Authentic Communication

Claudia Aronowitz

Relationships are challenging, despite the fact that we work with people all of the time, we care about the people that our organizations serve, we care about the people we lead, and we want good relationships with our leaders. 

It can feel as if people don’t understand what we are saying, what we are trying to do or what we need from them. The impact that we are having on others might not match the intentions that we have. 

This happens for many reasons, and it underscores the importance of changing our communication patterns. 

Like many of you, I grew up believing that we should treat others as we wish to be treated. Philosophically, this is very important, but in relationships, it doesnt work. In my decade as a coach and communication expert I have learned that what we really need is to: 

Do unto others as they would have you do unto them or treat others as they wish to be treated.

It sounds simple but it is fundamentally different. Why is this essential? 

Because we are all different. 

We have different needs. 

We process information differently. 

We are triggered by different things. 

We have different experiences. 

We have different values. 

We have different perspectives. 

We have different ways that we communicate and make decisions. 

In order to create the impact that we want, we need to understand how we process information and how we tend to communicate. We also need to try to understand the other persons perspective and the ways in which they communicate.

Claudia Aronowitz - Magnificent Person - person standing and facing the sunrise

For the most part, I dont like assessments. I dont like being put into or putting others into boxes of colours, letters and personalities. I believe that we are all unique and that we all have the ability to adapt, grow and change.

There is one assessment, however, that I often use with my clients because I find that it helps us to better understand ourselves and our differences. This assessment is DISC.

DISC outlines four individual styles of communication. We are all combinations of these styles, and there are no good or bad profiles. The styles are:

      • D: Direct, strong-willed, forceful, results-oriented, energetic, independent and decisive.
      • I: Outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, communicative, lively, persuasive, sociable and convincing.
      • S: Thoughtful, calm, supportive, patient, humble, reliable, understanding/accommodating, modest/discreet, friendly and sincere.
      • C: Accurate, private, precise/detailed, analytical/systematic, cautious and reserved.

    We are naturally a combination of styles, and we also have an unconscious way in which we adapt our style depending on the circumstances. The idea is to learn what style we are and to be able to adapt it in a conscious way depending on the situation. 

Claudia Aronowitz - Magnificent Person - person standing and facing the sunrise

We can AUTHENTICALLY ADAPT our communication style to fit both our needs and the needs of others. 

Many of my clients understand that they are creating stress and conflict but believe that they are who they are and cannot change. 

It is true that we are who we are and that we each have a unique personality. We can adapt how we communicate, however, and often, these adaptations are easier than we think. Good communication can be learned! 

We can learn when to be detailed and when this complicates things. We can learn to be supportive but also set boundaries. We can give feedback and be assertive while also acknowledging the needs of others. 

The first step is knowing ourselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We need to pay attention and become more aware of the impact that our communication style is having. 

The second step is to do unto others as they would have you do unto them or treat others as they wish to be treated. I invite you to take the time to consider other perspectives and ask people what they need from you. 

We can be authentic and communicate with others in the way that they need. 

We have the ability to adapt, to change and to create the relationships we desire with the people around us. 

This article originally appeared on Charity Village on January 25, 2024

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About Claudia Aronowitz
As a highly trained, certified coach and mediator, I take pride in helping others find clarity and acceptance of who they are. I will propel you to move forward into taking responsibility and leadership of your life and relationships—both personal and professional. With compassion and a straightforward approach, I will help you discover new insight and uncover opportunities to use your unique voice. From there you can create the life and relationships that you desire and find fulfillment and joy in life’s challenging journey. Learn More About Claudia >>

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