In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

In the pursuit of being a better communicator, leader, coach, teammate, spouse, or friend, it’s easy for us to get caught up in our messaging – that is, WHAT we are saying.

And as ambitious individuals, we dive into the research.  With a bit of education, reflection, and feedback, we then realize that it’s not just the words themselves, but also HOW we say them, that matters.  Afterall, studies have shown that the actual words said only account for 7% of the perceived meaning!

But even when we take both of these things into consideration, we still seem to have misunderstandings.  That’s why today’s episode gives you several new pieces of the context to chew on as you reflect on previous interactions or strategize for upcoming conversations.

Some of the key topics covered in this episode are:

  • The questions you need to ask yourself BEFORE you start to strategize your approach
  • Specific outlines and examples to use when approaching hard conversations
  • How to combat the fear of being taken the wrong way

Related Episodes:

126: 8 Obstacles to Building Buy-In

127: How To Give the Most Effective Feedback

130: How Understanding Drives Helps Build Buy-In

194: How To Become a Better Listener

202: Why Facts & Logic Don’t Change Our Minds

207: How Perception Impacts Communication and Relationships

261: “What Should I Do?”  Applying Strategic Thinking to Conflict Resolution

270: How To Build Trust So You Can Do Your Job, Have More Autonomy, & Help More People

FULL DISCLOSURE ALERT: Despite running a company that is largely focused on communication and understanding, power dynamics and human interaction, I fall short a lot. My wife and I have been together for 13+ years. We still get into arguments, we still fight, and I lose my cool sometimes.  And for a long time, I felt like that made me a failure and a fraud. And then what I realized is it’s exactly what we talked about at Art of Coaching and why our products exist. None of us are ever going to be good enough at communication. It doesn’t matter what or how many degrees or certifications I have, how many books I’ve written, or how many people I’ve mentored along the way.  There’s always room for improvement, ESPECIALLY when it comes to my family and loved ones.

If you can relate to this, that’s where our work can help. We don’t do a bunch of pie in the sky solutions. We’re real people who have real flaws just like you, but we take a research backed and experienced based approach to help you improve in those areas that matter most. So if you want to improve as a communicator – whether it’s for your job, for your loved ones, or  for yourself, check out what we do at

1:1 or Group Mentoring

Live WorkshopsThe Apprenticeship, Speaker School, or Brand Builder

Virtual Community: Mighty Networks

Speaking Events

Online Courses

If you have specific questions or experiences you’d like to share, or if there’s any certain topics you’d like to hear us speak on, reach out to us directly at  Our community (that includes YOU) is the reason we do what we do!  We would love to hear from you and provide you with the specific value you’re looking for.

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Momentous. Moving into the new year, we are excited to announce our continued partnership with this loyal and reliable organization! Momentous is our oldest partner, but they are STILL improving their product. If you are looking for the best tasting and cleanest protein out there, look no further. Code: BRETT15 gets you 15% off your first order!


Brett Bartholomew  0:00  

A quick personal note here. So I’d appreciate if you tune into this. And maybe I shouldn’t share this. But I’d really like to, despite running a company that is largely focused on communication and understanding, power dynamics and human interaction, I fall short a lot. My wife and I have been together for 13 plus years, we get in arguments, we fight, I lose my cool sometimes in many areas of my life. And for a long time, I felt like that made me a failure. And then what I realized is, it’s exactly what we talked about at art of coaching and why our products exist, none of us are ever going to be good enough at communication. 


My doctorate doesn’t mean that I’m going to be a perfect communicator, the fact that I write books on this doesn’t mean that I’m going to be a perfect communicator. And if you already feel like you’re good enough in your professional life, well, then I just ask you to consider if you’re where you want to be in your personal life, do you interact with your spouse, or your partner, your significant other the way that you want to do you always show up for your kids the way that you want to? I think if you’re being honest, we all fall short. And that’s where our work can help. We don’t do a bunch of pie in the sky solutions. We’re real people who have a real flaws just like you. But we take a research backed approach and an experience led approach to help you improve in those areas that matter most. 


So if you want to improve as a communicator, whether it’s for your job, whether it’s for your loved ones, or whether it’s for yourself, personally, check out what we do at We have virtual mentoring that you don’t have to leave your house for. We have live workshops where you can connect with other humans, anything that sits at the intersection of relationships, leadership, or entrepreneurship, we have solutions for so join us. We’re a bit of a group of misfits, we’re imperfect. But I can promise you this, there’s no way you’re going to get involved with any of our programs, and not come away with actionable insights that transfer to every part of your life. So reach out to us once again, or you can email us direct at We would love to help


Welcome to the Art of coaching Podcast. I’m Brett Bartholomew. And at a young age poor communication nearly cost me my life. Now, I help others navigate the gray area of social interaction, power dynamics and communication so they can become more adaptable leaders, regardless of their profession, age or situation. This podcast is for everybody who is fascinated with solving people problems. So if you’re in the no nonsense type, who appreciates frank conversations, advice you can put to use immediately, and learning how others navigate the messy realities of leadership. You’re in the right place. I’m glad that you’re joining us. Let’s dive in.


All right, thanks for joining me for another episode, we’re gonna get right into this one. Now to ground everything we’re going to talk about, I want to give you a situation or scenario. So it all makes sense. Oftentimes, when we do our workshops or in services, we collect data, and this data is anonymous. But it asks people a variety of questions to get an idea of what their view of communication is strategic communication, effective communication, you name it. And one of the responses that we can get oftentimes is that somebody believes themselves to be a pretty good communicator. And  they’re surprised by or frustrated by the fact that they have so many misunderstandings or that other people don’t seem to be on board with what they’re saying. 


And essentially, it’s led to a number of organizations saying Why can’t people just assume positive intent? Now, that’s not the main part of this episode, we’re going to talk about what you can do to reduce the risk of misunderstandings. But it is something that you want to consider. If you think about, why didn’t this person I said, blank? And I thought I said it well, why didn’t this person receive it that way? That puts a lot of onus on the other party. Now, there are likely some obvious things that you know, either from listening to this podcast or in general, right, we know that communication is not just bi directional, but omni directional. 


So you can’t just put the onus on one person for not receiving it a certain way. If you’ve listened to the podcast before you’re familiar with our broader work, you know that misunderstandings often happen due to perception. We have an entire episode on how perception impacts communication that will be linked below. We know that it there’s variances in communication styles, all of this, but here’s what I want to get to today. A lot of times when people say things they think about Alright, there’s what I want to say and how I want to say it, but there Not very honest about the why. And that is counterproductive for a very clear reason. 


All communication is purposeful. Now, there are certain people that communicate because of reasons or in ways rather, that maybe aren’t inherently clear to them. They think they’re clear about them, but they’re really not being honest about their goals. There’s other people that it’s very intentional, it’s very clear what they’re saying and how they say it. But what I want to tell you today is, you are not going to be an effective communicator, if you do not have it 100% whittled down as to why am I saying the thing that I’m saying? What is the ultimate goal, because it should be goal directed. So to consolidate what I’ve said, so far, we’re making the point that communication is not about big words, ornate arguments, fluent speeches, it’s a goal directed process that largely depends on a mutual understanding of intent. 


But if you want people to assume positive intent, whether that’s because you want to connect to resolve an issue, you need to be honest with yourself about what that intent is. Right? So are you wanting to win an argument? Are you just trying to prove something? Are you trying to actually connect, apologize or persuade, say it again, and again, and again? What is the goal? So that is something that immediately gives you an action item for this episode, is begin with the end in mind, let’s say you want to talk to an individual, whether it’s on your team. And this could be like, if you’re a younger adult listening to this, this could be your sports team. If you’re in the corporate world, this could be on a team that you manage your leader are part of. 


But let’s just say somebody’s behaving in a way that is counterproductive to the larger goal. And you just want to tell this person, hey, I, I don’t appreciate the way that you leave practice early, or I don’t appreciate the way that you tend to be late turning in your part of this project. I don’t appreciate your lack of communication, whatever that is, right? You want to go into it, you want to get really clear, right? What am I trying to do? Am I trying to win them over? Am I trying to assert myself? And make it clear that we’re not going to stand for this anymore? Am I trying to bring something to their attention in a respectful way? What are you trying to do? And why? And build all that scaffolding around those things? 


Okay, because that is going to inform then the words you use the tone, you use all the rest of these pieces. So what is the end goal? Start with the end in mind, otherwise, your feedback loops and anything like that don’t matter. And I’m just going to reference a note here, right? Like, we know that every interaction has some kind of desired outcome. So I’ll repeat it again, ask yourself, what do I want to achieve with this message. And to be clear, sometimes you just want to rip someone. And I’m not gonna sit here and claim to run a business, let alone share a podcast that is based on pragmatism, especially around communication strategy, and not act like, sometimes it is viable and valuable to just let someone have it. I know we don’t live in a society that talks about that. But anybody that’s led in real life is going to tell you that sometimes somebody just needs to be told, this is not okay. We’re not standing for it anymore. Blank, right. 


Or sometimes the goal is yes, you might have somebody on your team that’s naive, they don’t even know what they’re doing. And this is why it’s so important that to have a lot of factfinding as a part of this, because you might think you told somebody something, but maybe you did it over in an inappropriate medium or a medium. That’s not clear. And that’s a whole nother bag that and we’ll link that in the episode below as well. There are so many different components to communication that can make it wrong. But when you begin with the end in mind, and I’m really stressing the significance of starting with that clear, and write it down writing down, what’s the desired outcome here, it sets you on a road to success. Okay? 


Because that will impact the listeners perception, it will. And it’s just something that I told somebody the other day, don’t expect somebody to assume positive intent, especially during hard conversations. If you’re intent, let alone the clarity of your message aren’t 100% locked in to you, right? And so being just honest about that is going to play a huge role. Then it’s about Alright, well, how do I how do I clarify things? How do I speak more clearly? is a matter of simplifying the message. Is it a matter of using more direct language using specific frameworks? What do I want to say? I’m still gonna go back and say Well, that depends on why you want to say it to begin with. Because why you want to say it is going to give a lot of insight hey, I want to say this because my team needs a kick in the butt. 


Okay, what do they need a kick in the butt around improving sales outreach, or improving the way they work together? Like we have a remote team they need to get better at blank, be more accountable on how they set these things up, then go from there. But oftentimes, so many people say, Well, I want to say one thing. But they beat around the bush so much because they’re scared of conflict, they end up saying something else, or the subtext isn’t clear. And when we’re indirect, because we’re scared of conflict, that leads to a whole nother issue, that leads to a whole nother issue. So one thing that we do at our workshops is we have people will come up to a whiteboard and say, think about a time recently, when you wanted to get something across to somebody, write down what you wanted to get across, and we’ll watch them write it down, whatever that is. 


And since we run courses on business development, we run courses on relationships, and leadership, these vary, but what do you want to get across? Okay. Now think about all the ways you could say that, that would make it go wrong. At least write out three. So we have them write out three all the ways it could go poorly, because that tends to be pretty easy for people to do, and say, okay, are any of these reasons? Because you were too indirect? Or your message wasn’t clear? Yes and no. Right? So if it’s Yes, all right, what could be done better? No. All right, let’s move on to the next thing. Are any of these a result of you hedging your language, which again, could lead to a lack of clarity? Or is it a result of using emotional language or anything like that, and you just go down this process of trying to whittle it away. 


And it’s very much like if you were writing a book, you need to edit it? And you want to get somebody down to Alright, what’s the simplest way you could say this? And if somebody says, I don’t know, all right, we’ll go back to your intention. And sometimes you have to give people guideposts. Is your attention to assert? Is your intention to persuade? Is your intention to just disclose? Because that’s also been something we’ve been asked, somebody just recently said, what if you want to say something to somebody, and you don’t necessarily want them to respond, you just need to want them to reflect on it. 


And I sat there for a minute, because that’s an interesting question. Because there’s a lot of assumptions there, right? Typically, we’re not going to be afforded that opportunity. If you want somebody to listen to you about something, you should expect to have to listen to them in return. Now, of course, this will depend on relationships and certain things. Of course, there are people in my life that could say, Brett, I’d like to say something to you. And I just like to sit on that for a little bit, a little bit. And then you can respond, this happens with my editor, they may say, Hey, I’m going to provide some suggestions for your next book, I’m going to give you some feedback on part one, and just sit with it, and then come back to me. 


But what I told this individual is, that’s nice to think that they may do that. And I can give you strategies to help with that. But you should also prepare for them to say No, you said your piece I’d like to say mine. Because when I asked them, well, what is the intent? Why would you want them to not respond? Then we got to the root cause of this. They said, Why don’t want them to respond necessarily right away, because they’re very good at and the phrase they alluded to is something along the lines of verbal jujitsu, they’re very good at taking things I say, and spinning them in a way that’s not really true. And then it just leads to a host of unproductive conversations. 


And so what I suggested I said, alright, well, then, sure, you could go up to them and say, and I’m gonna make up the name here, hey, Leon, I have something I want to say. And I want to make it clear, I respect the heck out of you. But if you could just think about this for a moment, or sit with it. And then I absolutely want to give you a chance to say your piece. But just come back to me in 24 hours. And think about what I really mean here. I said even if you do that, that leads to so much ambiguity and it also Prime’s the message in an odd way. If you say I want to say something to you, but I don’t want you to respond. Immediately that person’s antenna is gonna go up, they’re gonna think well, what the hell man like you just gotta get this off your chest. And I don’t get a say my piece that’s not realistic, especially since people hate a lack of certainty. 


So you need to go into a situation. I mean, you’d be better off almost saying, Hey, I feel like our last few conversations haven’t been as productive as they maybe could have been. So it might be beneficial. If we both get to say our piece, and the other party just has to kind of reflect on that a little bit. Let’s try to take emotion out of it, and just sit on this. So maybe give them a chance to say their piece first. Right? Or if you’re really really, I don’t want to say stubborn, if you’re really set on saying your part first, you at least need to let them know that you’re open and you want to afford them the same opportunity. But that’s a tricky situation.


If you’re tuning in for the first time, or even the 100th time I want to make sure I make something clear. At art of coaching, we specialize in all things, leadership development. And usually the things that you don’t read about in books, right, most leadership books are not going to tell you how to not get taken advantage of, unfortunately, most leadership books, either profile famous historical figures, or they give you some kind of cheesy TED Talk wrapped in 300 pages, right, it doesn’t tell you the things that you need to know as you’re going through them. And that’s what we want to be. 


All of our resources collectively are a Practical Playbook for how to navigate power dynamics, and people or even how to get out of your own way. We’ve worked with people on over 30 different professions. And we would love the opportunity to help you. So reach out to us at And whether you want mentoring, whether you’re interested in live events, whether you want online courses, we have something for you. We also have something for every budget, whether you’re a first responder or a member of the military or a student, we have discounts we have payment plans. Trust me, we put out over 1000 hours of free content a year. And we spent a tremendous amount of time at that. So if our free stuffs that good, imagine what you can experience with the weekend with us. Check us out, email us at


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if you’re really set on saying your part first, you at least need to let them know that you’re open and you want to afford them the same opportunity. But that’s a tricky situation. Right? The best thing that you can do, and in many cases is just say, and I’ll make another name up here. Tonya, before I say anything, I just want to make it clear that my goal here is to improve our relationship or my goal here is to make sure that we both get our work done in a way that super efficient and makes life easy. Or my goal here is just to tell you why I feel a little bit upset and why you might be experiencing blank from me. Having said that, boom. deliver your message. 


That in most cases, and I say most cases, because we always talked about context, shapes, everything. But that in most cases is going to be the most effective route, right to just say, come out with it, come out with and say, Hey, I’m sorry, this might seem direct, or even abrasive. But my only goal here is this, and then lead into your message. And I had to learn how to do this when I speak because I recognize that my passion can make me come across as punchy, argumentative, direct abrasive to some people that don’t share my communication style. I appreciate that. So what I tried to do now is meta communicate out in front, especially if the audience doesn’t know me, hey, just a heads up, I tend to get very passionate about this. This stuff nearly cost me my life. And I’ve seen it impact so many other people’s lives and relationships. 


So if I start going like on a rant, or I seem pretty direct, just understand that it’s me trying to convey a point clearly or I just want to be useful. And I want to make sure that you understand how much this means to me and how important it is. Or am I just say hey, this is my communication style. I tend to be somebody that’s direct. That’s because this cost me a lot in my life. I’ve seen it directly impact others. Please don’t take it as abrasiveness. On the other hand, if I start to go down on that route, and it clouds of the message, just let me know. Just say, hey, that seemed a bit direct. Is there another way you can approach it? Whatever. I mean, I’ve never really had that happen. But I just try to lead in color. I mean, it’s the same thing you do. 


Listen, if you go to a movie, you’re usually not surprised if you went to a horror movie that that was scary. I mean, you might be surprised if it’s not, but you bought a ticket for that thing. And so let people know, just give them a little bit of certainty, hey, I understand that this might be uncomfortable, or hey, I get that you have a lot going on. And I respect your time, I just want to tell you something, because I think it could really improve our relationship. I think you get the point. But just to cite some research here, and this comes from a number of authors, I’m happy to cite them. And if you want the citation, just reach out we’ll do that. But this is from a book called skilled interpersonal communication by Alan Hardy. It’s a great resource. 


And he says, a key characteristic of communication is its purposefulness. It is widely accepted. That action is directed by goals that control and motivate our behavior. And people always interact with some end in mind, they want to effect some desired outcome. So communication is far from idle or aimless. But it’s rather conducted to make something happen to achieve a goal. So once again, all I’m asking you to do in the context of this particular episode, is think about the conversations you want or need to have in the next 24 hours or however long and start with the goal, I need to talk to my manager, here’s the goal. Here’s the goal, here’s what I want to achieve. Here’s some ways that that goal could be lost in translation. Here’s some ways that goal could be misinterpreted. And then think, now, what could I do to get out in front of that? What could I do to get out in front of those things. 


And you also want to of course, within that understand the audience, this is something we talked about ad nauseam at our speaker school, if you don’t want, things can be misinterpreted, or you want to decrease the likelihood, not only should you understand the goal, or the why or the intent of your message, but you should understand your audience, you should understand your audience because that is then a counter stress test to say, Well, based on what I know about them. And the situation, how likely is it that even if I’m clear in my goal, it’s still going to be misinterpreted. And that’s why you have to practice this stuff. Right. 


That’s why it’s so key. And that’s why the most common thing we get told by anybody that says, Man, I thought I was already a strong communicator, they say until I had to be put in these scenarios. And these role playing scenarios, because then all these misconceptions of what you thought was clear what you thought was good, or that you were good at come out. And by the way, that’s not failure. This is stuff that after having 15 years training athletes real living, there are plenty of athletes that thought they were good at deceleration or that they could already do such and such with great technique, or that a part of their game didn’t need improvement. And then we put them in a situation with constraints that shows them that’s not the case. And that’s all we really want to achieve here. 


From a social agility standpoint, it is just saying, Alright, here’s what I think I’m going to say here, I think I’m pretty good at it, I’m going to convey it, I’m gonna use the right words. And we see it, especially today, because there’s so many resources where people can use. I mean, let’s call it what it is. There’s a lot of resources that teach people how to use Therap, eyes language, and really almost overly PC safe language. And what it’s done is created more of a passive aggressive landscape, because people are so worried about saying the right thing and the perfect way that their message gets lost. And just think about that, I’ll say that again. 


Sometimes we can get so conservative, saying what we perceive to be the right thing and the perfect or right way, that the message gets lost, it’s removed, all humanity is removed from it. It just becomes a settler sterilize a scepter sized version of itself. And I’ve even seen that in certain podcast episodes that we’ve done is if I overthink a certain episode, now I get so worried about what somebody could misinterpret this or maybe this needs to be said in that order. That the humanity the visceral realism of the episode or the topic gets lost. Some other things to think about. Are you the best person to deliver that message? 


We all know that the expert is always out of town. I’ll say that again. And then I’ll clarify if that’s a phrase that you haven’t heard. The expert is always out of town. So let’s say something as simple as you have a teenage son or daughter. There’s going to be some things they’re just not going to listen to you about. They’re going to listen to somebody that’s an aspirational other and that’s why coalition tactics where you recruit or ask somebody else to kind of speak or share information on your behalf can be so effective. You might see this in your professional life where I have a friend who worked in one organ, one industry. And he said, it’s interesting. I was never as valued in my own industry, as it was in those external to mine. And there are so many professionals that can relate to that. 


And there’s a lot of reasons to that. It’s beyond the scope of this episode, right. But we see that the expert is always out of town. And that frustrates some people, they think, Well, I’ve been saying this my whole life, why didn’t they listen to me, you can be too close to it. So there might be an interaction where your goal and your intent is clear. But it’s still going wrong. Because maybe you have too much of a history of that with that individual. Maybe it doesn’t matter if your goal and intent and your messaging and your delivery. And all those are great, because they’re just not going to listen to you. And they’ve already kind of made up their mind, they’ve got those walkers. 


So say it one more time, because it’s so prevalent. When it comes to changing behavior and communication, the expert is often out of town, people are more likely to listen to those outside of their field or sometimes outside of their circle. It’s that whole familiarity can breed contempt side of things. So just think about that. The expert is always out of town. Think about where that’s occurred, and then think alright, but if I still have to confront somebody, or I have to try to influence them, what do I do? I’m going to tell you look at somebody else that is a respected other aspirational other, or somebody that maybe hasn’t been on them so much about something very the message very the messenger. And if you’ve seen the movie 300, it’s funny because we see that situation where the Persian delivers the bad news, and he says, Ah, this is Sparta and kicks him down the well, well, that is Persian messenger syndrome, that actually occurs in real life. 


If we don’t feel good, not only about the message, but who brought that message to us in the first place, then you’re going to encounter more resistance. So that’s a unique thing. Is my intent clear? Is my goal clear? Am I the best person to deliver this message? Is this the right time to have this conversation. And I always think devil’s advocate, I’m certainly not saying there’s a perfect time. Sometimes you gotta have the conversation you’ve got to have when you’ve got to have it, that’s fine. But that’s no excuse to not think strategically. In all things, communication, you absolutely have to think strategically. And if you don’t want to, if you don’t realize there’s far more to communication than you think you will pay a tax on the backend. And that’s what I tell folks either think about all the things that could make communication go wrong, that’s going to cost you time on the front end, but it’s prophylactic, or you’re going to pay the tax on the back end. 


Because you didn’t consider all these other factors that could lead to misunderstanding. Now, you have something that’s far worse, whether that’s a ruined relationship, whether that’s somebody’s hurt feelings, and now you’ve got to work all the way back to that point. So just understand, there’s so much more to that you can’t think there’s more to your financial building financial wealth, and you thought, exercise and nutrition and you thought any of those pieces and then not think that that also applies a social interaction is just people typically don’t want to do that. Because it comes, it makes them come face to face with their insecurities. 


And by and large, that’s also why leadership or management and coaching can be hard, because these processes, and the social relationships and the misunderstandings can often bring us face to face with our insecurities. We feel like, once I’m not good enough, that was uncomfortable, anything that’s personal, is going to feel very, very, very uncomfortable. Another point, and I want to think I want to be clear here, thinking about feedback loops. What feedback loops, can you use to really ensure that your message was received as intended? And that can be a tough one, you might have a difficult conversation with your spouse, and they might get mad and shut the door on you. 


All right. Well, now that’s an ego defense mechanism. So was their withdrawal, a sign that maybe the message hit and hit a little too close to home? Was it off entirely? Was it too embracive? I don’t know only you know, that relationship, right. But that can be the result of– that’s one thing that’s unfortunate about even the most skilled communication, it will not always lead to an outcome that you perceive to be as desirable. There’s times where somebody doesn’t want to hear the truth. And you told them the truth. And even though the truth might be subjective, right, that hurts. And that’s why in the past episode, when we had somebody come on, and they said, Well, I feel like I’ve failed in many respects, because I got a divorce. 


It’s like, man, that’s almost like a leadership outcome. If you’re somebody that think all outcomes in life or leadership, ultimately come down to you. You are so off base. Right? But so many of us do, we do think, well, if I’m a good husband, a good wife, a good mother, father, whatever partner, and I’m a good leader, then we should be able to measure success and desirable outcomes. I’m sorry. That is not what leadership management parenting anything like that can ever be measured by, because every outcome is not under your control. But you certainly can’t use that as a way to say, well, then what’s the point? Right, what’s the point if I can deliver any kind of message I want to or I need to more skillfully, and I still can’t guarantee success? I guess I just asked you, what’s the point of trying to take care of your health, if you know that your genetics could kill you at 70, control the controllables. 


Control the controllables. I can’t control every aspect of when I might pass, or when I might die. But I can control things that I put in my body. I can control trying to get better sleep, I can say the same thing exists and communication, control the controllables. All right, some other pieces before I send you on your way. And I just want to reiterate some questions and some key points. Right. So remember, next time you enter a conversation, or you want to assert yourself, just be clear, are you trying to win an argument? Are you trying to prove something? Are you trying to connect, apologize or persuade? What is the goal? Some bonus reflection questions brought to you by our own Becca Gold. 


Have you applied your words or criticisms to your own life? If you have a business partner, and you want to criticize their business plan or their strategic plan? Think first? Have I come up with an alternative? Have I shown something that could maybe lend insight into a better way to adapt to this? Are you the best person to deliver the message we talked about Persian messenger syndrome? Does the conversation bring attention to me and my emotions? Or a root cause of a problem we both want to solve? Listen to that one again. Is this the best time to have the conversation? Are there viable alternatives? And then finally, not only all of those were like, What is my message? Have I made my message as simple as possible? Because I know complexity, clouds, clarity, right? 


Could I convey this message in one sentence? Could I do it in one paragraph? Could I express it in one word, not that you would write but just really getting to the core almost as if you’re an author? What are you trying to say? And those of you that, you know, if you’ve read a book, you can read a few sentences and think wow, like, this person really overcomplicated? That something I have to do right now in many aspects. Right? Have you tailored it to the individual? And just think about it like you, you know, something about the individual. You know whether they’re more analytical, you know, whether they’re more empathetic, you know, how they’re likely to take the message. Are they defensive? The hardest people to tailor messages to or the passive aggressive, because they won’t always let on. 


They’re very good at making it seem like your point got across, and they’ll subvert it. I’m gonna do a podcast about this in the future. When I was working out the other day, there was somebody at the gym that had gotten in trouble for something the kid was maybe in his 20s, right? And you could kind of tell by his behavior, he liked himself a lot. He was showing off to his friends kind of just being ridiculous, the people that go to gyms and stuff like that. And it’s to draw attention to themselves. And a staff member came over and said something to him. And you would have thought if you were observing it from abroad, that the person took the message extraordinarily well. Direct eye contact, serious face, nonverbals everything that showed I’m on point, the minute that that authority figure left, the kids started laughing and rolling his eyes and doing what are really called Face saving gestures to show those around them that whatever that guy said, I’m not on board with he’s an idiot. 


And that’s something that he actually verbalized. I’m not listening to that dude stupid, we’re gonna keep doing what we’re doing. People will go to extraordinary lengths to make it seem like yeah, I’m on board. I got it. Thanks. Appreciate the feedback. But then they’ll do things first civilly to kind of screw you over. We’ll have a future episode about that. And if you’ve experienced that, write in, write in to us at we always change names will never use your exact scenario. Don’t worry, Your privacy is going to be taken care of. All right. 


So all in all, consider all these points. Please, please, please remember communication, not about fancy language, not about you, not even about your confidence in delivering a message. It’s all about your intent, being clear. It’s all about you thinking from the end, like think back from with the end in mind. And then use that scaffolding, and make sure that you’re being honest with yourself. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when things go bad. If you have any other questions about this, once again, email us at If you like having conversations about this, you want to get other takes go to


We have a private community, it’s filled with leaders and individuals from every walk of life. We all like to share things that we’re going through and we have experience and solutions. You never know what you’re going to learn from somebody else. And if you look around the internet, there’s not a lot of positive places to have these kinds of conversations. People can be transparent and vulnerable. Share your own leadership techniques and lessons. Our goal at art of coaching is that it’s so much bigger than one individual. It’s about everything that fundamentally makes us human. At that point. There’s nothing more that makes us human than how we communicate and how we connect. All right. Appreciate all of you talk to you soon.

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