Hi, I’m Erin Donley—I’m a Communication Specialist who teaches professionals how to choose their words wisely, so they can build rapport, respect and the results they desire in business.
As a regular contributor for the Huffington Post, my articles aim to challenge the status quo and bring human-heartedness back to our everyday language.
It all began in 1st grade on school picture day. While standing in line, I listened to the photographer call each girl “princess” to entice bigger smiles.
When I stepped up in my gray wool blazer, power-red turtleneck and argyle socks, the photographer said, “Well hello, Nancy Reagan. Let me see you smile.”
This validated my suspicion that I wasn’t like other kids. In fact, princess fantasyland was appalling to me.
I preferred speaking to adults who would tell me about their lives. Some of them would confess to unhappy marriages, failures at work and arguments with friends. The more details they’d provide, the more satisfied I’d be.
I jumped at the chance to go to funerals because I longed to witness adults who could show their true feelings.
Even as a kid, I could see: the things we do not say eventually get in the way. Our unspoken thoughts and neglected dreams cost us time, money, health, relationships, and most of all… emotional energy.
By age 10, a therapist labeled me, “addicted to drama.” For the next 20 years, I slapped on fake smiles and did what I was told with minimum resistance.
But as a young adult, I could no longer keep up this false facade.
Despite winning awards and making great money as a media sales rep, I longed for someone to show me how to swallow my pride or express my views — carefully and professionally.
- How can I be real about my feelings without offending anyone?
- When is it smart to say no or refuse business?
- How can I be more clear and compelling with clients and coworkers?
It seemed like everywhere I looked, forced positivity and superficial goals were rewarded. Real conversation and open dialogues were shunned. Discouraged and without a plan, I left the industry.
This blew open the doors of possibility. Soon, my consulting business, Marketing Your Truth, came into existence and the chance to host my own TV show, Reveal What’s Real, fell into my lap.
I also became a manager at the personal-growth mecca of Portland, New Renaissance Bookshop and Event Center. In that time, I soaked up thousands of books on communication, business, psychology, spirituality and leadership.
Each week, I wrote book reviews and conducted bold interviews with leaders in transformation. These got published in a weekly email newsletter, sent to the store’s gigantic database. For the first time since childhood, I remembered how much I love exposing the unseen, unspoken and unheard of things in life.
Today as a communication specialist, I lead group trainings with professionals who want to speak, write and awaken others with their words.
It takes a special kind of person to ask, “Am I saying this clearly? How can I initiate a real conversation? How can my natural self-expression help me win more business?”
I’m grateful to help these leaders in business become Role Model Communicators.
Additionally, it’s a joy for me to embrace who I am and practice clear, intentional communication… no matter what.
Let’s meet online and keep the conversation going:
- Comment on my blogs featured on Huffington Post
- Connect with me on Facebook
- Watch Reveal What’s Real videos on YouTube
- Join my professional network at Linkedin
- Follow me on Twitter
“Erin Donley is a brilliant teacher with an edgy, raw style that almost ALWAYS make me nod my head and wonder how she’s stolen my unvoiced thoughts and feelings, especially the ones I donʼt know Iʼm having until she articulates them.” ~ Sandi Goodwin
Photo credit: Carmen Phoenix Photography
“No one has to change, but everyone must have the conversation — and when real conversations occurs, change happens naturally.”
- David Whyte