Unlocking assertive communication: The vital link between relatability and credibility – Kathy Klotz-Guest

Improvisational comedy is extending beyond the stage; it’s transforming the way professionals connect and communicate. On today’s episode of The Small Business Show, we’re learning how to communicate powerfully with a few tips from behind the art. Joining us is improv comedian, author, and keynote speaker Kathy Klotz-Guest, the founder of Keeping It Human.

Key Takeaways 

1. The discussion emphasizes that powerful communication isn’t just about being articulate or persuasive; it’s about being fully present and engaged in the interaction. Based on her experience as an improv comedian, Kathy Klotz-Guest highlights how being in the moment, adaptable, and empathetic are crucial aspects of effective communication. This extends beyond scripted scenarios and applies to real-world situations where spontaneity and flexibility can significantly affect how messages are received and understood.

2. Klotz-Guest introduces us to the ‘Yes, And’ principle, a practical mindset from improv comedy that can be readily applied to communication. ‘Yes, And’ fosters collaboration and creativity by encouraging active listening and building upon ideas, rather than shutting them down with ‘Yes, But.’ This approach not only enhances the flow of conversation but also promotes a culture of openness and innovation within teams and organizations.

3. Communication adaptability and flexibility are invaluable in the face of unexpected challenges or changes. Klotz-Guest shares insights into how improvisers master the art of embracing surprises and adjusting their responses on the spot. This ability to pivot and stay present in evolving situations is a valuable skill for professionals in dynamic work environments where plans can quickly shift.

4. Moreover, Klotz-Guest emphasizes that relatability and credibility are intertwined in effective communication. Establishing relatability by showing authenticity, empathy, and understanding builds trust and rapport with the audience or colleagues. This, in turn, enhances credibility because people are more inclined to listen and engage with someone they feel connected to personally.

5. Nevertheless, Klotz-Guest concludes with practical tips for improving communication skills, such as replacing “Yes, But” with “Yes, And” to encourage collaboration, using subtle cues like a rubber band to break old communication habits, and being willing to adapt and pivot in response to changing circumstances. These actionable insights empower individuals to become more intentional and effective communicators in their professional and personal interactions.

"The biggest mistake that people make is when you don't know people, or you're still trying to build a relationship with people, we try so hard to establish credibility 'cause we've been taught that credibility is important." – Kathy Klotz-Guest

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