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Say what you mean: Master the art of expressing yourself

By Nancy Nzalambi | November 1st 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Hyppytyynytyydytys. This strange 18 letter Finnish word has no direct translation in English. It describes that “aaah” feeling; that satisfaction you experience when you relax on a bouncy cushion. The word utilises only seven letters despite having plenty of repeated letters. It has no vowels and looks funny. Try pronouncing it without replaying it from your mind.

This is exactly how you sound when you cannot express yourself properly. You will find yourself uttering numerous words just to communicate a small issue matter. No one will seem able to echo your words since they did not grasp your idea in the first place.


Therapist Clare Sillence advises that mindfulness helps us to feel our emotions without responding in a way that is unhelpful. In the face of confrontation, we find ourselves in flight or fight reactions which blur our decision making.

When we are mindful of our emotions, we have the ability to tame our thoughts and discuss a hot topic without getting heated. We learn to respond rather than react.

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If you want to resolve a problem, share important information or respond during a mid-life career change interview, you need to gather your thoughts beforehand. There is no need to rehash history to prove a point.

In a hot-button topic, bringing up past events confuses the message you are trying to put across presently.


Most of use view compromise as a sign of weakness. This is mostly because we view a discussion as a battle rather than an avenue to share ideas. To be effective at maintaining good working relationships, we have to be good at understanding other people’s perspectives.

We may want to push our agenda but it is also important to empathise with others. With solid boundaries in place, compromise demonstrates commitment to an idea with the intention of bringing the most value out of a situation.

Expressing yourself properly is important for several reasons, promoting access and authenticity.

Leaders, for instance, are to some extent, intimidating. We can all resonate with the feeling of how employees suddenly shut up when the big boss walks in. When people in management express their personalities professionally at the workplace, they become more approachable to their subordinates. Their juniors will not fear presenting novel ideas to their boss when they know they will not be ridiculed. This makes a leader more successful in his role.

At the same time, no one has ever been successful working in a vacuum. Our workplaces are areas of collaboration. Getting to know who you work with creates a sense of connection and reduces conflict caused by personality clashes. It also honours what each and every person brings to the table based on their unique traits.

When people are allowed to be themselves — but governed by professional ethics — they can bring their whole selves to work and give their best. Authenticity is a positive attribute that cultivates connection and loyalty among coworkers. It also fosters effective communication and growth both at individual and organisation level. 

Communication Clare Sillence
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