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How to Connect and Communicate – Be Curious, Be Fearless, Be Super!

October 21, 2022

TRANSFORMING
WORK

WITH
SOPHIE WADE

How to Connect and Communicate – Be Curious, Be Fearless, Be Super!

How to Connect and Communicate – Be Curious, Be Fearless, Be Super!

Lou Diamond, growth consultant and CEO of Thrive, is the host of popular podcast Thrive Loud, a keynote speaker and author. Lou’s new book “Speak Easy” is a playbook to help people connect and communicate, especially addressing the most difficult and awkward conversations. Lou shares insights gathered working in retail, consulting, banking, and as an entrepreneur, learning how “soft” skills are the “super” skills of communicating effectively and improving outcomes.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[02:44] Lou comes in feeling more than spectacular, sharing how beekeeping and jewelry selling were a part of his academic path to studying economics at Cornell!

[03:35] Economics was originally taught in the Agricultural School at Cornell, so Lou also learned bee-keeping.

[04:17] Lou learned much from his entrepreneurial father working in the family’s stores from age 13.

[05:13] How does communicating in a very small space differ from communicating in larger spaces?

[06:15] How to transcend the transaction in a competitive environment.

[07:28] Lou minors in communications in business—a key aspect of who he is.

[08:15] Consulting is the first stop to explore different industries and roles.

[10:32] Lou gets the opportunity to transition to communications and marketing in financial services.

[13:44] In the 2008 market crash, the spotlight was on Lou covering government sponsored agencies.

[16:00] Despite being very busy, Lou wanted to share his experiences and insights more broadly.

[17:40] After a side hustle for a tech consultancy in Vegas, the entrepreneur’s urging resulted in Lou writing “Master the Art of Connecting”.

[20:15] It’s not about what you need to say, how you need to be. There are five ways starting with “Be curious”.

[22:50] Lou became a certified coach knowing coaching skills would help him become a better communicator and leader.

[24:27] The importance of sharpening question-asking muscles.

[26:22] Be fearless. Move through courage, owning and committing to what you say.

[28:27] We all have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

[30:50] How can we understand each other when our contexts are so different?

[32:00] To make a connection with someone, you have to let go a little bit which is the hardest thing for people to do.

[32:43] The three steps of moving through fear into courage.

[33:52] Being more fearless, we are more likeable, more connectable.

[35:06] Lou does a V.O.I.C.E. check-in to prepare before communicating: Visualize; Opportunity; Identity; Charisma and Energy level.

[37:20] “Soft” skills are actually “super” skills to Lou.

[39:08] The pandemic highlighted the importance of connections and conversations.

[39:59] The benefit of conversations at work to uncover and deal with problems—such as “why are people leaving?”.

[41:07] Lou shares a creative/risky exercise an executive tested to bring more empathy into work.

[43:02] “Speak Easy” us a guidebook and gift which explains how to prepare for different conversations using communication “cocktails”!

[46:26] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: Lift the energy and be super--unleash your superpower. If you don’t know yet what your superpower is, ask yourself and others to help you figure it out and then incorporate that when describing who you are when you meet people.

QUOTES

“It’s not what you need to say, it’s how you need to be.”

“If you’re not telling and talking and you’re focused on asking and listening, by definition you’re curious.”

“By embracing curiosity, we are putting ourselves in a position to be open to the idea that we can grow, connect, and establish that relationship.”

“You have to move through your fears into courage in every conversation.”

“We’re afraid to engage and connect, we’re not embracing being fearless and being vulnerable in the way that we can actually be as a human being. We need to do that.”

“Be brief, be bright, be gone!”

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