Authentic Connections: Embracing Vulnerability in Communication With Melinda Lee - Speak in Flow

In this episode of Speak In Flow with Melinda Lee, the focus is on the essence of establishing authentic connections. The discussion revolves around the significance of bringing your complete self into interactions, including embracing vulnerability and weaknesses.

Key Discussion Points:

Genuine Connections in the Spotlight: Melinda Lee delves into strategies for building authentic connections even in high-stakes situations or when under public scrutiny. Listeners will gain insights into maintaining authenticity despite the pressure of being in the spotlight.

Framework for Communicating with Flow: The episode uncovers an essential framework for communication, offering listeners a structured approach to engage in conversations with more fluidity and authenticity. By embracing this framework, individuals can navigate interactions more effectively and authentically.

Inspiring Action through Authentic Connection: Melinda Lee shares techniques and real-life examples on how authentic connections can serve as catalysts for inspiring action. Listeners will learn how genuine and meaningful connections have the power to motivate and drive change.

Increasing Trust, Confidence, and Influence: The episode explores how embracing vulnerability and showcasing one’s authentic self can contribute to fostering trust, confidence, and influence. Strategies are discussed to help individuals make a more substantial impact through genuine connections.

This episode of Speak In Flow aims to empower listeners to not only understand the importance of authentic connections but also to equip them with practical tools to apply in various personal and professional settings. The conversation encourages embracing vulnerability and weaknesses as strengths that enhance communication, ultimately leading to more meaningful and impactful connections.

Tune in to gain valuable insights on establishing authentic connections, fostering trust, and influencing others through genuine and vulnerable communication. Learn how this approach can transform interactions and relationships in both personal and professional spheres.

Listen to the full episode for a comprehensive guide on establishing authentic connections and leveraging vulnerability to communicate with more impact and authenticity.

Remember to tune in to the Speak In Flow podcast hosted by Melinda Lee to explore the complete discussion and gain a deeper understanding of the art of genuine connection and communication.

About Melinda:

Melinda Lee is a Presentation Skills Expert, Speaking Coach and nationally renowned Motivational Speaker. She holds an M.A. in Organizational Psychology, is an Insights Practitioner, and is a Certified Professional in Talent Development as well as Certified in Conflict Resolution. For over a decade, Melinda has researched and studied the state of “flow” and used it as a proven technique to help corporate leaders and business owners amplify their voices, access flow, and present their mission in a more powerful way to achieve results.

She has been the TEDx Berkeley Speaker Coach and worked with hundreds of executives and teams from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Caltrans, Bay Area Rapid Transit System, and more. Currently, she lives in San Francisco, California, and is breaking the ancestral lineage of silence.

Website: https://speakinflow.com/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/speakinflow

Instagram: https://instagram.com/speakinflow

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mpowerall

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Transcript
Melinda Lee:

Welcome to another speak in flow podcast episode.

Melinda Lee:

I'm glad you're here, because today we are going to dive into

Melinda Lee:

the world of connection, establishing a genuine

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connection. A connection is a bond, a bond where people, both

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parties, who are there feel seen, heard and valued. Have you

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ever been with someone where you are so seen and valued, there's

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a connection there, there's a bond, it doesn't feel good to be

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with that person, where you just feel safe. Imagine feeling like

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that, when you are speaking to your audience, allowing your

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audience to feel so connected to you through this bond, and

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connection. I have a question for you. Do you feel seen heard

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and valued? Are you seeing as a true strategic leader within

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your organisation? Or are you just working really, really

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hard, overwhelmed, and then starting to communicate in a way

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that isn't outbursts and outlash? If you are feeling that

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you're getting to that point, this is your episode. Because

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today, we're going to give you some tips on how to get

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grounded, how to go back into establishing a connection with

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yourself and with your team members. So that at least even

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if you're feeling overwhelmed, at least they know where you're

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at, at least you're communicating in a way that

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makes you effective leader. So I know that feeling valued, seen

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and heard. Sounds great. But I think it's more difficult than

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people think to do or know how to do. Because establishing a

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connection, a genuine authentic connection means that especially

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as a leader, you need to go first to do that. And how do you

Melinda Lee:

do that? Well, that means that you need to bring your whole

Melinda Lee:

self in. Now, let me explain. I think most people, when they go

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to meet with somebody, they are showing their best selves, like

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their strengths, oh, this is all that I can do. And everything

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that I've got all my strengths, and I only want you to see my

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strengths. And, and then I try to hide my vulnerabilities, my

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weaknesses, or I pretend that they're not there. And sometimes

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often when you do that, when we're trying to hide certain

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parts of us, what ends up happening is that the receiver

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may feel there's a disconnect, the receiver senses, you may be

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hiding something. Or you may come off as too robotic to

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perfect. And I see this, especially when we're delivering

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presentations, right? We're trying to be someone that we're

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not, we're trying to exude confidence look like we have it

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all together look like we have everything and we know it all.

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And we can we get all the questions answered. And the

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challenge is when we're trying so hard to prove that we are

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somebody, we start to become less human. And when you can

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start to accept some of the vulnerabilities or the parts of

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you that feel less less than or perceived as broken, when you

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accept them, then others will accept you or you start to lower

Melinda Lee:

your guard, there's no barrier, when you're trying to pretend

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that they're not there, there's a very, you can subconsciously

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put up a barrier without even knowing it. And when you allow

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yourself to say, Hey, I might mess up and that's okay. Or I

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made like out as frightening as it is, I am still accepted. When

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you start to do that, more than likely, whatever you're afraid

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of. It may not even show anyways. But that requires that

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you have to go with acceptance of these things that you feel

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are broken. And once you do that, then the other people,

Melinda Lee:

your audience, or the person that is in front of you can also

Melinda Lee:

lower their guard, they can feel there's a connection, that

Melinda Lee:

you're not blocking, you're not hiding. And so when they sense

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that you're not hiding anything, then you start to establish a

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connection, a bond because they can come into the relationship,

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lowering their guard and feeling like they can bring their whole

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selves not just a part of themselves, not just what they

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feel like are their strengths, but that you accept them for

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both their strengths and their vulnerabilities. Because you've

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accepted and your strengths and vulnerabilities. It's easier

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said than done, right. But as a leader, accepting that you you

Melinda Lee:

need help, and you don't have everything together requires

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that you lead anyways, knowing that you don't have everything

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together, knowing that you can still do this. And when you do

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that, you can start to establish a connection. And when you

Melinda Lee:

establish a connection, people feel safe, then they can feel

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safe to be heard. They can feel safe to be seen and valued. And

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then they're more assured of you, as a leader, they're

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assured of you in the relationship, they're assured of

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you and what you're saying the trust builds your increased

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influences your increase your influence. And so now I want you

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to take it even a step further. establishing connections, one to

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one. That's, that could be that's pretty easy, right? Would

Melinda Lee:

you agree that that's not too bad? What about all eyes on you?

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establishing connections, even when there's all eyes on you?

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What does that like? What does that when you feeling that into

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your body? How do you feel in your body? Do you feel nervous?

Melinda Lee:

Not as comfortable, not as easy? Correct? How about all eyes on

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you, a lots of eyes on you. And allowing people to see your

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strengths, your vulnerabilities just you as a human. That is

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what makes a great leader. That is when you're so comfortable in

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your own skin, allowing people to see just you. And that is

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when you build trust. And that is when you can lead more

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powerful teams. That is when you're moving initiatives

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forward because the people on your team will go to you to the

Melinda Lee:

end of the world. So how can we make this practical, right? Like

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the this is a concept of establishing connections? How

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can we make this practical in our everyday life as a leader? I

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want you to first start with establishing a connection with

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your own eyes. And then we'll move on to how do you do that in

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a presentation. Every day, connect with your own eyes.

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Because if you can't connect with your own eyes, how are you

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going to expect lots of eyes on you to feel safe and feel

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comfortable, so sturdy to feel safe with your own pair of eyes.

Melinda Lee:

And to do that, it's actually not that difficult. I want you

Melinda Lee:

to grab your phone because the mirrors right there. And you can

Melinda Lee:

look into your own eyes. Or if you're at home, and you're

Melinda Lee:

brushing your teeth. After finishing getting your tooth

Melinda Lee:

teeth cleaned, you want to take a moment to just look at your

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eyes. And if you have your phone right now with you, why don't

Melinda Lee:

you go ahead and grab it. And you can do this with me. It's

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just gonna take a couple minutes, but just starting to

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get more comfortable with your own eyes. And in a moment, we're

Melinda Lee:

going to hold the camera up to our eyes, but before and we're

Melinda Lee:

going to say some silent messages to our own self with

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your eyes. And so we're going to first get grounded and then

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we'll have you hold up the phone. So go ahead and grab the

Melinda Lee:

phone. And before we hold the phone up to our eyes, I want you

Melinda Lee:

to just go ahead and close your eyes and we're going to get real

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centred and grounded. And so go ahead and close your eyes if you

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are not driving. And if you're driving or somewhere out, you

Melinda Lee:

can still do this with your eyes open. But if you're home and

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feeling safe, go ahead and close your eyes. It's more powerful

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and you can get connected within you. And this is a wonderful

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exercise to do even before a presentation to help you feel

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centred. As you close your eyes, take a nice deep breath and

Melinda Lee:

exhale. Now I want you to imagine there's a golden ball.

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This golden ball is your power centre and it's two inches below

Melinda Lee:

your navel. It's a beautiful, radiant golden ball is warm.

Melinda Lee:

Sure power centre.

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And this power centre is here to magnetise any worries thought

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That's concerns, any thoughts and concerns any to dues this

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all getting magnetised down to the golden ball feel yourself,

Melinda Lee:

your centre of gravity dropping down into the golden ball and

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your mind emptying this power centres magnetising. Any

Melinda Lee:

concerns? Beautiful, feel yourself calm. And then go ahead

Melinda Lee:

and take another deep breath and grab your phone, opening your

Melinda Lee:

eyes. And now put your phone up so that it's you could see your

Melinda Lee:

eyes. There's not too far but you are with yourself. Genuine

Melinda Lee:

eye contact. Just say hi. Hello there. It's good to see you.

Melinda Lee:

It's been a while I see you. I really see you. I see that you

Melinda Lee:

are doing the best that you can. You're working so hard. Even

Melinda Lee:

when it's hard, even when it's taught you're tired. Even when

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you're uncertain of what to do. I see you you're doing the best

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that you can. And I am sorry if I've been so hard on you. I'm

Melinda Lee:

sorry if I've been so hard on you. You are a great leader.

Melinda Lee:

Your voice matters. Your opinions matter. You're here to

Melinda Lee:

make a difference. You're a confident leader. I am proud of

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you. I forgive you. I forgive you for go ahead and fill in the

Melinda Lee:

blanks. I forgive you for

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I can commit to you that commit to you that

Melinda Lee:

and take another deep inhale and exhale go ahead and put your

Melinda Lee:

phone down

Melinda Lee:

right now you could be experiencing many different

Melinda Lee:

emotions. Some sad, some resistance questions, what is

Melinda Lee:

that some of you may feel comforted. Joyful, peace. No

Melinda Lee:

matter what emotion you're feeling. They're all welcome.

Melinda Lee:

They're all respected. And that exercise alone can rework that

Melinda Lee:

nervous system. So often. We're busy doing so many things for

Melinda Lee:

other people. Establishing a genuine connection with

Melinda Lee:

yourself. And really giving yourself what your heart needs

Melinda Lee:

is one of the most effective ways that that you can be that

Melinda Lee:

you can do something fast as a leader to make huge shifts. So I

Melinda Lee:

highly encourage that you use that technique every day because

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you're looking in the mirror every day. And many people when

Melinda Lee:

they're looking into mirror everyday guess what we're doing

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subconsciously Oh, look at my thighs. Oh look at my eyes or my

Melinda Lee:

hair getting fat or too skinny. Like that's what we

Melinda Lee:

subconsciously say to ourselves in the mirror. And when you do

Melinda Lee:

that you losing the connection of who you are and In order to

Melinda Lee:

be a powerful leader ready to be seen in the spotlight, you need

Melinda Lee:

to work through all of that and accept ourselves. And so that

Melinda Lee:

mirror exercise will help you round out and start to accept

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your own eyes. And when you except your own eyes for both

Melinda Lee:

your strengths, PHONER abilities or perceived weaknesses perceive

Melinda Lee:

brokenness except your whole self truly feel good and

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comfortable in your skin, you're able to go into the spotlight,

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or I want you to go in the spotlight, even if you're

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uncomfortable, but at least you're you're feeling one step

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closer. And now, we'll Melinda how you might ask, How do I do

Melinda Lee:

this? While I'm delivering a presentation, I've got all of

Melinda Lee:

these notes. I got to cover so many different points. How do I

Melinda Lee:

go and speak from my heart and speak from my truth when the

Melinda Lee:

organisation the manager wants me to cover ABCD what I have

Melinda Lee:

noticed, when people start to try to think about what they

Melinda Lee:

need to say, or remember what they need to say, they either

Melinda Lee:

start to memorise, or they're up in their head, because they're

Melinda Lee:

so worried that they might forget a fact they're so worried

Melinda Lee:

that they are not going to say the right thing. What that tells

Melinda Lee:

me is that then you're really not connected with yourself, and

Melinda Lee:

you're disconnected with the audience. There's a simple

Melinda Lee:

framework that I'm going to share with you that I found I've

Melinda Lee:

studied many different speeches. And this is the same framework

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that most compelling speeches use. So just knowing this

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framework, will save you so much time from rehearsing from having

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to memorise your script, from having to from in fear from

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forgetting. Ready? So this is the same framework that I've

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used today on this presentation. And that is why don't need

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notes. And imagine the freedom of not needing notes just

Melinda Lee:

because you know, the framework. I think most people when they do

Melinda Lee:

their speech they want they memorise a bullet. I think

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people have let go scripts. But the bullets now I want you to

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organise into a framework? No, it's called car. C stands for

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context. The next C stands for challenge action results. Put

Melinda Lee:

that into your presentation, this framework, and you will be

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free from ever forgetting. You will be free from ever needing

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to memorise a script, you will be free from losing that

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connection, you're gonna get back into the connection, you're

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gonna get back into the present moment. So khokhar context, what

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am I talking about? Today I'm talking to and the earlier on, I

Melinda Lee:

talked about establishing a connection, I talked about what

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it is. And I talk about the challenges the next C's

Melinda Lee:

challenges. Most people don't establish connection

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effectively, they're not bringing their whole self.

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That's a challenge. Here's what I want you to do an action, look

Melinda Lee:

at your own mirror, look at your own eyes in the mirror. And then

Melinda Lee:

now go into the results. When you can do this, you will be

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free from your script, you will be free from having to forget,

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you're going to be free from memorising and rehearsing hour

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upon hour upon hour. So having that framework, you just know

Melinda Lee:

where you're at, you know where you're going. It's like a map.

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And then you don't have to worry where every single point on the

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map is that you are, you're just you have the general direction

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and that's all you need. And then the rest is your focus on

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being present. Because that is what your audience needs

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establishing a connection. You want to spend majority of your

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energy being so focused and present in the moment. Allowing

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yourself the freedom to speak from your heart. Speak from

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genuineness and allow yourself to get feedback from the

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audience. So you can pivot at any moment. And allowing

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yourself to just be you and the truth of who you are knowing

Melinda Lee:

that you have everything that you can that you're equipped.

Melinda Lee:

You're equipped with all the right information. And imagine

Melinda Lee:

feeling that sense of I said everything that I needed to say,

Melinda Lee:

I did not forget anything. I had a client, who she started

Melinda Lee:

working with me because in the beginning she she felt like

Melinda Lee:

nobody was listening to her. She wasn't heard. And then so she

Melinda Lee:

would end up speaking more, and including more informations,

Melinda Lee:

more examples, and, and probably over talking, because she didn't

Melinda Lee:

feel like she was heard. Right. And so when I walked through

Melinda Lee:

this whole framework with her, worked on helping her to get

Melinda Lee:

fully present, so that she could be with the audience. By the

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time she was finished, when we were done working with each

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other. She said, Melinda, I had my script, or I had my framework

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and, and by the time I was done, I actually started seeing more

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things, different things that I did not have planned, but I knew

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it was enough. And that is what you want to leave every single

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presentation with is that you don't ruminate on, did I say the

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right thing? Did I not say the Did I miss something? You want

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to leave your presentations feeling like I knocked it out of

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the park. It landed with them. What I said was enough. Because

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I'm enough, I had went into it fully prepared with my

Melinda Lee:

framework. I knew where I was going, what direction I was

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going to take them. And even if they asked me a question that

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was different than when I plan, I was able to pivot. Because I'm

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not bound anymore to a script, I'm not bound to thoughts about

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I need to say this XYZ because someone told me so I had freedom

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in that. And that is why I can leave every single presentation,

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feeling like I knocked it out of the park feeling like it was

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just what needed to be said in the moment. And I left them

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feeling inspired, ready to act motivated. And that is when the

Melinda Lee:

team corrals, we have synergy. Because the communication was so

Melinda Lee:

streamlined. There was flow, there was an energy there. And

Melinda Lee:

that is what we need to do with our communication. I think more

Melinda Lee:

often than not, we think that communication is not that

Melinda Lee:

important, or I'll figure it out. Communication fitness.

Melinda Lee:

Moving into flow requires that you come back to these episodes

Melinda Lee:

every week, and tune in and adjust and build that muscle. So

Melinda Lee:

it continues to improve and continues to strengthen.

Melinda Lee:

So today, we talked about how to establish a genuine connection,

Melinda Lee:

a bond where both parties feel seen, heard, valued, a sense of

Melinda Lee:

safety, so you increase your influence. And we talked about

Melinda Lee:

how you could do that. One to One is first with yourself. But

Melinda Lee:

then more importantly, now that you've established a genuine

Melinda Lee:

connection with yourself, how do you do this with all eyes on

Melinda Lee:

you, lots of eyes on you. And not just that bringing your

Melinda Lee:

whole self in bringing you as who you are today. And owning

Melinda Lee:

that owning that you deserve to be in that spotlight. And when

Melinda Lee:

you fully believe that you lower your guard and you establish a

Melinda Lee:

connection with your audience, your audience lowers their

Melinda Lee:

guard. And that is when the bond forms. You increase your trust

Melinda Lee:

you increase the influence that you have. And therefore your

Melinda Lee:

team is motivated as synergize your your audience is excited

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and ready to act. And you're making a positive change in your

Melinda Lee:

organisation in your communities. And you're leading

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like that heart centred leader on a mission remember that

Melinda Lee:

remember, you mate you matter and you're here to make a

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difference and and so until next time, I'm your sister in flow.

Melinda Lee:

Take care