“Your conviction becomes contagious when your focus is on others and the benefits they will receive from your message."
-- John C. Maxwell
As I read today's chapter, I couldn't help but recall a recent meeting with my mentor regarding an upcoming event my business is hosting. I walked away from that conversation with one very clear thought -- I need to learn to express more confidence in myself and my message. How often do you feel this way about your message?
The first of the communication laws -- the Law of Credibility -- taught that our most effective message is the one we live day in and day out. Today's law -- the Law of Conviction -- teaches us that our communication is strongest when connected to our beliefs or convictions.
As John Maxwell writes, "If you want to be an energetic and effective communicator, you need to be a person of conviction. That begins with strong positive beliefs about yourself, your audience, and the message you have to offer others."
Do you believe that you can make a difference?
As communicators, our motivation should be to add value and make a difference in the lives of our audience, but to do that, we need to believe that we can. "If you are convinced you can help people, they will listen to you and give you a chance."
Do you believe that people can improve their lives?
"Good leaders and good [communicators] believe in people, believe they can change, believe they can grow, and believe they can improve. And they help them do those things."
Do you know and believe in your purpose?
When you know and believe in your purpose or "why," you can unlock your conviction in communication. The combination of belief and purpose looks something like this:
Low Personal Belief + Low Purpose Belief = "I won't get started."
High Personal Belief + Low Purpose Belief = "I won't continue."
Low Personal Belief + High Purpose Belief = "I won't achieve my purpose."
High Personal Belief + High Purpose Belief = "I will achieve my purpose."
"A different world cannot be built by indifferent people." -- John C. Maxwell
How to Communicate with Conviction
Once you have identified your personal, people, and purpose convictions, you can use them to "clarify your messages, improve your communication, and make a positive difference in your world. To communicate with conviction, you must believe in these three things."
Believe in Yourself
"If you don't believe in yourself, how in the world will your audience believe in you?"
Effective communicators have confidence that they have what it takes to make a difference. In my experience, we often have difficulty having confidence in ourselves because we know that the line between confidence and arrogance is thin, but "conviction brings confidence, and confidence fuels conviction -- as long as the focus is on helping others, not on advancing yourself."
Believe in Your Message & Your Audience
Once you believe in yourself, you must believe your message can make a difference to help your audience improve their lives. Without this confidence, you will be unable to communicate with conviction. "Your conviction becomes contagious when your focus is on others and the benefits they will receive from your message. That's when belief blossoms and gains real power."
Believe in the Power of Your Words
When you communicate with belief and conviction, your message is stronger, which is evident to your audience through your words. "As a communicator, when you are convinced you can help others and offer them the best course of action, people in your audience feel secure, gain confidence, and begin to accept your advice. If you are authentic, stand for something, live good values, and give your best, you will always strengthen your audience and add value to them."
This week, answer these questions:
Which area of conviction -- personal, people, purpose -- do you struggle with the most?
How can you build your belief in this area?
How would increasing your conviction in this area improve your communication?