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By: Alexander Cohen, Faculty at Speakeasy,Inc.

Working on communication with executives every day, I sometimes hear similar concerns and questions. However, the one that stands out to me as valid, relevant, and one worth unpacking is the concern of “standing out”. 
As my clients develop themselves as communicators, their style transforms into something more authentic, more true, and more effective. Although that is what they want and what their listeners need this more authentic style may look and sounds different than what their colleagues are used to.

It reminds me of how when I was in school and would go for my monthly haircut at the local barber. When the barber asked me how I wanted my haircut I would say, “cut my hair, so it doesn’t look like I got it cut”. I wanted to take care of myself, but I didn’t want anyone to notice.
My clients want to be more effective in their communication, but they don't want to attract attention or questions from their peers by "looking and sounding different”.

Just like me, avoiding the question “hey, did you get a haircut?”
First, What I tell my clients is this - effective communication is a key to effective leadership. Secondly, Leadership means standing out, being the exceptional example not the norm. Lastly, Leadership is inspiring others through your actions to be leaders, not followers.
Any development process begins with growing pains. In the beginning, it hurts to be exceptional. It’s uncomfortable to be remarkable. But with time, your new, more authentic communication style becomes your new communication norm. With this comes a new sense of comfort. The result is that people who experience you will see and hear all your uniqueness and the extraordinary ideas that you as an individual and as a leader have to offer.
Becoming a powerful communicator means becoming more of who you are and sharing that with the rest of the world. It takes work and courage to uncover it and even more to bring it out. You are unique and once you accept and share that through authentic communication… you will stand out – in the best way possible.