EPMEPM: First Person

Seeking the truth

In a world where everything seems Instagram perfect, it can be hard to admit something is bothering you in your business or workplace. Fiona Blayney examines how speaking up can harness strength in numbers and even solve problems.

From the moment we are born we strive to communicate.

Babies cry to let their parents know they are hungry, tired or need a cuddle, while parents wait patiently for their first word.

More often than not, patience quickly turns to impatience as they decide the most incoherent babble is actually a word, albeit one only they understand.

In jest my parents often recount how they couldn’t wait for me to start speaking. They were eager to know what was going on inside my little mind.

Like most children, once I started talking I didn’t stop and my parents didn’t know where to find the off button.

I haven’t stopped communicating since.

“A penny for your thoughts” was the question of the day as I was encouraged to discuss whatever I had on my mind.

From an early age I communicated, widely and deeply. I became a communicator.

A communicator is someone who, from a place of love and care, speaks authentically, cuts to the truth and seeks to understand others in their conversation and discussion.

The ultimate test to identify a communicator is when you ask them ‘how are you?’ and they answer with more than an automatic ‘good thanks.’

When they ask you the same, they genuinely listen and seek the same level of response.

A communicator is someone who, from a place of love and care, speaks authentically, cuts to the truth and seeks to understand others in their conversation and discussion.

The value in being a communicator extends far further than just being paid to talk.

When we are brave enough to share a snippet of our world it’s incredible what we discover about others.

We quickly learn, despite how we sometimes feel, that we are all experiencing this crazy thing called life.

We have similar challenges, fears, setbacks and failures. We are more alike than we realise.

Perhaps social media is to blame for our lack of reality.

Our minds are filled with the idea that everyone else’s life is picture-perfect.

Maybe it’s our pride, or the discomfort and vulnerability we feel when discussing our truth.

As I move through my youthful 40s I’m in a stage of life where families are experiencing the challenges of ageing parents, adolescent children, marriage stresses and, dare I say it, clinging to our own vitality.

As a communicator, I’m fortunate to find my sanity, support and practical advice in those around me.

The pressure to be perfect exists in business too.

After 17 years as a coach, I can confidently say every business has the same challenges with people, process, profits and all the nuisances in between.

This year has brought a downward market shift, but it’s important to remember everyone is operating in the same market and navigating the same changes.

Reductions in sales values and volumes mean we all have the same potential for drops in revenue and financial pain.

As you sit in your office reviewing spreadsheets and strategies you are not alone; the office next door is doing the same thing.

When it comes to navigating business, don’t be afraid to be authentic and deepen your conversations with each other.

With great questions and conversations you’ll not only feel supported but you might just find a solution to your greatest problem.

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Fiona Blayney

Fiona Blayney is the founder and director of Real+, an industry first Property Management learning platform. For more info visit realplusonline.com.au.