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Taking out the Scary in Communications- Interview with Communication Coach Amanda Box

Communication Coach-Why does the idea of verbal communication freak most of us out so much? Have you ever told yourself, “Well, I’m just not that great of a communicator.” In this episode, Emily talks to Amanda Box, who has spent 25+ years in the field of communications. And Amanda is here to say that you can be an effective communicator, even if you have thought your whole life that it was never a talent that you could acquire.

You have to present a project in front of the class. Yikes!

You have an interview where people will ask you questions… and you have to respond. Eep!

You receive a phone call instead of a text! *Faint*

Why does the idea of verbal communication coach freak most of us out so much? Have you ever told yourself, “Well, I’m just not that great of a communicator.”

In this episode, Emily talks to Amanda Box, who has spent 25+ years in the field of communications. And Amanda is here to say that you can be an effective communicator, even if you have thought your whole life that it was never a talent that you could acquire.

Not only can you be an amazing communicator, but you can learn to be assertive with your words without sounding rude. If the idea of any kind of conflict makes you want to put your head in the sand, tune in for this episode as Amanda breaks down the idea of communication coach into a plan. After all, when we see something that scared us into a fit of anxiety broken down into manageable pieces, it becomes something actionable. Let’s take a Moxie mindset going into 2023 as we bolster our confidence and become the fantastic communicators we know we can be.

communication coach

Connect with Communication Coach Amanda Box

LinkedIn: Amanda Edwards Box
Facebook: Box Communication, Inc

Twitter: @box_amanda


About Amanda Box

The success of your communication coach determines your success in every other aspect of your life.

As the self-proclaimed communication coach evangelist, and the unleasher of the awesome, Amanda trains and

coaches individuals and teams for improved communication coach skills. The result for participants is more

connection and cohesion in the workplace which improves productivity and reduces draining conflict. At the

end of a training day, participants are equipped with structures, words, and strategies. The goal is to tackle the

challenge, while strengthening the team.

That philosophy is the foundation for Amanda Box while teaching and facilitating the fundamentals of

communication coach. Her 25+ year career has been spent in a dual role of teaching on the college level and

consulting with business and industry.

Amanda Box taught full time on the university level for 10 years and continues to serve as adjunct faculty while

consulting with business and industry. She rounded out her professional skills while serving as the

communication coach coordinator for four years for Mississippi Forestry Association where she was responsible for

all internal and external communication coach including several publications, the web site, and media campaigns.

Other talents include consuming large amounts of baseball ⚾️ fiction �� and Diet Coke �� .

Amanda earned her undergraduate degree in communication coach from Freed-Hardeman University and a master’s

degree in communication coach from Mississippi College. Currently, Amanda is based in College Station, Texas.

communication in business

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Communication Coach – Transcription

Emily: [00:00:00] If you’re a female entrepreneur and you’re looking for community encouragement and empowerment in your journey as a small business owner, this is the podcast for you. Tune in with me as we interview women from all over the world on different walks in their business journey. We’ll hear about their highs and their lows, their struggles and successes. They’ll share tips and tricks and tutorials on how to grow your business. So pull up a chair and turn the volume up as we share the nitty gritty of female entrepreneurship with no filters, no scripts, no judgement on the No Mercy Business podcast. Well, hello and thank you so much for being here for another week of the No Mercy Business podcast. My name is Emily Woodruff. I’m your host and I’m super excited to share Amanda Box with you today. Amanda, why don’t you go ahead and give our audience a little look into you and your business?

Amanda: [00:01:12] Sure. Well, I call myself the communication evangelist because I spent my entire career helping people talk to each other. I started off as a really young college professor, and let me tell you, those freshmen taught me an awful lot because they all hated speech class and yet they all take it. So I would try something, run it, tweak it, run it again, try it, run it, tweak it, run it again. So I was teaching all kinds of things, especially speech communication. But interpersonal small group worked a whole lot in the television studio with our broadcasting students. And so I taught full time for about ten years, went on to do various in other. A full time job. Things. But that teaching career really began my consulting career when people began to find out about the courses I was teaching and all the students from all over the world that I was working with. And I began to get invitations so people would invite me to come speak at their work or do a day of training or two days of training. Every once in a while I get three days of training, training. And so I just began this kind of secondary career with speaking with four keynotes training, and I still do those two things.

Amanda: [00:02:36] And now I’ve added a third line, which is individual coaching. So I help people prepare for keynotes and a lot of interview coaching. So if I roll all that in together, then what I say a whole lot is I get to unleash the awesome because all the great stuff is in there and our communication skills are what allows other people to see who we really are. And, and I couldn’t love that more when I get to help someone with words. And as simple as that sounds, sometimes it just comes down to that. Or let’s try it this way, or How do you want to say that? Or where is an uncomfortable spot that you want to get what I call a pocket phrase to have handy and ready to go when it could be a potentially awkward moment to to take the conversation deeper. And so I really just love helping people do that because it makes such a big difference in their lives, because it’s no big secret when things are not going well. Everybody always points to the communication, right?

Emily: [00:03:49] Yeah, of course.

Amanda: [00:03:50] We’re not really. We’re in conflict. I didn’t mean it that way. You have to know how to take him, all of those things. But when the communication is going well and the cohesiveness is there, then we just celebrate the wins. And so that’s how it goes.

Emily: [00:04:09] That’s great. And you’re totally right. If communications down, it can really set the tone for all of your future interactions or potential of of working together or your excuse me, your potential connection with that other person or that other business. And it’s a great it’s a great foundation to have.

Amanda: [00:04:31] Yes. So, yeah.

Emily: [00:04:34] Yeah. So you work with like conflict handling and helping people kind of be a little bit more assertive or getting through interviews and things like that. How do you work with people on. Assertiveness. I’m interested in that.

Amanda: [00:04:49] Yes. Good. I’m glad. Well, what’s very interesting and usually news for people is that communication is just a physical skill like any other sport. You’re if you’re learning golf or tennis or baseball, whatever it is, you do things with your body. You set out some goals. Here’s what I would like to accomplish and here’s how I work with my body to accomplish that. It’s the same thing with communication. It’s ridiculous to think that you are either a great communicator or you’re not. I mean, that’s like saying you’re either a great leader or you’re not or you’re a great pianist or you’re not. You. You might have some skill. You probably are bent that way, but there’s an awful lot to learn. And really it just comes down to hours logged. And that is how you build confidence. So assertiveness, confidence, credibility, all of those to me are very, I wouldn’t say interchangeable, but certainly closely related. And so we as people, regardless of our title, we need to be strong leaders. And that to me comes down to a couple of things. One is our own credibility. Are we perceived as trustworthy, as are we perceived as competent? Are we perceived as one who can get the job done, etc.? And then the second the second category to me of of that is strong leaders or people of influence or just professionals. We have to be able to handle conflict. And that’s a whole different skill set that there’s no way we can cover that today, maybe another day. Yeah. So that’s a whole skill set that no one gets to learn.

Emily: [00:06:37] I agree with you 100%. I, I ask this question because I’m somebody who is not afraid of conflict for lack of better terms. I’m not afraid to stand up for what I believe in or what I think my end of the contract or the bargain or the deal. Says or stands for, or if I’m being abused by a client or by a. You know, I’m not afraid to say, hey, no, we need to reevaluate this and that. I work with women every day who are terrified to say those words. I’m like, I don’t know what’s so scary because you’re online, too. Like, that’s that’s the scariest part is when you’re in person, too, you know?

Amanda: [00:07:20] But you pointed out a couple of really important things. One is fear. There’s so much fear not only of the conflict or they’re not going to like me or they’re not going to hire me. It’s also just the fear of being uncomfortable. Yeah. Yeah. And you don’t have practice being assertive. So how do you know if someone’s assertive? It’s. Do they look and sound assertive? Which is the same thing as the credibility, the confidence, the etc.. So if I’m working with someone, we’ll ask where is a situation where you struggle to be assertive? Well, you mentioned several of those. And so I would work with a client and I would just say, well, what do you want to say to them? Because here’s what they say to me. What should I say? Well, what do you want to say? Or what’s the truth? Because we always tell the truth in a way that reveals what we want to say about our own character. That’s a strategy that applies in public speaking and interviews just with our clients, etc. Always tell the truth in a way that reveals what we want to do about ourselves. So in that situation, we would physically practice some words and it would be louder and slower. I say that to every client and I also say it to my children.

Amanda: [00:08:36] They all get it. They all get sick of it. And I don’t care because when you’re talking louder and slower because you did it. Emily, when you said you were kind of pushing back on your client, you were louder and slower, You said, wait, here’s the deal. So you weren’t getting all flustered or backing down or backpedaling. You just you had your boundary and you’re comfortable saying those words. And is someone going to be entirely comfortable in that situation? I mean, maybe not. I mean, I’m not comfortable in a conflict. I just know I’m not on fire. I’m not being chased by lions. Right. And the the level of fear can be such for people that if you took a brain scan, it would look like they were being chased by lions, because that’s how scary it is for them. So to. I think instill in them this is normal people are not going to. Be angry with you because you’re upholding your end of the contract. Just walk through it and talk through it with them and make them say it like I make them say it a bunch of times until it rolls off their tongue. And that’s when that’s when they’re really.

Emily: [00:09:54] So, yeah, no, I think that’s dead on. I, I have several, you know, interactions where people will say same thing. What do I say to this person or how do I respond or what do I do? And I say the same thing. What do you need to say?

Amanda: [00:10:10] Right?

Emily: [00:10:12] And then they tell it to me and I’m like, Okay. Say that, but maybe take this word out and you’ve got it, you know? And it’s it’s so funny. I think sometimes people are just afraid to do it initially. And I do it like in my personal life, I’m. I have no fears in my business. I’m way more confident in my business than I am in my personal life, which is really funny. But if I have, yeah, I have a very small, like, you know, window of friends or a group of friends that I’ll be like, Hey, I need to say this to so-and-so. Can you just let me get this out and get the get the scaries out and then I’ll be okay. You know.

Amanda: [00:10:50] I’m like that. Get the scary out.

Emily: [00:10:51] Yeah. Like, but it does it, you know, helps so much.

Amanda: [00:10:55] Yeah. And then another thing that I coach a lot. Louder. Slower. Let’s practice your phrase now. Stop talking. Uh huh. Because the higher your word count is, the lower your credibility is. So we’re not trying to issue orders or be queen of the castle. Say what you need to say. And I have another thing to go. I have this I called news anchor face, which I just did, which is interested. So people are reading our non-verbal communication coach because, of course, it’s very strong. 65 to 90% of all communication coach is nonverbal. So when I say these things, people are only going to see what I show them pretty much. Now, you know, your body is going to if if you’re a little bit uncomfortable, can you completely hide that? No, but I don’t think you need to. And there’s also this idea that you have to do it perfectly. I’m so not interested in a perfect conversation because conversations are unpredictable. I can only say what I need to say loud or slower. News anchor face. Which is pleasant. That’s a pleasant look. And then I start talking and. And. And you’ve done it. Then at that point, you’re been perceived as assertive. And then what that does is it takes you into the conversation that needs to take place. And you’re not so worried anymore.

Emily: [00:12:31] Right. No, that’s great.

Amanda: [00:12:34] The scariest thing is over. They haven’t lashed out and most people are not. And if they do, then we’ll we’ll deal with that, too. But I’ll never teach anybody to be a doormat. There are ways to handle when it moves into a conflict, but normally it’s not. It’s just not as scary as people build up in their minds.

Emily: [00:12:54] Yep. Totally agree. And I think that’s something I’ve said it before on the show and just like to reiterate it when it comes up, but the more that you vocalize, not necessarily the more words you say, but the more that you are willing to be vocal about your boundaries, the more likely they’re going to be followed and the more likely your client or your whomever your recipient is going to respect that. Most of the time people will push back. Or if something if a line is crossed, it’s because they didn’t know and you informing them or you saying, Hey, no, this is what I need, this is what I want. A lot of times it’s received well simply because you went out on a limb to say, Hey, this is where my line is and this is what I need. A lot of people respect that. I respect it when somebody says, this is my this is my realm and you’re over here and it’s just you know, you need to know it to be able to work efficiently together.

Amanda: [00:13:53] That’s a smart way to do it, because you do that in advance of working together. You’re probably working together for the first time. If this is if this is the case here. So you’re just really letting out rules of engagement, which you have reasons for those. So when you’re going over these things with me and maybe they’re I don’t know, the photographer you have for wardrobe changes, I really wanted to fit. Well, the reason we don’t do that is this became okay, I understand now, or if there’s some wiggle room and then you’re Oh, well I mean then it’s a conversation and it’s again, not scary. Then once you get in there, then it becomes a conflict. Because we thought everything was established.

Emily: [00:14:36] And there’s there’s lots of different ways to do it to. It doesn’t always have to come down to me sitting in front of you and getting to a point where you’re so tense. But you can preface this stuff with your contracts and with your getting ready guides, like you mentioned photography. A lot of photographers, if they’re doing things very well, they will send you a prep guide before your session and it can establish those things. You have a 60 minute session, we have time for three outfit changes and then it just kind of backs up your your reasoning in person. If they try to push for that extra one or they, you know, try to get you to drive somewhere super far or. Well, here’s the reason that this is done as as was shared in my guide. It’s kind of like your business partner is your guide, you know?

Amanda: [00:15:24] Right, right, right. So if I have an interview client. Well, I tell I pretty much lay out, Here’s what you’re paying for. I only charge for an appointment, a session. So we there’s no minimum. So if you want one and you’re great, fine. If you want to pick up another one, fine. If you have a question, though, I’m charging you for these interview sessions. But if you need to text me or call me, you’ve already paid for that. I don’t want you wondering if I’m going to charge you for every little thing like that. So here’s how this is going to go. Or I might ask them a question just again for that reason to line it out. And it’s always easier. The sooner you say anything uncomfortable, the sooner you do it, the better it is, because the longer you leave it, the weirder it gets and it kind of grows. I don’t know, in its own awkwardness, I think it kind of gets all saturated in that.

Emily: [00:16:20] Yeah. And I think what we do to ourselves, to just our own mental capabilities, can make things so much more convoluted or can make things so much bigger. And you get there and it’s like, Oh, I could have just popped in and said this, This was an issue and.

Amanda: [00:16:36] That’s right.

Emily: [00:16:37] But able to move on from it. Yeah.

Amanda: [00:16:39] Racist to me into a really good habit. So any successful person they’re going to be relentless about habits if they’re athletes, if they’re musicians, if they’re business people, if they’re communicators like I am, Yeah, we’re not going to rise to the occasion. We’re going to fall back on whatever habits we have developed. So in communication coach, that’s really important too. So for example, if you are if you have a presentation coming up and you want to make sure you don’t use a lot of hedgers and fillers and all of those very classically what not to do during a speech, well, there’s a really simple habit to develop in your conversation. You can practice absolutely anything that you need in an interview and a keynote in whatever situation it is, even in a networking event, because no one is ever going to say, I really need you to use more ads. And I mean, no one is going to say that. So you want to edit that habit out of your conversation. So you do that very simply in your conversation when you’re working on it. Just listen. And when you begin to say and or then if you’ll close your mouth, that prevents your body from physically being able to do that, you’ll just take a little pause, pick back up.

Amanda: [00:18:03] And so that’s what you would do at the podium. But when you’re doing that in your conversation, you’re editing out that habit. So in a couple of weeks you’re not doing that. Or if you are, you’re you’re building in the habit of noticing those things, closing your mouth. Here’s what I mean. And going on with that in a very credible, polished, poised way. So your credibility goes up, Your confidence goes up. You are being perceived as a more assertive person because of your communication coach style. And that to me, is what credibility really boils down to. Is this physical style. And there are lots and lots and lots of tricks like that. They’re not tricks. I shouldn’t call them trick, but tips and tricks. Little things to learn. Habits like that. So what I mentioned pocket phrases earlier, so when you need to say anything, there’s always a positive way to say that. You mentioned wardrobe changes. Well, instead of saying. You can’t have a million wardrobe changes. So that’s a negative. What you can say is, will you please bring 2 to 5 wardrobe changes only?

Emily: [00:19:27] Yep.

Amanda: [00:19:28] And there you go. You’ve asked what you need. You’ve given them some leeway. But you’ve also set your boundaries and you’ve done it in a positive way. So it’s less awkward.

Emily: [00:19:39] Mm hmm. No, that’s great. That’s great.

Amanda: [00:19:43] Pocket phrases like that. And I do think I kind of coined the term because I’ve never seen heard anyone else say it, but I don’t have a patent on it or something, and I want people to use that. So if a person just thinks about where you’re a little awkward moments are. Hmm. Here’s an idea. Let’s strategize for that awkward moment. Get a little phrase I can say and you’ll have it in your pocket. You’ll pull it out when you’re ready. Again, leading you into deeper conversation. And then it’s very seamless. It’s very invisible.

Emily: [00:20:14] That’s so great. I love it. I love it so much. Thank you so much for your time today. Where can our listeners find you and connect with you online?

Amanda: [00:20:24] Amanda Box dot org is the website Box dot Amanda at iCloud. Is the email. I’m on LinkedIn Amanda Edwards box and it has a communication coach consultant so if you it also has only sure of the awesome. So as you can see I’m ridiculously easy to find and I would love opportunities to submit a proposal or help in any way unleash all that. Awesome.

Emily: [00:20:52] Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I just can’t wait to learn more about what you’re doing and get connected. Connected with you a little bit more. And thank you for your time today.

Amanda: [00:21:02] Thank you for having me. Yeah.

Emily: [00:21:05] Before we go, I just wanted to reach out real quick. A lot of you have talked about starting your own podcast and you’re just not sure where to start. I wanted to let you know that Libsyn is an awesome platform and right now they have a great deal for you to join if you use the code. Woodruff What are you if you can get in a great rate and get started today, feel free to shoot me an email or send me a message if you have any questions. I would love to walk you through starting on your own. Thanks for listening to the No Mercy Business Coaching and Consulting podcast with Emily Woodruff. We specialize in branding and design for women by women.


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