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October 14, 2019

Below is a lesson from TED about habits that could be keeping you from being a great communicator, as well as our key learning.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


Which of these habits is keeping you from being a great communicator?

By Julian Treasure

Yes, we all do these things, but they can suck the life from your conversations, says sound consultant Julian Treasure. Read this and strengthen your gift of gab.

Over the years, I’ve identified a set of common emotional drivers that suck the power out of communication. I call them the four leeches. Most people — me included! — have most, or all, of them in some form. I’m not suggesting they’re bad, wrong or to be condemned outright; the trick is to be conscious of them and not let them run the show.

Continue reading here.


Key Learnings:

  • Four “leeches” – A set of common emotional drivers that suck the power out of communication:
    • Leech #1: Looking good 
      • We all like to look good. However, this basic human desire can often get in the way of our listening and our speaking. This tendency often evinces itself in two simple words: “I know.” But if I know everything, what can I learn? Absolutely nothing. It’s deflating to be around someone who is impossible to impress. 
      • “Speechwriting” – This practice often produces the “anyway…” non-sequitur that ignores what was just said and moves the topic to a completely different place.
      • “Competitive speaking” – trying to one-up the other person
    • Leech #2: Being right 
      • When I am right and you are wrong, it makes me feel I am better than you. The desire to be right can be very destructive in relationships.
      • The need to be right can arise from a fear of being disrespected. Or it may come out of the fear of being seen as we really are, as flawed human beings who are perfectly imperfect and full of contradictions and confusions.
      • Interrupting springs from the desire to be right. This might be the result from speechwriting, but it often arises with no planning at all — simply from the desire to disagree, demand an answer, or make a point now, without waiting for the other person to finish.
      • Interrupting has two unfortunate consequences. We don’t hear what the other person says, which might be useful, enlightening or not what we expected. And it most likely damages the rest of the conversation by changing the dynamics and emotional context. 
    • Leech #3: People pleasing 
      • If someone is — or is perceived to be — driven by people-pleasing, it robs their speech of power. Honesty and authenticity are absent, and these are key foundations for strong communication.
      • If you find yourself people-pleasing overmuch, take some time to think about your own values. Ask yourself: What do I stand for? What is important to me in life? What is not negotiable?
    • Leech #4: Fixing
      • Fixing is about trying to make it all right. Sometimes people need to be upset and to express their grief, sadness, anger or other strong negative emotions. Fixing denies people the feelings they need to feel. 
      • When communication is driven by the need to fix, it usually means there’s a hidden agenda at work — one that is all about the fixer’s needs, even though it may be disguised as love.
  • As you consider them and become more and more conscious of their existence in your speech, their power will be lessened. Simply shining the light of mindfulness on them should cause them to wither and shrink.