The link between great communication and self-knowledge


In many ways, this post is inextricably linked to the (important) subject of self-awareness.

My submission: awe-inspiring communications happen consistently when there exists a deep level of self-knowledge and appreciation.

Lauryn Hill once posed a telling question in one of her songs, Doo Wop (That Thing): “How you gon’ win when you ain’t right within?”

And this is what I have found to be true in my life: I never run out of anything useful, substantative and of value to say. Ever. This is because there exists within me the fire to help other people reach their personal best using intoxicating communication.

So in essence what I am saying to you is rather simple: find that nexus between being comfortable with your true self, and the ability to trumpet it impressively to the world.

Now, I’m certain you’ve dealt with companies who pay millions of rands for expensive advertising with flashy messages that push lofty promises. Nothing wrong with that — as long as they’re consistent with how they operate to serve their customers in real life.

(At this point I’m thinking about FNB Bank’s amazing advertising and innovation but disappointing customer service at their branches.)

And to demonstrate the link between self-awareness and knowledge and crafting intoxicating communications that move your audience, consider Gary Vaynerchuk. He is the sort of dude who’s animated and with that energy, comes language peppered with expletives (it just shows that he is real, man)!

I first knew about Gary when I watched his 2014 99U keynote presentation where he made a stern and necessary assertion, Stop Storytelling Like It’s 2007!  He’s also known to talk extensively about the importance of self-awareness in business and advancing your career.

Vaynerchuk is a legend when it comes to creating value for his audience and he seems to never run out of something that could just change your perception about marketing or business to share. Great content comes out his pores. He masters this and connected with me because he is authentic and talks about what he is passionate about. Doing you seems so simple but we need to remember the temptation to talk and act the way the world tells us is overbearing — and many succumb.

Or, to drive the point home, let us take a moment to think about your favourite timeless music artist who steadily churns out hits. They’re able to achieve that because their music is rooted in honesty. Phony artists become one-hit wonders and authentic artists create masterpieces one after the other.

If there’s anything you take from this piece, it’s simply this: tell your truth. Stop fronting! Quit talking the way you do because the conventional wisdom dictates that’s how businesses have always communicated with their customers.

More simpler than that, though, just get in touch with who you really are (self-knowlegdge) and then communicate that genius the best way you feel how.

In figuring out how to form, neatly package and sell your story, ask yourself this question (and be brutally honest here): how am I gon’ win when I ain’t right within?

After all — from Jay Z’s engaging rhymes and poetry, to Steve Jobs’ revolutionary products that he created because he personally wanted and loved to use them — the truth rings a bell that the whole world can hear.



Communicate Your Genius