Aden Nepom, How to Communicate More Effectively to Build Meaningful Relationships – InnovaBuzz 400

Aden Nepom

Aden Nepom, The Art of Change

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Aden Nepom, a TEDx speaker, a Senior Facilitator at On Your Feet Improvisation for Business, President at the Art of Change Skills for Life, and host of The Changed Podcast. This is a milestone episode – number 400. I’m so privileged to speak with so many wonderful people on this show and share the conversations with you. This episode is another fantastically valuable conversation.

In addition to her work as a facilitator, keynote speaker, and coach, Aden is also an award-winning stage performer! These are also skills which she’s shared through teaching and performing around the world, with her exceedingly talented husband.

At the Art of Change, Aden is passionate about helping people build a better future instead of a bitter future. Change is inevitable, but progress is not. She serves passionate leaders who want to positively impact their work, teams, and organizations. She helps them develop powerful, flexible, and sometimes fun, communication skills that build massive trust, increase motivation, and increase influence up, down, and sideways.

In our discussion, Aden talked to me about:

  • How to have a reasonable conversation with someone (even when you disagree!)
  • Building the muscles of competence and confidence by focusing on your audience and serving them
  • The power of the “tell me more…” question

Dr. Rick Kirschner in episode 353 introduced us to Aden.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Being of service doesn't mean you have to give everything away or sacrifice your own success. To live a life of service is to look for ways to make things better for the people around you. @AdenNepom on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Aden Nepom of The Art of Change

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Joy is an important driver for humans. People experience joy from a job well done, from meaningful conversations, and from repaired relationships.
  • Being of service is incredibly rewarding. Being of service doesn’t mean you have to give everything away or sacrifice your own success. To live a life of service is to look for ways to make things better for the people around you.
  • Stop focusing on yourself and instead focus on what your audience needs. 
  • The best way to keep your team really engaged in the work that you do is to focus on being of service to their success.
  • Being service-driven is looking for ways to make things better for the people around you, and in that way bringing a little more joy to what they do. 
  • Don’t let your fear of success get in the way. The thing that is tailormade for your skillset that will allow you to shine and grow is right in front of you. Jump on it!
  • If you have something that can help people do better work and have better experiences, you have an obligation to bring it out to the world. Don’t let the fear of success get in the way of building that bridge to people understanding the thing that is going to make their lives better. 
  • The struggle to succeed is a struggle worth having.
  • Feeling uncomfortable is a sign that you are growing.
  • The peak of discovery is out there. As you go through those uncomfortable zones, you are oftentimes tempted to go back to your comfort zone, but you just have to push through it because it is worth getting there. 
  • Innovators are often attracted to things that are shiny. It is important to find that balance in your business. Recognise when things are working and make micro-innovations. You don’t always have to go for the big, exciting, and shiny new peak of discovery because those little peaks of discovery count as much.
  • The simplest way to have meaningful conversations is to ask questions and be really curious about the things that matter to people.
  • There is power in asking someone to tell you more. It is an excellent way to dig deeper without judgement and it allows you to shift the conversation in a way that takes it to a place of curiosity.
  • When asking people questions, don’t just listen to their answers to formulate your own thoughts. Simply opening the door for people to talk to you and hear their answers fully before you start formulating what you need to say or do is a huge gift that you can give to people.
  • “Reason in an Outraged World” is a free course that provides people with really simple skillsets to help them have meaningful conversations, particularly when there is a disagreement. 
  • We are on this big blue ball together. If we can’t have meaningful conversations, particularly when we disagree, we are in big trouble. We need to start thinking about the kind of future we want to have, and the skills to do that rely heavily on how we can make it with each other.
  • People are not just motivated towards things. People are also motivated away from things. You have to have both. You need to have something you are working towards and something that you are trying to get away from.
  • The more that you want people to agree with you when having a conversation, the less likely they are to do so.
  • Go deeper than the surface at hand in order to have meaningful conversations. Think about the actual objective of why you having that conversation.
  • It may be worth setting aside your need to be right for a moment unless you are someone who is making a specific policy decision or someone responsible for something in a tangible way.
  • Never let go of the things you are passionate about. If you are feeling outraged about something, table it long enough to understand why you are having this particular conversation with this particular person in this particular moment, and evaluate if that is something that would be helpful or hurtful to your relationship.
  • Always put the relationship first when engaging with someone about a topic that you care deeply about. 
  • Improvisation is all about paying attention to what is needed most. It helps people to really be present and in the moment to see what is needed.
  • You need to know how to collaborate effectively and really get something out of the time spent. Don’t just collaborate for collaboration’s sake. Collaborate to get results.
  • You can listen selectively or you can listen openly. You can be present and discover together when you are ideating. You can have a pressure-free environment for a short amount of time and use your critical thinking skills to hone the best ideas or you can put a lot of pressure in trying to get the best idea upfront, only to find out in the end that all the ideas are mediocre because there is too much pressure.
The simplest way to have meaningful conversations is to ask questions and be really curious about the things that matter to people. @AdenNepom on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Aden’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Allow space for foolish ideas to show up so that you can get past them.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Ask other people what their ideas are and share our ideas. It is when you smash ideas together that innovation shows up.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – The internet and my network of connections.
  4. Keep project/client on track – Stay focused on the task at hand and know when to make a tactful interruption. 
  5. Differentiate –  Be yourself. There is only one of you. 

To Be a Leader

If you are going to collaborate, collaborate for a reason and collaborate with the idea that collaboration is worth having. If your fear is what’s getting in the way of the success that you want, step back and take look at your thoughts and patterns of behaviour that are no longer serving you. When in doubt in a tough conversation, go for the relationship. Build the trust and play the long game of changing minds instead of trying to change minds in short term and losing the relationship as a result.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Aden through her website

Suggested Guest

Aden suggested we have a conversation with Jeff Harry of Rediscover Your Play. So Jeff, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz Podcast, courtesy of Aden Nepom.

Links

Have meaningful conversations with people, even when you disagree. Get access to the Reason in an Outraged World workshop.

Cool Things About Aden

  • She was awarded the Rudy Kloptic Award for Oustanding Improvisational Theatre Ensemble in 2006 and 2007.
  • She’s the daughter of Dr. Rick Kirschner, best-selling author of Dealing with People You Can’t Stand.
  • She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science from Fort Lewis College.
When in doubt in a tough conversation, go for the relationship. Build the trust and play the long game of changing minds instead of trying to change minds in short term and losing the relationship. @AdenNepom on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is a transformational marketing strategist, podcaster, speaker, the chief innovator and founder of Innovabiz who partner with innovative, exceptional business coaches and consultants to enable you to build visibility, professional credibility and a deep connection with your ideal, dream clients, so that you will achieve growth and be able to make a difference to more ideal clients. Jürgen's mantra is Let's Make Marketing Human again. He believes that marketing is the art and science of creating and sustaining exceptional, remarkable customer experiences and relationships. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, as well as on Innovabiz' Twitter, Facebook, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Tales of Marketing Transformation Show and his personal Photography website.

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