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The Communication Revolution: Ditching Old Habits for Modern Success

Goodbye to formalities, hello to authenticity!

Whether you're a seasoned veteran stuck in old ways or a fresh graduate who's been taught formal language is the way to go, it's time to ditch those habits and join the communication revolution.

We're living in an ever-changing world, and the way we communicate is no exception. Good communication is crucial for success, both in our personal and professional lives. But, let's face it, many of us still have some outdated communication habits that are holding us back.

Overusing formal language, choosing to hold back out for fear of being seen as unprofessional, and falling into social conventions when it comes to new technology can hinder our ability to connect and succeed. These habits may have worked in the past, but in today's fast-paced world, it's time to shake them off and embrace change.

So, what are the new communication strategies for modern success? The answer is simple: embrace informality and authenticity, understand and adapt to new technologies and platforms, and develop effective virtual communication skills.

These strategies set successful modern communicators apart from those who are struggling to keep up. By incorporating these fresh approaches into your communication style, you'll be able to connect with others on a deeper level, build stronger relationships, and achieve greater success.

The Old Communication Habits That Are Holding You Back

One of the biggest old communication habits holding us back is the overreliance on formal language. They taught us to use formal language in all of our communication, but in today's world, this can come across as stiff, unapproachable, and out of touch. We are drawn to those who are genuine and relatable, and formal language often impedes that.


Good afternoon, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am John Doe, a recent graduate of Harvard Business School with a Master's degree in Business Administration. Through various internship and consulting projects, I have gained experience in financial analysis and strategic planning. I am eager to bring my expertise and experience to your organization.

How do you feel after reading that? Do you actually know anything about this person or are they just another person?

In my opinion, they are stiff, formal and utterly forgettable.

Another old habit that's holding us back is fear of vulnerability and authenticity. We often hide behind a veneer of formality and professionalism, but this only serves to distance us from others. In order to build strong relationships and truly connect with others, we need to be vulnerable and authentic. This means being willing to show our true selves, even if that means revealing our weaknesses and insecurities.

One of my turning points in my professional life came when I realized that the formal and professional communication style I was using wasn't getting me the results

I wanted. I was a young manager and felt like my blazers and fancy talk would earn me the respect that I so desperately wanted to deserve. This resulted in my feeling disconnected from my peers and team and I felt like my words were falling on deaf ears.

I consciously chose to be more authentic and genuine in my communication. I shared my concerns about the direction of the team and company and spoke to them as if they were my team rather than a teacher trying to protect their students from the world. The result was amazing!

The change in energy was palpable, and within minutes, the mood in the room had shifted. Gone was the tension that made it feel like we were enemies. People replaced it with laughing and sharing personal anecdotes of their terrible experience, and before we knew it, we had stumbled upon the solution to the problem I had been working on for weeks.

It was a powerful lesson for me in the importance of being authentic and genuine in communication, and it has made all the difference in my professional life.

Not only did my team trust me more now that I was telling them the truth, they also supported me through the rough waves. My team was more responsive and engaged with the new transparency and was excited at the opportunity to come up with new ideas to solve our shared concerns. I was able to build stronger relationships with my colleagues and gave them a chance to grow with me.

The New Communication Strategies for Modern Success

The new communication strategies for modern success are all about embracing informality and authenticity, understanding and adapting to new technologies and platforms, and developing effective virtual communication skills.

It's about letting go of the formalities and being more real with others. This means speaking in a language that is natural and relatable, and avoiding formal language that can be off-putting. By being more authentic, you'll be able to build stronger relationships and connect with others on a deeper level.

Hi there! My name is John Doe, and I recently graduated from Harvard Business School with a Master's in Business Administration. When I'm not working, I enjoy going for hikes, trying out new recipes, and discovering new restaurants. I have experience in financial analysis and strategic planning, and I'm looking forward to contributing my skills and knowledge to the team. I’m new to the area so if anyone has suggestions for outdoor activities or foodie spots, I’m all ears!

What do you think of this person’s introduction? More like hearing from a person than a robot with a degree, right?

Note that they aren’t “so excited to be part of the team.” That comes across as cliche and fake. Whether it’s a hobby or a book that shaped your life, look to add a personal touch.

Next, it's important to understand and adapt to new technologies and platforms. This means staying current on the latest communication tools and being comfortable using them to connect with others. Make an effort to watch a video on the features Zoom has so you can use it to its full abilities. Make sure your setup looks good not for vanity sake but to reduce any distractions from your connection.

To me the three biggest culprits are bad lighting, weird camera angles and a messy background. We can easily change this with a switch in layout, a stack of books and a virtual background if you want to spend $0 or a ring light, laptop stand and 15 minutes to shove your mess out of view if you have 5 minutes and an urge to do some online shopping.

Finally, developing effective virtual communication skills is key to success in today's virtual-first world. This means being able to communicate clearly and effectively through technology, even when you can't be in the same room as the person you're communicating with. This includes things like engaging in body language and keeping your video on, carving out time for small talk to connect with others, following up with their health, family or upcoming personal events all make a huge difference since we aren’t standing by the water cooler or taking smoke breaks.

By embracing these new communication strategies, you'll be well on your way to becoming a successful modern communicator. Whether in the virtual or in-person setting, you'll be able to connect with others, build stronger relationships, and achieve greater success in both your personal and professional life.

How to Change?

The transition from old, formal communication habits to new, more authentic, and effective communication strategies can be a difficult one. Many of us have spent our entire lives relying on social norms and conventions, and it's challenging to break out of those patterns and find our own authentic voice.

One of the biggest difficulties in making this transition is the fact that we often aren't consciously aware of the conventions and norms that we've internalized. We may have been taught to communicate in a certain way since childhood, and these patterns have become deeply ingrained in our behavior. This can make it difficult to identify the areas where we need to change and develop new communication habits.

Another challenge is the fear of being vulnerable and authentic. We may be afraid to show our true selves for fear of judgment or rejection. This fear can hold us back and prevent us from making the connections we need to build successful relationships, both in our personal and professional lives.

Despite these challenges, the transition from old to new communication strategies is essential for success in today's rapidly changing world. By being more authentic and using new technologies and platforms, we can build stronger relationships, connect with others on a deeper level, and achieve greater success in all areas of our lives.

Out with the Old in with the New Spy on Yourself: Uncovering Your Communication Habits

Pay attention to your own communication habits for a day.

Note any instances where you revert to formal or inauthentic language and consider why you may have communicated in that way. This exercise can help you become more aware of your communication patterns and identify areas for improvement.

Practice Makes Progress: Solo Communication Drill

Practicing speaking in a more authentic and natural way.

Choose a topic you feel uncomfortable talking about and record yourself speaking for a few minutes. Then, listen to the recording and note any areas where you can improve your language or tone. Practice speaking this way every day until it becomes second nature.

Communication Duo: A Conversation Revolution

Have a conversation with a friend who is also interested in improving their communication skills. Take turns practicing speaking authentically and giving each other constructive feedback. It may start out with a rough version that you would NEVER say in public before you slowly strengthen it into something usable without losing the initial thoughts behind it. This exercise can help you build your skills and feel more comfortable being vulnerable and authentic in your communication.

The End

These activities can help you actively apply the information on new communication strategies and transition from old, formal habits to a more authentic and effective communication style. With time and practice, you'll be able to develop new, effective communication habits that will serve you well in all areas of your life.

The key to making this transition is to become more aware of our communication patterns and habits, and to work on developing new, more effective communication skills. This may mean seeking training and coaching, practicing new communication techniques, and being open to feedback and constructive criticism. With time, patience, and dedication, you'll be able to transition to modern, effective communication and achieve the success you desire.


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