I'm an excellent communicator AND it's always been a struggle
Translating the thoughts in my head to the words on my lips has always been a challenge. In fact, in order to articulate myself in a way that matched my thoughts, I have always relied heavily on an outline; a thoughtful, organized rubric - in my mind - as the words left my mouth.
Though, as you can likely imagine, not all circumstances lent themselves to the time needed to build this 'outline'. In dialogue, for example, there were many instances where pauses for mental organization felt unnatural, forced and unattainable. In these cases, my words didn't always match my intention and I often found myself apologizing for mis-speaks. My mouth would often move faster than my brain could articulate. And this was the ultimate frustration. A friend recently reminded me "Even though you would sometimes say the wrong thing, we knew your intentions were pure." Thank goodness for intentions... :)
In school, in order to complete those dreadful 5 paragraph essay's, I needed a thorough outline. I worked out the ending, returned to the beginning, considered the steps and then began to write.
Personally, away from school, it was the same. I knew that when my brain gave me the time and space to organize, I could communicate well. I just needed "strategy" time to consider the relationship, map out the goal and then execute.
Over the years, I have done a great deal of work to find this "time" - to gift myself the space to formulate thoughts and disentangle ideas. I still trip up and 'whoops' myself into the wrong word or message. But generally, I find the gap between my thoughts and words to have shrunk.
I take a breath
I listen intently
I affirm what I have heard
I consider my audience and the relationship
I assign a goal to the engagement - am I giving advice, listening to a vent, support a friend?
And in moments that feel particularly heavy, I write. Choosing words in my head has always been a super power of mine - but ONLY when I have the time and space to pull them out effectively.
Ironically and systematically, this has all contributed to the creation of Jessica Ovadia - my COMMUNICATION firm.
Early on, I realized that to communicate effectively and succeed - I needed to define and refine a set of skills. A set of skills I coach my clients on each day.
1) Big picture goals - what are you trying to do or say. This is the deep breath
2) Consider your audience - walk in their shoes and understand their pain points
3) Design the message - choose the words carefully. Be meticulous. Take your time and battle your assumptions
4) Design the vehicle - how do you want to share the message? How should the words leave your "brain"
As a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother and professional, these skills are my oxygen. Considering my audience, choosing words wisely, being thoughtful of goals -- I think about this all day long.
They say you should love what you do. I live what I do. And so far, it's working out pretty well.