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  • Kim Meninger

Mastering Spontaneous Communication

Updated: May 12, 2023

Mastering Spontaneous Communication - Kristy Olinger


Welcome to The Impostor Syndrome Files! Join Kim Meninger and Kristy Olinger as they talk about how to master spontaneous communication. In this episode, Kristy shares how she struggled with communicating and sharing her ideas with others when she took a role in strategy. She also shares what she did to overcome that obstacle and provides strategies that worked for her so others can accelerate that learning curve. There’s a lot to unpack in this episode, so stay tuned!

Soft Skills are the Hardest!

Communicating clearly and professionally requires dexterity, and it is one of the essential soft skills needed in any work. But, while it is already ingrained in each individual, articulating ideas well is also one of the hardest to master, according to Kristy. The only way to get better is to practice. Kristy acknowledges that there are different approaches and that we all need to decide to decide for ourselves what works best. To some people, realizing they can build their communication skills with other people is empowering, and to some, it is a daunting task because it takes effort. Communication is a complex issue, but building confidence and learning how to navigate the conversation works.

Pay Attention

It is common knowledge that communication works only when four components are present: the sender, the message, the receiver, and the feedback. Also, communication is an exchange. Therefore, one strategy Kristy gives is to pay attention to the other person. She expounds on the idea that paying attention is the testing, learning, and iterating stage. Because every communication is unique and things differ depending on the scenario, paying attention gives you the time to reflect and assess what works and what does not. From that, you can mix and match how to provide feedback and deliver the message when roles are reversed.

About Kristy Olinger:

A 20-year career in the banking industry has taught Kristy Olinger that even the most innovative ideas are useless until you can communicate them in a way that inspires others into action. Her ability to tell the business story became the differentiator that propelled Kristy to lead the credit card product strategy of some of the country’s largest banks. For over a decade, she had been teaching these skills and mentoring individuals.

Kristy teaches communication strategies that help people build relationships and expand influence so they can crush goals.

She hosts a bi-weekly podcast, called The Opposite of Small Talk, for curious people interested in self-awareness and self-development.

Kristy lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania, with her husband Brian and her two daughters, Mary and Bree. She is an active community member and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Radnor Memorial Library.

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Outline of the episode:

[01:24] Kristy’s struggle with communication and how she coped [05:20] Some steps to start solving the problem in communication [10:19] Pay attention closely – it’s all about intentionality [20:26] Spontaneous speaking can be practiced to get better at it [26:50] Know people and their perspectives to position your message well [31:04] Be your authentic self to communicate comfortably

And many more!

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More from Kristy Olinger:

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Transcript:

Kim Meninger Welcome, Kristy, I am so excited to talk with you today. You and I have been preparing for this conversation for a while, and I’ve been counting down until we can have it in front of our audience. So I’d love to start by inviting you to introduce yourself.

Kristy Olinger Well, first, Kim, thank you so much for having me on the podcast, I have to say I’m excited too because anytime I talk with you, I feel like I walk away with a different perspective or some new connection to things. And that’s probably why your listeners enjoy listening to the podcast as well. So I’m excited just to have a conversation. But my name is Kristy Olinger. I have had a 20-year career in the banking industry. And my story is that about halfway in, I took a role in strategy. And it was much more complex than anything I had ever done. And I really struggled with how to communicate and how to share my ideas with others. And this was upsetting to me because, by that time in my life, I was already teaching workshops on communication, and I had even won a national speaking competition. So here I am claiming to be this great communicator, but having trouble just sharing the story of my work, and trying to figure out how to communicate with all these different stakeholders and influencing others. And it was upsetting. But what I found, and what I did is really what everyone does is — I just learned on the job. I watched what people were doing, I watched what was working well for me. And so now, I help people by sharing the strategies that have worked for me, so that they can come up that learning curve faster than I did. So that’s my story. And that’s sort of why I’m here. You know, my whole spiel is soft skills are the hardest thing we do at work, the only way to get better is through practice. And I can’t tell you what’s going to work for you. Only you can figure that out. So to some people, that’s super empowering, because they realize that they can build this skill of communication. To other people, it’s a little bit daunting, because you do have to put in the effort. But either way, I’m here for it.

Kim Meninger Thank you so much for sharing that. And I think your story sheds light on the fact that communication is such a complex issue, right, you can be really skilled and really confident in certain forms of communication, but then others, you’re maybe newer to, have less of an understanding of how to navigate. So I’m curious for you, you know, how was it when you realized, oh, my goodness, I prided myself on my communication? This is something I saw as a strength. And now I’m struggling in this area?

Kristy Olinger It was so upsetting Kim, I mean, so I had come from a role that was very aligned with my interest and skills. I was traveling to different bank branches, talking to people, teaching them how to sell the credit card, which I knew inside and out. It was really, it was a straightforward job, and I crushed it. And so I got into this role expecting to be great. And really, really getting all this feedback from my manager about my PowerPoint slides aren’t positioned correctly, and there’s too much content or it’s not right for this audience and navigating all of that context. And nuance was something I’d never had to do before because my job just hadn’t been that complex up to that point. And I think this is a pretty common mid-career experience, to find yourself in a role that is less defined and were, in a role where you are independently of creating outcomes, you have to influence others that you don’t directly manage for those outcomes. And so this is a really common mid-career experience, and there aren’t great resources to help people navigate it. I don’t think so it was upsetting for sure.

Kim Meninger Yeah. And you make such a good point. I think that a lot of people stumble into this land and are not prepared for it and are not given appropriate resources and support to, to figure it out. And so, I mean, it’s great that you’re trying to be that resource to others. And I’m curious because you make, you make some really good points too, just about the fact that you’re generally at the stage of your career transitioning from being a really good subject matter expert. And I think that that is a great place to be when you feel really comfortable in your role. You have become seen as somebody who is the go-to resource in a particular area, and then you transition into this new role where things are fuzzier. There isn’t as much concrete structure around what’s expected of you. And so for everybody who’s identifying with that, who’s thinking, oh, my goodness, that’s exactly where I am. And I don’t know what I’m doing. What would you say? Like, what are some of the either first steps or I know it’s not going to be, we’re not gonna be able to solve the problem in this conversation. But what would you say to somebody who’s saying, oh, my gosh, that’s me?

Kristy Olinger I would say it’s very jarring when you realize how much there is that you don’t know and can’t know. So there’s this great visual of the body of all knowledge, which has these concentric circles, and the smallest circle is what you know. And then there’s a slightly larger circle, which are the things that you know that you don’t know. And then it’s like, the entire universe size circle is all of the things you don’t even know that you don’t know. And that when you realize that, and you realize that that’s the case for everyone, it can actually be a huge relief, and lift this weight of being the one that has to know everything. So when you come from being the subject matter expert, and you do know all the answers to everything, but then you transition into a well, nobody really knows. And we have to partner with each other to find the best path for the organization. And when you start doing that, you start asking different kinds of questions, you get curious, you, you know, you seek clarity and understanding from different perspectives around the room, and you end up in a much better place. So it’s actually a very freeing thing to recognize that you’re not, not only are you not expected to know everything, it’s not possible to know everything. And that’s not what it’s about. It’s about making the best decision with the information that’s available towards a common good.

Kim Meninger I think that’s a really good way to put it. And I like the term curious. I think that’s a really powerful antidote to a lot of self-doubt and perfectionism and some of the things that get in our way. And because if we’re able to look at it through that lens, it allows for the possibility that other people have information that we don’t and that that’s perfectly okay. Right. I think, you know, a lot of us high achievers have least some, some relationship with perfectionism, right? Maybe some of us are a little bit more. I like to think of myself as someone who’s overcoming that, but you know, we all slide back into it from time to time. And I think you’re absolutely right, that that perspective makes it okay to not know everything and then to not be ashamed or to not feel threatened by the people around us who have information that we don’t have, who, who can help us in partnership, as opposed to us feeling like they are making us feel less than in some way.

Kristy Olinger Well, and the other side of that, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t enjoy speaking up in a meeting, you feel like, oh, well, I’m too junior, to share my perspective, you need to know that your leaders need to know what you know, right? There’s no way for them to know everything, your perspective is critical to the success of your team. If you don’t share it, they’re not going to have that perspective.

Kim Meninger Exactly. And that is at the root of what I talked about in terms of managing impostor syndrome is really know your own purpose. Because if you’re in there, comparing yourself to the most senior person in the room and thinking, how can I possibly compete with that person? How can I possibly add any value when you know that powerful, all-knowing person, as we think of them, is in this room? You’re absolutely right, they can’t know our perspective on something, we’re closer to that side of the business, we experience it differently. We’re getting feedback from others, we have something of value to share. And we when we focus on that, how can I be of service? How can I share my point of view and further the conversation? It lessens some of the anxiety around, you know, I’m not as good as so and so.

Kristy Olinger Absolutely.

Kim Meninger You brought up a really important point, too, that I often recommend, which is this idea of observing other people and really paying attention because I think when you think about this gray area of communication to different settings, value different things. And so when you’re talking about your manager giving you this feedback, no, I’m sure that the manager feedback was largely influenced by what he… Was it he? What it was he, what he knew about the other people in that, whatever that room was right, he probably had an understanding of what they care about, and what has frustrated them in the past. And so he has his own database, so to speak, of knowledge that he’s collected. And that influences the feedback that he’s giving you. And so you might get very different feedback if you were in a totally different part of the organization or in a totally different role. So can you speak a little bit more to this idea of observing and kind of getting, getting your bearings in a particular environment?

Kristy Olinger Yeah, I mean, this is, really hits on my whole philosophy around communication, which is there is no one right answer for how to do it, not only can I not tell you how to do it, the thing that works for you once might not work for you in a different scenario. So you’re paying attention is about testing, and learning, and iterating. So you need to figure out a strategy that you’re going to try, you need to use it. And then you need to have a reflection or a learning period and say, well, you know, that didn’t work, I’m going to throw it away, or I’m gonna change it. And so it becomes this circle. And the great part about it is you can discover new ideas and add them into the mix, right. So you should always be looking for what others are doing that’s working and what’s not working for others. That’s another, another important thing, and then see what you’re going to adopt and what you’re not. And there’s strategies that are really helpful for some people that I just will never pull off, because it’s not a match for my personality. So I think understanding who you are, and adopting it based on who you are, is also really important. And I, I’m a total nerd, but I actually recommend that people journal about it. Because I think when you write, something magical happens when you put pen to paper. And so after the meeting, if you write a few notes about what that interaction was, and how it went, it will really help you process and do it better next time.

Kim Meninger I really like that too. And although I am not somebody who is very disciplined when it comes to journaling, the magic that you’re describing is real. And I think that when I have taken that time to actually document what I’m thinking about something, it creates so much greater clarity, it’s so much more valuable. And it gets me out of my own head, it gets me out of that anxiety place that I can’t really do anything with into more of this outside observer. And I really liked the way you’re describing it as, it’s an experiment in many ways. And if we characterize it that way, it lessens the stakes a bit, right? Like, I’m just going to, I’m going to test, I’m going to try out some new things, I’m not going to get overly attached to the outcome. And then I’m going to, in response to the data that I collect, right, whatever feedback I get, I’m going to make some tweaks and see if I can find a better way to do it.

Kristy Olinger It’s practice, it’s all just practice and getting better. And so a story that I like to tell about this, which is completely unrelated to communication, but I think makes the point that not all practice is the same. About 12 years ago, I ran a marathon. And I had been doing some running, I had run a half marathon, I found a training program that looked good. I did all the training runs, all the miles and I ran it. And I finished with a time that I was not satisfied with that I knew I could do better. And I said okay, someday I’m going to do a redemption run. A decade later, I planned and did my redemption run. This time, I used the very same training program. But I paid attention to the type of practice I was doing. I looked at what is my target time? And how should I be running differently in these different training runs? I paid attention to my nutrition and I said, Well, how do I feel in the morning, when I have five? You know, I don’t know, I don’t know what I would have five of, when I have three glasses of wine and go for a run that doesn’t really work out so well. Right. So like I, I paid really close attention to all of those things. And I took an hour off of my marathon time as a result. So there’s this work by a guy named Anders Ericsson, that was popularized by a Malcolm Gladwell book, and it was about top research based on top performers. And it said 10,000 hours is what it takes to become a top performer in your field. But what people miss about that, you know, that sound bite line is that it’s not just any 10,000 hours of practice, it’s intentional practice that makes the difference. So it’s not enough to just run the miles, you’ve got to actually pay attention to the details and put effort in into that practice. So that it’s effective. And the same things true of your communication. We’ve all had 10,000 hours of experience talking. It doesn’t make us all great communicators. So that, that’s sort of the philosophy there is, is really intentional practice.

Kim Meninger I love what you’re saying about intentionality, because I think it shifts the, it’s it shifts the focus a bit, right, because I think a lot of what we’re describing happens in the background. And we’re drawing these assumptions or conclusions about ourselves, about our environments that we’re not necessarily testing. And so if and I think this is where growth mindset might come into play, too, because I think sometimes we, if we are not approaching this with the kind of consciousness and intentionality that you’re describing, things may just continue to happen, and maybe they’re not helping, you know, we’re not achieving our goals or we’re not performing at the level that we’d like to. But we don’t understand why. And so we’re more likely to say some, draw some sweeping conclusion, well, I just can’t do it, I just don’t have the same capabilities that somebody else does, somebody else is just this really natural communicator. I’m not. Because we aren’t approaching it through that more intentional lens. So tell me more about growth mindset. I know this is an area that you really care about.

Kristy Olinger It is and I’m gonna bring back that word, curiosity because that’s what you’re talking about there. I think one of the most important things as it relates, there’s so much miscommunication that happens. And it’s important that we assume good intentions, and then ask questions and be curious about what we’re hearing and seeing and thinking. Because what you think in your head is not always real, we have to challenge those thoughts and be more curious about it. And so I will mention… that is, if you’ve ever seen my logo, it’s a little leaf. And that stands for growth mindset because that is my highest core value. And I actually host a podcast with my friend Danielle, called the Opposite of Small Talk. And it’s all about self-development and professional development. And growth mindset is one of our primary themes. It was that idea that just kept coming back to us. And we’re, so we feel like growth mindset is such an important practice. And it is a continuous practice, that we developed a 30-day growth mindset challenge where people in a cohort go through this, this program of learning about growth mindset, and practicing in their everyday life. And so we’ve got people that go through that program, and then they come back through for a refresh later, because it’s one of those things like impostor syndrome, that you always have to sort of keep, keep on top of in terms of your thinking and your practice. I just think, you know, your effort matters for outcomes, you know, like there, there’s some things that you can’t control. But you have to know that your, your effort matters. And you just have to be open to the idea of doing the work to be better, or get better.

Kim Meninger Absolutely. And I think that there is, one of the reasons why I started this podcast is because I think we tend to look at other people and think, oh, my gosh, they’ve got it all figured out. It’s smooth sailing for them, right? Because I think that, for the most part, many of us have been motivated to kind of keep that, what’s behind the curtain hidden, right, we don’t necessarily openly share about what’s been hard for us. I mean, even if you look at social media, people aren’t posting their dirty dishes, right, people are posting their highlight reel. And so I think oftentimes, when we’re in interaction with other people, especially people that we see have strengths in areas where we want to get better, we look at them, and we think, oh, my gosh, I could never be like that person. And it seems like this absolutely insurmountable, you know, effort to get to that point. And I think where a growth mindset comes in as a reminder of that, and just the 10,000 hours, like everything that you’re saying is, each one of us has a choice, each one of us can say, is this something that I value? Is this something that I think would be worth my time and energy to invest further in? And then what is the intentional action that I’m going to commit to, in order to make improvements of this in this area, because it’s probably a guarantee that this person that you admire, this person that you see is the, the perfect model of what it is that you are worried about, wasn’t born that way. Didn’t get there overnight.

Kristy Olinger And they also don’t actually have their act together. I mean, we are all just flying by the seat of our pants, let’s be real. So I think recognizing that, and to your point, you’re seeing their highlight reel, and you’re comparing it to your real life. And that’s not a fair comparison.

Kim Meninger Exactly. Exactly. So I think that you know, what you said earlier about this idea that it’s a skill that can be learned, it’s not an easy skill, because it doesn’t have one central blueprint or manual that we can all access. But I think there is hope when we understand oh, if I’m not where I want to be. I have choices and it’s possible.

Kristy Olinger Yes, absolutely. It and like I would argue that communication, I talk about it in the context of a professional work setting, but it impacts every aspect of your life, every relationship that you have, including your relationship with yourself and your self-confidence. So it is worth, I am telling you it is worth working on this and prioritizing it if you’re not where you want to be.

Kim Meninger I want to talk a little bit about a particular aspect of communication. Because one of the things that I hear most often when I’m talking to my clients to, you know, just people that I’m having these conversations with, is this challenge of being in a space where we are blindsided. So maybe it’s because we’re not as comfortable with the material. Maybe it’s because we’re really intimidated by the people in the room, whatever the case may be, we find ourselves in this moment where we have to spontaneously think of something to say, and we freeze. And I mean, I think every one of us can relate to this, you know, to this old cliche of like, oh, I, it took me three hours to think of the perfect response, right? Like, I wish I had been able to say that in the moment, because we go into this fight or flight state, or we just can’t think, in that moment of the perfect response. And so I know, you have thoughts on this off the cuff, kind of more spontaneous communication and how to think about that.

Kristy Olinger I mean, off the cuff does not mean off the top of your head, there are ways to plan and prepare for spontaneous speaking. And it’s so important, because when you think about it, and your workplace interactions, there’s only a small portion of your workplace interactions that are speeches, or presentations, most of the communication that you’re doing falls in the category of spontaneous speaking. So you should be prepared for that. And you should practice and you can get better at it. And so there are a couple of things that I would suggest, I think probably one of the most important is just giving yourself some time to think in advance about what’s going on in that meeting. What is the objective of the meeting? Who is going to be there? What might their preconceived notions be about the opinions that are being shared? What questions might those people have? And when you think of, oh, Brian, might I ask this question, how am I going to respond, actually write down the ways that you could respond, that would be the most impactful and then say them out loud before you get to the meeting. So you know, that is a very tangible way to be ready for the conversation in the moment. The other idea, I would say that, I will tell you in this era of digital and laptops, and even remote working has been extremely valuable to me, I, I trip up sometimes with data points. So I am, I think in narratives and, and so when someone asked me for a statistic or a metric, I’m like, oh, even if it’s core to my business, it doesn’t, it’s not always readily available at the top of my head. So I have something that’s called my know my stuff document. I’ll say stuff here because I am assuming this is not an explicit podcast, it’s my know my stuff document. And it has all of the key metrics for my business so that should someone ask me, that I don’t look like an idiot, not knowing the most basic things about my business. So that’s one. The second thing I’ll say about knowing numbers, though, I had an executive mentor once who said, I was explaining this, that I have this challenge, and I’m trying to be better at recalling numbers. And he said, you know, Kristy, you have to think about does it really matter? So does the exact number really matter? So for example, if, if the, the question is how many millennials have downloaded our mobile app, and I know it’s in the range of like, you know, 87%, but maybe it’s like 92%, and I can’t really remember, either way, it’s a large percentage of millennials, and the exact number does not make a difference in terms of the context of the conversation that we’re having. So he’s like, I quote numbers all the time, and they may not be exact, and that’s okay. Because we’re not in rocket science, you know, you’re not calculating the trajectory to the moon, you’re just talking about the strategy. So that was a real relief to me that you don’t always have to be exact, as long as you have the ballpark. So I think that’s helpful. And then the last thing, and then I’m ready for your reaction is something that I like to call the phrase bank. I don’t know what to say, I have a list of phrases that are helped to be helpful to me in specific situation. What do you say when someone interrupts you? What do you say when your boss asks you for an update on that, you know, tasks that you weren’t able to get to because you had other things in those moments, your fight or for you to create those words in your mind. So if you have them already, and you know what they are, it makes, it makes you much more prepared. It’s almost like when you’re on a flight, and they tell you if you’re sitting in the emergency row, you should read the pamphlet because if an emergency were to happen, you’re not going to be able to figure out how to open the door, like you need to, you know, cognitively, you can’t read that, because you’re freaking out because the plane’s going down. It’s kind of like that. You need to be ready to speak, because you need to just have the words at the top of your mind. So that’s been something that’s been really helpful to folks. And I’ve got a resource that you can just go steal the phrases that I use, and take the ones that will work for you and add your own and do that whole test and learn thing.

Kim Meninger That’s perfect, we’ll make sure that everyone has information on how to do that in the show notes. I want to break down some of the things that you’ve said, because you, you just shared a lot of great content and insight. To go back to your first point, I could not agree with you more on this idea of off-the-cuff not having to be necessarily totally off the top of your head. This idea of preparing for meetings is central to how I think about managing impostor syndrome as well because meetings are sort of the where the action is right. They’re such a big part of our day. And a lot of times because of that, we take them for granted, we go through the motions, we don’t necessarily think of them in more strategic ways. And we don’t have to do that with every meeting. I mean, if you’re meeting with your own core team, and it’s pretty predictable, that’s fine. But any time you’re stepping into a meeting with people who are outside of your department, people who are more senior, I see this as an opportunity for you. And this idea of being thoughtful and reflecting on some of those questions that you were saying before is so powerful, obviously, in terms of how you show up. But even more so from a confidence perspective, feeling prepared, you can’t prepare for every possible question that might be asked, you can’t anticipate everything that will happen in that interaction. But the more you understand the purpose of the meeting, what are we trying to achieve? What is my role in this meeting? Right? Why was I invited? What am I expected to know and to share? Who else is going to be in this space? And what do we know about their personalities and what they care about in terms of communication, then we’re operating in a much more predictable field than we would have been had we just thrown caution to the wind and shown up at the meeting and hope that everything goes well. And I think this also goes back to your earlier point of seeing people as partners, because if we don’t know the answers to those questions, we can ask somebody, if I have thought about this ahead of time and give myself enough time, I can go to my manager and say I’m thinking about this message. Do you think I should bring this backup slide? Do you think I should, you know, highlight all of this information upfront? So look to your resources, look to the people around you, who maybe have a little bit more of an understanding of this context to give you some guidance on that.

Kristy Olinger Yeah, I completely agree. And, you know, the baseline is knowing the objective of the meeting. But the bigger flex is knowing the people and what their perspectives are, because that’s going to help you position your message in a way that it will be well received.

Kim Meninger Exactly, exactly. So minimize the unknown as much as possible. By just collecting that information in advance. I want to go to the, the second point you made about not necessarily having to know every specific data point. I love the idea of keeping that know my stuff document right, I think that’s a great idea. Because we can argue that things that are memorizable are something you write like, don’t waste your brain space, right? Just look them up. I just know where to access them. And as long as people know, hey, I can, I can get that to you in a reasonable amount of time, then they’re probably not going to count against you. But to your point about the lack of precision. Yeah, I mean, you can say something to the effect of what, what pops into my mind is 87%. But let me go, I can get you a more precise number if you want it, right. And then yeah, and like you said, it gives the scope, it gives it a sense of, are we talking about a small percentage, are we talking about a large percentage, so I think we get tangled up, especially people who are more detail-oriented or who are perfectionist by nature?

Kristy Olinger Yeah, it’s a, it’s the perfectionism Yes.

Kim Meninger To just know that there are ways to do this that don’t require memorizing every little number that you come across environment. And then of course, the phrase bank, what an amazing resource because that really ties into everything of don’t expect to be able to think of something when you have gone into fight or flight mode. Don’t expect to be able to have a perfect response when somebody totally catches you off guard or puts you on the spot in some uncomfortable way, have some go to things that you can access. And if they’re repeatable, like a lot, you use these phrases a lot, or you find that the opportunity to use them is pretty significant based on your day to day interaction, put a sticky note, have it visible somewhere, bring your, your phrase bank or at least select passages from it, and keep it on your desk. So you could maybe even refer to it while you’re I mean, I don’t know if you would use it that way. But it strikes me as possibility.

Kristy Olinger Yeah, I mean, I think what tends to happen is there are phrases that roll off your tongue easier. And those are the ones that you’re looking for is the ones that feel right to you. And that you can say, with ease, while your mind thinks of what the next thing is you’re going to say. So, yeah, it’s been, it’s something that I always did naturally. And I hadn’t shared or really documented what all those phrases were until I started helping others with their communication needs.

Kim Meninger I think it’s such a great idea. I’m somebody who is naturally interested in people’s word choice. So when I’m talking to people, I’m always listening to the words they’re using, the expressions that, how they combine words. And I will make a mental note sometimes and say, ooh, that’s a really clever way to say that. I’m going to file that away, right? I can imagine that would be something you put in your phrase bank. But I will also say that if something, if someone uses a term or an expression that I really like, I will deliberately try to use it in a lower-stakes environment so that I can do it from a place of strength. It’s not something that I’m pulling out at in a moment of stress. And so then, you know, I might try it out with my friends, or I’ll try it out in an uncomfortable meeting. How did that sound? Did I get the reaction I was expecting? Did it sound as natural coming from me as it did from the person I heard it from? So yeah, back to this idea of practice.

Kristy Olinger Yeah, and test and learn what works for you. Yeah, sometimes, sometimes these work-isms come out, and they’re a little cheesy, and not, not quite the tone, you want to strike. So, you know, yes.

Kim Meninger But I think that really takes us back to this point of really knowing who you are. And there’s a lot of ways to communicate. And if they sound or feel inauthentic to you, you’re not going to come across from a place of strength, it’s going, if it’s not comfortable for you, that will be clear to other people, as well. So you have to think about what, what works for your natural style.

Kristy Olinger And well, now you’re getting into an entire another episode about authenticity. Because I, you know, I have a lot of people who are more introverted and quiet leaders who think that they need to be someone different from who they are in order to be a good public speaker. And that’s just not true. So we’ll take that as a second episode, conversation, because it’s really, it’s an important one, it’s a really important point because I… to be able to be who they are.

Kim Meninger So we’ll end on a cliffhanger then to say to everybody, that will be the second part of this conversation. Because you’re absolutely right, I think there’s a lot to be said, especially when we think about it along the lines of introvert versus extrovert, or even just different cultural values. I know I’ve talked with people in the past too, about how, you know, some, some environments require that I really elbow my way into the conversation, whereas some people are like, that’s just not part of my culture. I don’t, I don’t respect that kind of behavior. And I don’t want to behave in that way. So we can definitely tackle that in part two. But I want to wrap up by, first of all, thanking you again. I think you bring such an amazing perspective to this conversation. And I want to also invite you to share anything you’d like us to know about how to find you, you know, any anything you want to close with.

Kristy Olinger Yeah, I would. Well, thank you, Kim. I appreciate you. So the best place to find me would be on Insta. I’m on Instagram the most. That’s where I share the most and I am at KO.Communication. But you can also follow me on LinkedIn. I’m, I’m around, I’m accessible. So I look forward to meeting some of your followers.

Kim Meninger Absolutely. And I will put those links into the show notes as well as the resources that you referenced here. And I am so grateful for the conversation and look forward to part two.

Kristy Olinger Thanks, Kim.

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