Do you remember how you first learned to ride a bike?
If you’re like most people, a trusted adult probably showed you the ropes (that’s me with my grandma, Elvie, in the picture!). Perhaps you used training wheels at first so you could start pedaling right away. There’s a good chance you fell off a few times in the process. Eventually, you managed to keep your balance and got the hang of it – and now it’s second nature!
So far, so relatable. Now here are a few things I bet you didn’t do:
- Watch YouTube videos about how to ride a bike
- Listen to an inspiring TED talk about “My First Time Pedaling”
- Read books about the top tips for learning to bike
- Consult famous cycling experts and try to re-engineer their process
Here at Darcy Luoma Coaching and Consulting, we often use a bicycle metaphor to describe learning new communication skills, especially when it comes to delivering tough feedback, setting a boundary, or speaking up when you disagree. That’s because we’ve observed so many people over the years trying to learn to communicate solely by reading books, consulting experts, or watching YouTube videos.
While that can be a great place to start, eventually you have to get on that metaphorical bike and give it a try. It won’t be perfect and you might fall a few times at first – and some of those falls might not be pretty! But, in time, you’ll improve and it’ll get easier. And, just like riding a bike, it’ll become second nature to have those tough conversations.
Why not hop on that bike today? Try the following core workout:
- Pause: The next time you’re unsure of how to communicate something, Pause for a moment.
- Think: Have you already read all the blog posts and watched Thoughtfully Fit Thursdays about communication strategies? Then there’s a good chance you need to get on the bike and start pedaling!
- Act: Take a deep breath… and give it a try!