How many ways are there to take in information about the world? Probably first on your list would be the capacity to hear. Take a minute to examine all your other senses to notice how they allow you to fully take in what is happening around you.
Considerable research has been done to demonstrate enhanced perception of the other senses when working without the capacity to hear.
Many of us experience a form of temporary deafness throughout our day in both our personal and professional communities. The act of speaking, and perhaps talking too often or too much, actually diminishes our capacity to hear and fully listen to the ideas and contributions of others.
Consider another wise saying: When you’re doing all the talking you’re not learning anything. (Amy Castro, Performance Communication expert)
Where and with whom would a quiet tongue and a far more open set of ears provide the greatest benefit?
Consider sharing this intention to listen more full with at least one key person in your life.
“Tweeting has taught me the discipline to say more with fewer words.”
—Adam Grant, American psychologist
Image from twitter
The social media site Twitter was launched in 2006 with the original format of only 140 characters. Toward the end of 2017 this limit was doubled for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Regardless of your views on this platform, hundreds of millions of users find it an engaging medium to communicate their views on matters of both modest and significant interest.
“Remember to say what you mean, but don’t say it meanly.”
—Elizabeth George, American writer of the Inspector Lynley mysteries
Image from Unsplash by RawPixel
I am currently working with a young manager who is preparing a performance review for a colleague who is falling considerably short of the expectations for the job.
He had begun writing his report, and noticed how harsh it appeared. He felt fearful and anxious, considering the likely impact on this individual, whom he must work with each day.
His request for coaching was related to his need to communicate the poor performance in a way that would support openness, and encourage improved performance. He didn’t want to crush this person’s spirit and have them withdraw.
“It’s better to bite your tongue than to eat your words.”
—Frank Sonnenberg, business expert and author
Image created in Canva
An important aspect of the coaching process is to significantly increase the self awareness and mindfulness capacities of our clients. With this in mind, listening and paying attention to our inner voices and words before they are put out into the world seems to be wise counsel.
Consider just how much negativity, judgement, and criticism you hear throughout your days. How much do you find yourself contributing to this in your personal or professional communities?
Where would biting your tongue and taking an “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” approach prevent you from eating your words?
Try using the acronym W.A.I.T.: Why. Am. I. Talking. – as a technique to keep your negative inner voice on mute more often.
“Never close your lips to those to whom you have opened your heart.”
—Charles Dickens, 19th Century English writer & social critic
Image from rawpixel on Unsplash
The alchemy of relationships, particularly close, caring relationships, is very special. Things like trust, respect, cooperation, and love aren’t so easily captured and kept in good repair.
One way to keep and enhance these heartfelt relationships thriving is to place considerable value and time in open and authentic dialogue, in which each party wishes to forward the relationship and the other individual.
When disagreement and conflict occur it is not the time to withdraw and slip into silence. This form of silence can be a death blow to a previously heart-warming relationship.
What current personal or professional relationship is most in need of open dialogue to keep and expand the open-heart feelings that may be slipping away?
“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.”
—Abraham Lincoln, referring to a lawyer
How would you like to be the one talked about in today’s quote?
In a world in which efficient and effective communication is paramount to keeping up with or staying ahead of the pack, this characteristic won’t do.
One of my clients is an expert in the area of cyber-security. He has an amazing ability to communicate big and important ideas on this complex subject in simple, everyday language we can all understand. As you might guess, he has a line of people at his door, hoping he can help them navigate their cyber-security minefields.
What changes can and will you make in your communication efforts to pack the biggest ideas into the smallest word packages to better realize the levels of achievement and success you desire?
“Raise your words not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers not thunder.”
-Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic
Image from www.stuckindc.com
A fundamental conversation I have with each new coaching client involves the qualities and characteristics of effective leaders.
The characteristics describing effective leaders include: visionary, passionate, inspiring, empowering, service-oriented, having integrity, and being approachable. The words these leaders use to speak about their views of a better future are like the rain to a flower. They help people and organizations grow.
Alternatively, we have all seen the “Thundering Taskmaster” types who repress and suppress those around them and often create environments of fear, intimidation, and retribution.
What can you do to be the kind of leader that attracts followers by raising your words rather than your voice?