Tips, tales and techniques to help you say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it. Find your original voice, find the common ground between your perspective and others, and then SpeakStrong from the Synergy Center.
I posted a few days ago that I hadn't found my words around the Sandy Hook tragedy. I was full of thoughts and feelings that couldn't find words. I waited, silently listening for what I felt called to say about it. Then I remembered the powerful true story a reader shared with me years ago.
Her words are touching, instructive and inspiring. I know my feed readers can't see the slides. I encourage you to click on the link and read the presentation. It says so much, and says it so well.
Think about how language both shapes and reflects culture. With that in mind, consider what my mentor told me. The Mayan language is verb-centric, and English is noun-centric.
Verbs are dynamic and nouns are static.
I observe people verbing more. We're turning nouns into verbs with new words like Googling, tweeting and branding. It suggests to me that our culture is becoming more dynamic.
Which strikes me as a good thing, since life is dynamic. It helps when words match reality.
I haven't posted about the Sandy Hook shooting yet, even though it impacted me deeply. I have a few opinions and a lot of feeling. Yet anything I might say seems too small. I'm still listening to learn what it all means to me.
Fast answers aren't always the best answers, (Malcom Gladwell not-withstanding.) Some questions take time and stillness to answer.
But some people already knew how the experience has changed them, and what it is catalyzing in their lives. I'd love to hear what it is invoking in you.
Is the holiday spirit calling you? Are you doing things to enliven it?
My friend "Brenda" used to feel family-less and sad in this season. This year she feels joyful and blessed. She is creating a "secret ritual" to celebrate. And today she shared some of what she has planned with me. I won't share any of her details, but I will say that she is pulling from her traditions and doing the things that hold deep meaning for her. By sharing her plan with me, she enlivened some of my own memories, joy and gratitude.
I love talking about what delights others. And it helps me connect with what delights me. That's why I'd like to ask you, too.
I'd love to know.
Bob and I are reading and enjoying "Proof of Heaven, A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife." We're not through it yet, but I got a gem from last night's reading. Author Eban Alexander III told his son that he wanted to share what he had learned during his many comatose days, and planned to read up on near death experiences, and what others have experienced.
His son advised him to capture his own memories and experiences first. "Observation first, then interpretation. Record it as purely and accurately as you can before you start making comparisons."
The SpeakStrong Method follows the same sequence. Find your original voice first. Then consider outside input. If you fill your mind with other's ideas before you clarify your own, it's harder to hear your own voice. That's why I wait until I have established my own approach in my writing before I review the work of others. Outside input is valuable, but it serves us best once we've centered ourselves in our own message.
That's the sequence that I have found works best. Having grounded that idea, it's nice to hear a scientist recommend it, too.
Speaking Strong doesn't mean sharing every intimate detail with everyone. But sometimes it does mean going "public" about things like - oh - breaking up.
This couple threw in the towel because he wants kids and she doesn't. It was an insurmountable obstacle. They wrote and produced a song about it. Without trivializing it, it turned a painful loss into art - and clarity. The second verse says everything about why it was important for them to go public with their break-up. It tells their friends what they want from them. Like inviting them both to their parties.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoXtkK9d33o&
Verse 2 And breaking up's a messSo please be there for usYou don't have to chooseThough it'll be awkward, yesInvite us to your partiesWe will work it outDon't feel weirdWe love all of youAfter 5 whole yearsBy each other's sideThere are just some thingsNo relationship can survive
I once knew a couple with kids that broke up and remarried, and the two couples aligned their worlds to an astonishing degree to be able to be there for the kids. They bought houses next door to each other, and later even both moved to a different city close to the same time. Perhaps it's not ideal, but it certainly breaks the mold of painful separations, and from all I could tell, it worked for everyone.
Now, what's probably missing from both stories is the process to get to this state of understanding. I don't assume they didn't struggle with blame, anger, misunderstanding, shame, etc. I also imagine they will continue to wrestle with aspects of those demons. But having reached a mature level of grace before, the path is smoother each time. I'll add that a reason like kids is probably easier to deal with than a reason like, say, I like someone else more.
Still, this shows mature break-ups can happen. Thanks to them for showing us what it can look like.
One of the best features of the admin training we completed yesterday was the sharing. Sometimes they shared how they applied things I gave them. Other times they shared things they've been doing for years. This image is a sharing from one of the participants that she received when she registered for my newsletter. She told me, "I just put this on my cabinet as inspiration!"
I love the way people share. Thanks, Linda!
Think words don't matter? Watch this lovely video a dear friend sent me tonight. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzgzim5m7oU)
It's very touching, and I invite you to feel the heart that it communicates. I also invite you to consider why the change in wording changed the effectiveness of the sign.
My virtual admin training camp is three weeks complete and one week to go, and we're having fun!
My sponsors, Briefings Media, initially planned to use a conference service that would require people to just call in when they had questions. I knew I needed something more robust - more interactive. So we got a system that allows me to keep the lines all open, and enables me to mute only those with background noise.
Now I can tell when people laugh at my jokes and groan at the tales of woe!
But most importantly, people can chime in with input, questions and ideas.
They send me their tips and pictures and work and I incorporate them into the conference. It's so great to be able to illustrate the principles with examples from people in the group.
We are 20 gals and a guy strong, learning loads and having a grand time. I learn from them as they learn from me and we learn each other.
The funny thing is, each time I get a bit nervous about whether it will flow well. After presenting over 1K times, you (I) would think I would have the confidence that it will. But even though I know it's likely to be great, I still get the jitters - until about two minutes in. On some levels, it's way easier to present a canned lecture that I control and not depend in any way on the brilliance of others. And yet it's way more powerful when everyone is smarter than anyone (including me) and they show up completely.
What kind of communication habits and practices bug you?
I've got a list, but it's distilled down to:
Those are my communication pet peeves. What are yours?
The next step is to take those pet peeves and flip them to identify what communication habits and practices you value.
Can you guess where this is going? For me, it's saying what you mean and meaning what you say - without being mean when you say it. What is it for you? Having a clear direction to aspire to in your communication draws out the best in you.
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I blog daily when I have a lot to say. When I don't have much to say, I stay silent. Kind of how it outta be, don't you think? Lots of great communication tips.
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Collaborative communication skills for today's busy workplace