what their voices are. And this is something we also studied together
as a book study with my students in The Intentional CEO program that I offer.
So we read a book called the Five Voices, and then we dived in and started exploring
what the different leadership voices are that we possess. And when we understand
our voices, when we understand how we communicate, we can use it even better so
that others around us are affected in a more impactful way. Because here’s the
thing: it’s not just exploring your own main voice, which they call a foundational
voice. It’s also how your voice interacts with others.

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And this is what I find most fascinating. It’s really this idea of maybe you have an idea
of how you put out information, and of how you communicate, but how do others
take your communication in? It’s like broccoli in your teeth: the things that you don’t
see, but everybody else does around you.
Because it’s not just about how we communicate, it’s also how others receive our
communication–especially those who have very different communication styles
than us. And this is one of the big takeaways that we found as we explored this
concept, both with my team and with my students in the program, is that when we
understand our own unique voice and we understand the voices of others, that’s
when the true conversations begin to happen.
You know, we can acclimate ourselves with the style and the voices of others, so it
helps to bridge the gaps of communication. And it fosters this deeper level of
understanding of how everyone benefits from the different voices. You know, we’ve
all got to think about how we approach and how we respond to the people around
us. There’s not any one of us who can say, ‘Yup, no room for improvement.’
When it comes to stepping into ourselves, taking more control over who we are and
how we’re perceived, and all of those things, communicating our ideas and our plans
. . . that is a really important part of this. And so I want to encourage you to start
thinking about this. What do you think is your leadership voice? How do you think
others receive what you talk about or what you say, and then how can you use it to
your advantage? How can you take what you know about yourself and how others
perceive you, and then use that to build your confidence?
So, do you have a quiet voice? Meaning, maybe you don’t like to speak up much or
are you a loud voice? Meaning, maybe sometimes you even dominate the
conversation, possibly drowning out the other voices. Or when you speak, do others
seem to listen and then act right away, or do they seem confused? Do you
immediately offer up solutions right away, or do you listen to see if others have
solutions first?
Are you a questioner? Are you someone who likes to ask the tough questions when
nobody else will? Or are you someone who’s like, ‘Let’s just skip over those doubts
and questions.’ Are you a person who communicates better live, face-to-face, or in a
You know, personally, I find that I really love the energy flow, back and forth, and
back and forth. I love speaking live on stage, it totally lights me up. I love doing live
videos. I love any element where people are either communicating back to me
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directly through a chat or through speaking, or I can at least see faces and I can see
how they’re reacting.
Which one are you? Maybe you’re more comfortable and confident not in front of a
live audience. There’s no right, and there’s no wrong here; it’s really just, who are you,
and how do others receive you? And that is really powerful, powerful information. It’s
no different than something like the Enneagram, which we’ve talked about on the
podcast before, or Myers-Briggs . . . or really any personality profile.
There’s no right or wrong. There’s no better profile or worse profile. We’re all different
and not anyone is better than the other. And that’s the thing: we want all the
personality types, we want all the different leadership voices; all of them bring
something unique and beautiful and wonderful to the table, which creates
conversation. When we’re better equipped to understand ourselves, we’re also more
equipped to approach others so that they understand what we’re wanting to
There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you’re telling the group something
and they walk away and they don’t have it at all. But if you understand your
leadership voice, you understand that you are received in a certain way; the broccoli
in your teeth that is really powerful and understanding how you might need to
approach certain situations differently.
And it also opens up the idea of, How do we get more diversity? How do we get
more different types of communication styles around the table contributing?
Because all of them bring unique gifts. The person who questions, the person who
asks the tough questions that maybe seems like the Debbie Downer in the group,
that’s a valuable role because they’re bringing up doubts. They’re making sure that
we’re looking at things from all different angles.
So is the person who’s the nurturer, who wants to make sure that everybody’s
getting taken care of. But another important voice is the pioneer, who wants to push
forward ideas and who’s ready to bring ideas to the table. All of them bring unique
gifts. And so it’s important that we make room for the quiet voices, the loud voices,
and the in-between voices as well.
When we understand our own voice, we allow this conversation to happen. So when
it comes to the conversations and the communications about your ideas . . . whether
we’re talking about the goals that you have in mind or the vision you have for your
company . . . stepping outside of yourself, taking a good moment to really look at
how you communicate and how others receive you, that helps you realize your own
unique leadership voice.

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And that empowers you to get others on board with your vision, to get them on
board with your goals. Because we can communicate in ways that get them to
respond. And that’s what we’re looking for. If we are leaders, we’re not wanting to
lead from afar, we’re wanting to lead and have the others right behind us, following
us into where it is that we’re wanting to go as a group. That is what’s really
important, understanding your own unique leadership voice. That’s what’s going to
help you find and build confidence in yourself because you’re going to be clearer on
what you’re communicating.
So if you’ve struggled in the past and you feel like, ‘You know what? I try to tell
people what I want and I just don’t seem to get it, or they don’t seem to get it,’ then
perhaps it’s because you haven’t tapped into the fact that you may not be
communicating as clearly as you think. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s neither here
nor there. It’s really just an acknowledgment; a realization that ‘Okay, I need to shift
this a little bit.’
Tapping into your unique leadership voice and working to understand the
leadership voice of others can do wonders in getting over that hesitation that we can
sometimes run into. Don’t you think that if you understand how you speak and how
others receive you, that would help you feel a little more confident, would that allow
you to hold your chin up just an inch or two higher? I truly know that it will because
I’ve seen it in person.
I’ve seen when people begin to unlock who they are and understand their
personality type and the personality types of those they work with, and what a huge
difference it makes. It is time to stand in the seat of your own power and recognize
that communicating your wants and desires for the future is the key to your success.
It really is. And that’s the thing here that I want you to take away: I want you to
realize this is ultimately your choice to take this power, to really recognize that you
can control how you communicate and how others receive you, simply by stepping
back and assessing and paying attention and watching and listening. Listening is
the part of communication that we haven’t talked about yet, but that’s really what
we’re doing when we’re watching how we are received.
It’s paying attention and then listening; giving the space for others to speak up and
allow their voices to be heard as well. And that’s the message I want you to start
thinking about as you continue your journey to success. There’s always, always work
to be done. There’s always room for improvement to be made. And if you put in the
effort, it’s worth it because you are absolutely worth it.

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So before we close out our final episode of season 15, I want to talk about a couple of
momentum builders. I want you to get started with really stepping up to the plate,
embracing the greatness of your own goals, and your vision for the future. Okay? So
let’s do that now.
Momentum Builder Number One: I want you to start communicating what it is you
want. That’s a bigger one than we’re really given credit for. Let’s be honest, because I
don’t know about you, but I feel like society tells us a lot of times that polite girls
don’t ask for what they want. They receive, and they politely smile and say, ‘Thank
And it’s okay to communicate what it is you want. Stand in the seat of your own
power. It is all within reach. So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to post your
goals, your personal mission statement, your vision statement, whatever it is. I want
you to post it in a place where you and others can see it every single day.
I want you to keep it fresh in your mind because that’s going to make it easier for
you to communicate with those around you.
And then Momentum Builder Number Two: If you haven’t already, I want you to
think about what your leadership voice might be. I want you to think about that. I
want you to pay attention when you are talking and recognize, ‘Hmm, is this the way
I think?’ Or, ‘Huh. That’s the way I feel when I say these things.’ And listen to how
others receive you. Pay attention to what their voice says, to their body language.
How are they receiving you? And start making some notes and really pay attention.
Another way that you can do this is to look around to the voices that you admire in
other people. You know, who are your thought leaders? Who are the people that you
admire, the people that you respect, either in person or from afar? And then ask
yourself, What is it about how they communicate that really resonates with me? And
then you can use that to look inward at what unique gifts you bring to the table
because here’s what I want for you.
I want you to recognize that the goals, the vision, the ideas that you have for the
future, they are all valid. They are useful, they are important. And you can bet the
goals you have in mind are achievable. The more you believe it’s true, the more
others around you will believe it as well. Communication is the key to success in the
first place.
So you have got to pick yourself up from that place of hesitation and just start. I
believe in you and I need you to believe in you too because here’s the thing: learning
how to pivot around some discomfort, that’s what comes with embracing
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leadership. Learning how to become a better communicator, both at home and at
our workplaces, that’s what’s going to propel us to the top and guide us to the
success that, not only we want, but that we deserve (because you DO deserve a seat
at the table).
And that, my friends, that is what the intentional advantage is all about.