How To Be An Impactful Communicator Part 1

How To Be An Impactful Communicator Part 1

How would your life change if you were a better communicator? For many of us, myself included, I think it could be significantly better. That’s why I have a Leeza Steindorf from Core Success with me and we are going to do a 3 part series on How To Be An Impactful Communicator. You don’t want to miss this.

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How To Be An Impactful Communicator Part 1



Tim Fitzpatrick
How would your life change if you were a better communicator? For many of us myself included, I think it could be significantly better. And that is why I have a special guest with me today. We're going to do the first of a three-part series on how to be an impactful communicator. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan I am really excited to have with me today, Lisa from Core Success. Can't wait to dig into this. Lisa, welcome and thank you so much for being here.

Leeza Steindorf
Thank you for inviting me, Tim.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, absolutely. So before we start talking about impactful communication, want to ask you a few, just rapid-fire questions, help us get to know you a little bit. Are you ready to jump in the water here?

Leeza Steindorf
Here I am, I think.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. Awesome. Yeah. I don't know. It's not like you need to be super brave to jump into this water.

Leeza Steindorf
Okay.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So when you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Leeza Steindorf
Oh, so I love paddleboarding. I live in the pacific northwest, so I love paddleboarding. I am very connected to the native walk. And so I do spend time in the forest with either a drum or native fruit. Yeah. And I do woodwork.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay.

Leeza Steindorf
I Enjoy carving.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. So paddleboarding. So my family got into paddleboarding last summer. We are totally hooked.

Leeza Steindorf
Right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So do you use an inflatable? Do you have a hardboard?

Leeza Steindorf
I actually have a hardboard, and there was a company here that let us try out different boards before we purchase one and that you don't have to purchase from them. But I ended up doing that. And so I ended up getting a really long one 12 foot six inches, which is like. It's narrow, and it's for touring. And the reason I like it. It's like running on the water. You can go super fast.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I was going to say that sounds like a really fast board.

Leeza Steindorf
It's more unstable because it's narrower, but, boy, is it fun!

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Awesome. I love it. What's your hidden talent?

Leeza Steindorf
My hidden talent. Oh, goodness gracious. I think that I can, this is going to sound kind of strange, but that I can sometimes read people like, if they are having a situation they'll come to me. It's just like, "Oh, I'm really frustrated." I can very quickly be able to say, "Oh, it sounds like it feels like this is what's going on for you." Like, 'How did you know that? What?" And so seems helpful to people. And I can't tell you how it works.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, that's a fantastic talent to have. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Leeza Steindorf
That's an easy one. And that is that people are always doing their best, given current understanding abilities. So no matter what it looks like that people are doing to really know that if they could be doing it, in my opinion, better or different, they would be. But that's the best they've got at that point in time. Really useful.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That is a fantastic mindset to have. It would seem to me that if you think that way, it softens, otherwise, very difficult things that might come up at times.

Leeza Steindorf
Excellent insight. That's exactly right. It really does.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. That's an awesome point. What's one thing about you that surprises people?

Leeza Steindorf
That I have worked in and traveled to 38 countries.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's awesome. What does success mean to you?

Leeza Steindorf
Success is who we are. It's not something we achieve when we are aware of and are living from the highest and truest part of ourselves. We are success. And we then express that in the world and support others to do the same.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where's your happy place?

Leeza Steindorf
On the Lewis River, south of Mount Saint Helens. Just a beautiful, peaceful place with towering pines and eagles and osprey. In a tent, actually, anywhere in the tent. It's my favorite place.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Leeza Steindorf
Authenticity, commitment to connection and again, living from that place within themselves that's connected to spirit and to one another. Like really having that at the forefront and not as just words that they use once or twice a week.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So tell us just a little bit more about what you're doing. How are you helping businesses with your company Core Success? What does that look like?

Leeza Steindorf
It's actually kind of an outgrowth of what I've just shared in those questions is that I have the opportunity to help individuals and then teams groups become really clear about who they are and what gifts, what goodness they already possess without having to get somewhere. In business, in leadership, and in consulting, there's always this idea that we have to get somewhere else than where we are right now. Like this isn't good enough. How can we change it and prove it, grow it, you know, whatever? And to help people understand that where you are and who you are right now is so amazing and so rich. And when you start there now, how do we offer from this place this richness? How do we offer that into the world in an impactful way, in a useful way, in a really high-level way? And then with skills of strategic planning, I do that less so anymore because it's more linear. What I really enjoy is leadership coaching, team trainings, and also as a mediator doing crisis transformation. So going into corporations and also small businesses or nonprofits that are struggling, if they're having downsizing or they have litigation before they get to that point. Or even while they're in the middle of a hot situation to go in and helping them understand themselves, each other, literally, that transforms the situation and resolve. And they end up at a better place afterwards than before hand. And I also work with women. I have a program, Leadership for Women, which is really powerful.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And with the leadership work that you do, I'm assuming that all of that is very communication based. You're helping them be better communicators, which is then in turn, helping them be better leaders. Do I have that right? Or are you doing more than that?

Leeza Steindorf
Well, actually, I'm going to start before that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay.

Leeza Steindorf
So before you can even be a communicator, it's really knowing who you are and how you are in a situation and from that place and we're going to get into that, that place, it's a natural progression to communicate well. When you have that clarity, then all you need are a few skills in order to express that. What happens is most people aren't even aware of how they feel, where they are within themselves. And that gets really complicated. If we look outside the world, we'll see how complicated it can get.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Awesome. Well, let's dig into how to be an impactful communicator. First thing that comes to mind is, man, there are a lot of conversations that go south really quickly. Why does this happen?

Leeza Steindorf
Well, I think again, we're just following a thread here. So when you are in a conversation, let's say there are three people in a conversation. The perception of each person is that there's only one conversation taking place. There's actually three. And when you're aware of that, that there are three conversations, then what you're going to do is Orient first within yourself to understand what's your conversation. And when you're aware that there are three, then you're going to have curiosity, "Okay. I know what mine is, what's theirs? What's his? What's hers?" And then having curiosity, then you have a clear lay of the land. What happens most of the time is if there are three people in a conversation, people are thinking there's only one conversation. And so they're speaking from their perspective, expecting that's exactly how the other person is seeing it. And when it doesn't match up, then friction starts. It's like, "What do you mean by that? How can you see it that way? What are you talking about?" Because their perspective feels like such a given for them, and it feels like it's an absolute, ultimate reality or in truth, it's actually one facet of that experience that the three are having.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So are we, when we see it only as one conversation, we're kind of communicating our viewpoints in our reality, expecting that that's everybody else's?

Leeza Steindorf
That's correct. And there's nothing wrong with expressing your reality. And your experience. It goes south when you are wondering, "Why are they not doing that?" And if they're not seeing it that way. Then we make them wrong. And that's really the Genesis of almost every conflict I've ever experienced and mediated and helped.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So we're not coming at the conversation from a place of curiosity and openness?

Leeza Steindorf
Correct. Not intentionally. It's not like we're going in there like a Bulldog. It's like the fish with water, right? You say, "How's the water?" "What water?" "What are you talking about?" You have to take them out and say, "This water." So it's the same thing in conversation to say to somebody, "This is your experience." Yeah. My experience. Alright. Let's listen to our this other person's experience and then they listen like, "Wow, that never occurred to me." It's just not in their awareness that there's another perspective of that experience.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So let's talk about these steps to impactful communication. You've got this framework that you use. Can you walk us through the four steps that we need to be aware of to be an impactful communicator?

Leeza Steindorf
I can. And I also would like to just make sure I mentioned because I honor all teachers and students that this work came originally from Carl Rogers. Dr. Carl Rogers, who is called the Father of Humanistic Psychology. He called it I Statements. And from there his students, Marshall Rosenberg, transformed it into Nonviolent Communication. And that may be what it's known in the world, but I worked with Carl Rogers daughter for seven years and assisted her in trainings in Europe. And so this really was a foundation of my work. And the framework behind that, and I bring that up is because in human psychology, in person centered therapy, it's understanding another person from their frame of reference. That alone is powerful and healing for people who especially have gone through trauma. So these statements come with that backdrop. But first speaking about yourself. So the first step is to you can well, actually can flip these back and forth. But I like to do facts first. So a fact is something that's measurable. It's something we can all agree upon. And it's not subject to interpretation, if you will. We're using temperature, height, you know, sound, whatever it is to say, the door is closed or it's open, the light is on or it's off or it's 22 degrees, not 23 degrees. So facts are things that we can agree upon. They can be correct or incorrect. Then we have our feelings, our experience that's step number two. It's like, how do I feel about the door being open? Well, when you walked out of the room and you close the door, I felt sad, right? I have an experience of that fact. That experience is always valid. It doesn't matter what it is. Your experience is valid. And so as the next person and the next person so that I'm aware of. Okay. This is how I feel. I felt sad. Well, why? What is important to me about either you walking out of the door closing? Because when we can have a conversation, even if it gets difficult, I want us to stay connected. It's important to me that we have a relationship. And when you walk out, I feel sad because I feel like that relationship is threatened or it's over. And then the fourth step is a request. And a request is not a demand. It's really a request that you can say no, it's simply a wish of mine. And that is the next time that you feel like walking out the door, you get frustrated that you tell me that so we can figure something else out. Tell me we can talk in 15 minutes or tomorrow or start another conversation or something so that you don't walk out the door. And that's my request to you is that you tell me that you feel like walking out the door.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay.

Leeza Steindorf
Those are the four steps and literally, almost any situation can be broken down that way.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. So facts. Measurable, something we can all agree on. Everybody that's in the conversation can agree on. Feelings, which is how we're each feeling about the experience or this conversation. Everybody's feelings are always valid. The third step, help me with that one again.

Leeza Steindorf
I feel this way because. And that because is really what's motivating me. Why am I even talking about the door being close to you walking out? Because I care about you. I care about our relationship.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it.

Leeza Steindorf
I want us to stay connected. So it's my motivation. It's what is important to me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. Why do you feel that way or your motivation? And then the last step is the request.

Leeza Steindorf
Yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. So, yeah. Go ahead.

Leeza Steindorf
I'm just going to say going back to facts. You said it's something we can all agree upon. If you've ever been in a court of law, you will find out that people have very different perceptions of the facts. So when we share, if we had a video camera, we could probably all agree upon that. Although even that is questionable. It's the sharing of how we have experienced the facts. The useful thing about that, though, is that I'm not saying you slam that door, right? I can't say whether you slammed it. But what I could observe was you got up and left the room and closed the door.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Leeza Steindorf
Most likely. Or the doors closed. Most likely we could agree on that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Leeza Steindorf
But the how you did it or the why you did it. I don't know that. So I'm speaking from what I observed with my senses.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So you're just trying to find some initial common ground in the conversation.

Leeza Steindorf
And neutral. Neutral ground.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Neutral. Got it. Yeah. I think that's a key distinction there is that it's neutral.

Leeza Steindorf
Yes. And so on that point, I'd like to share the foundation of my work is nonjudgment. And I've shared with you the genius of nonjudgment training, which is free for anybody who wants to watch and participate in it. And that's the basis of it is to separate out what are the facts and what is my experience of the facts. The facts be correct or and correct. My experience is always valid. And what where conversations and where conversations go south and where conflict arises is when I tell you that your experience is wrong and mine is right. So we're using a measurement for experience that only really is permissible, if you will, for facts. Facts can be correct or incorrect, but feelings can't be wrong. I can't tell you that you're wrong, that you're cold in a room, that when it's 73 degrees, it's warm. You shouldn't feel cold.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Leeza Steindorf
How can I tell you that? Feel hot when it's 73 degrees. Those experiences are always valid. And so to not judge someone's experience, including our own, is the foundation really of being impactful. And also understanding and really human.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Isn't understanding somebody else's experience, also kind of opening that door, that window to kind of see why they're feeling the way that they are?

Leeza Steindorf
It is. Absolutely. And what is why people don't do that, Tim, is because they're afraid if I open that window, if I start understanding you, I'm going to get lost. And so the sequence, if you will, that's really useful, is first understanding where you stand, because if you know where you stand, how you feel, what's going on for you personally, you can orient in that. Then you have like an anchor like you're standing, here I am. And from that safe space, then you have the ability you can pivot from there and say, "So this is how you're feeling. So this is how you're feeling." But you're not leaving your orientation. You don't have to, to understand another person.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. I love it. So what you just said kind of, I think leads into our next question, which is to be an impactful communicator, we need to first really understand ourselves. Can you unpack this concept a little bit for us?

Leeza Steindorf
Sure. Well, let's go back to the example I used about you leaving the room, Tim.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. Yeah. Me slamming the door. Right?

Leeza Steindorf
Exactly. So let's say what a typical scenario would be, some conversation happens. You get up, you walk out of the room, close the door. And let's say you're angry, you're frustrated, whatever it is, and you slam the door and I'm sitting there and I'm like, "Well, what a jerk. I can't believe he just did that. We're in the middle of a conversation." Right. So my orientation now is on you, what you've done. Alright. And then that's where kind of then goes up because you in yourself, you had a reason for getting up and leaving the room. So you've got your inner experience going on. If I start with myself and I say, "Okay, so that's what he did. That's a fact. The doors closed. It's a stimulus. It's a trigger for me. What is my experience of that? Well, actually, I'm kind of sad because I thought we were friends and I really wondered I was right in the middle of a conversation expressing myself. I had no clue why he just got up and left. But I'm sad that he did and also totally confused because I don't know what just happened." So now I have my experience of it, and then I can ask myself, "Well, what do I want? Well, actually, I'd like him to come back and see if we can finish this conversation, or I'd like to at least understand what just happened." So now I'm with me. I don't need to accuse you. I don't need to yell at you. I don't need to make you wrong. I get to just say this is what's going on for me. And what has happened to most of us, especially in the Western world, and I frame it that way because the Indigenous cultures operate very, very differently, but in the Western mindset, from really small children on, we are taught to not know how we feel, to not be aware of our experience. We are told how to feel. We are told what to do. We are told how it is. And so from very early on, we are trained away from the experience of ourselves and our environment and the experience of ourselves as nature is part of everything. And we are schooled into this has nothing to do with me. The world is happening out there. And then we Orient only to out there and not into ourselves as part of the situation.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So what we're really doing when we understand ourselves, if I understand this correctly, is we're first getting a baseline of how we're viewing this particular situation, right? What was this experience? What was my experience of what just happened? And what do I now want as a result of that?

Leeza Steindorf
Exactly.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. So if we can ask ourselves these two questions, when any type of conflict or situation comes up, we're now understanding ourselves. And now we're armed to take the next step and what actually needs to happen to at least attempt to get some resolution.

Leeza Steindorf
Absolutely. And I really love that you brought it down to those because when my children were younger, I actually wrote down on a card when they were in elementary school, I had them write down exactly that. How do I feel? What do I want? And that's a really simple way for them to be able to orient, because when people are yelling or accusing or jumping or screaming or whatever is happening out there and even in the media or wherever we are, it catches our attention like a spark leasing in the sunshine. It's like, oh, and we're always out there. And so if we ask ourselves to questions like, how am I in this situation? How am I feeling? What's going on for me? And what do I want here? I've been told by certain people that's selfish. That is so useful to be self-oriented, because then am I in a place to say, "And how do you feel?"

Tim Fitzpatrick
Right.

Leeza Steindorf
What's going on for you and for you and for you? Now we can work together. But if I don't start here, if I don't understand myself, I promise you, I don't care how you feel, because there's just so much going on out there. There's no relationship between you and me. Start here. Then I can connect to you from a deeper place in myself and not just from a cognitive concept.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, it seems to, my guess is when you ask yourself these questions, how do I feel? What do I want? You're not going to be so reactive in the conversation?

Leeza Steindorf
You'll be responsive.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Leeza Steindorf
Exactly right. You'll be responsive because you're staying connected to yourself. It's so somebody says something else, and then it's like, "Well, now I'm confused when you say that you were frustrated because I don't know what happened." Now I can go to curiosity. "What did I say or what happened that frustrated you so much?"

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Leeza Steindorf
So I'm staying connected to myself, but also to you. "Well, you said you didn't want to meet up for dinner when we agreed upon it." "Oh, that's how he's seeing that, right. What I said, let me explain that. What I meant was, I can't do it now. I didn't mean I never wanted to meet. I just meant right now the plans that we've made don't work for me." Now it's like and then you can say, "Oh, I didn't hear it that way." Now we're in a conversation.

Leeza Steindorf
Yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And getting to a resolution.

Leeza Steindorf
And sometimes not. I don't want to give the impression that there's always resolution.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes.

Leeza Steindorf
Even if there's not resolution, it's not going to be as contextual. It's not going to be as heated, at least not for yourself.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Right.

Leeza Steindorf
If not, my experience has been, it is usually also less so for the other.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I guess it kind of goes back to that saying we agree to disagree, right?

Leeza Steindorf
But to do it from a place not of aggression, but, "Oh okay, that's how it is. Now I have more clarity, at least where you stand and where I do."

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. We're not always all going to be on the same page. But at least if we have some understanding of where the others are coming from?

Leeza Steindorf
And that's actually that's not just a side effect. That's mandatory, especially in our social-political culture right now. If there were more understanding for people's positions, I guarantee you, we would be walking through these circumstances that we have today much more smoothly and in my opinion, a lot more effectively.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Leeza Steindorf
Right now, there's no understanding, and there's barely understanding for ourselves, which is the problem.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Very few people with what we're dealing with, we all feel the way we feel. And I think a lot of us are having a very difficult time seeing how other people can feel the way they feel.

Leeza Steindorf
Exactly right. Exactly right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I'm excited to continue to dig into this in our next conversation, because next time we're going to dig deeper into examples. If people are watching, listening to this live, send me or Leeza directly, I don't care or post in the comments, "Hey do you have a situation that you want us to actually break down because we're going to role-play. Leeza, you're probably going to put me on the spot a little bit. That's a okay. I'm totally cool being a guinea pig here. So if you do have specific situations that have come up for you, whether it's personally or professionally, let us know. And we'll do our best to roleplay some of these in part two of this to help you get super comfortable with this framework. Because we've broken it down a little bit. But I think when we actually apply it to real world scenarios, it's going to become much more clear and easier for you to start implementing and using. Do you have any last minute thoughts you want to touch on before we end things today?

Leeza Steindorf
What I would encourage people to do, and hopefully they will tune in again is to in whatever situation, even if it's watching the news or going to the movies or listening to a conversation is to just start listening for the fact and for how people feel. Start just having a hearing for those two different things without doing anything else. Just that distinguishing of just those two aspects is a really useful practice.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. Awesome. Leeza, thank you so much for taking the time today. Where if people want to learn more as we go through these, where's the best place for them to go?

Leeza Steindorf
So my website, Lisa, Sendor dot com or Your Core Success dot Teachable dot com has a number of my trainings, including the free training of The Genius of Nonjudgment.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. So Leeza Steindorf dot com or you guys can go to get some free training and workshop resources. Your Core Success dot Teachable dot com. These links will be up in our future conversations. We'll make sure that they're in the show notes, because if you take the time, it's obvious Leeza knows what she's talking about, and we're just going to keep digging into this so that you can start using this. I think we can all benefit from this personally and professionally. So thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. Again, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. Pop back for episode and part number two next week. And if you are struggling with your marketing, if you are hitting roadblocks, you're trying different things, nothing seems to work. You're not sure what the next right step is to help you get your business to the next level, hop on over to our website Rialto marketing dot com. That's R-I-A-L-T-O Marketing dot com. Click on the Get a Free Consult button. Happy to chat with you and give you some clarity on what that next right step needs to be. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time. Take care.


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Copyright © 2021 Leezá Carlone Steindorf. All rights reserved. No duplication without written permission. Thank you.

Leezà Carlone Steindorf is a communication, crisis and culture transformation specialist. Her extensive background in multinational corporations, trade unions, nonprofits, and educational institutions in over 35+ cultures allows her to help individuals and organizations make sustainable forward movement, especially during the most extreme of circumstances. Reach out to Leezá@LeezaSteindorf.com.

About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. We do this by creating and implementing a plan to communicate the right message to the right people. Marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the RIGHT plan.

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