Eloquence is the second quality at the hEart of Character-based Communication. It's not enough to be right or know what you're talking about. You also need to speak with grace, skill and polish.
Eloquent communication adds grace and fluency to your message. It’s like putting a frame around a picture – it doesn’t change the picture but adds to the appeal and interest. A lovely frame that is carefully chosen both for the picture and the place where the picture will be presented enhances the value.
If you receive a gift that is finely wrapped, it indicates that what is in the box has value.
Character-based Communicators craft words to be pleasing and interesting, as well as clear. Wordsmithing is a fine and noble art.
It's up to us to make our messages worth hearing, and that takes finesse. Take the time to say it right.
Eloquence doesn’t mean fake. Character-based Communicators don’t craft words to manipulate or give false impressions, any more than they frame a picture to hide it. They choose words skillfully, artfully and beautifully in order to enhance effectiveness and the joy of speaking.
Some people are smooth talkers but lack substance. That isn’t eloquence, and it isn’t Character-based. Some people speak in ways that might seem coarse to some, but are appropriate for the setting. That is eloquence.
There are vendors who can put a very nice package together. Good luck trying to figure out what’s in it. Once you get inside, you might be shocked to discover that it doesn’t match the packaging or it could even be that there’s nothing there at all. Eloquence doesn’t mislead.
I once had a bumper-sticker that said, “You’ve got to be tough if you’re going to be stupid.” If you’re not stupid – if you’re smart and eloquent, you don’t have to be nearly as tough. Eloquence creates an environment that is conducive to collaboration. A little honey in your words can make them more palatable.
If a Character-based Communicator is not naturally eloquent, they learn. They know that it’s not just what you say that matters. How you say it matters, too.
Phrase books like mine are written to communicate eloquently. Their effectiveness depends on how appropriate they are to the situation and the person using them. If you’re not used to speaking eloquently, it will be awkward to use phrases that are different from your natural style. Do it anyway, but continue to adapt the wording to your own style. Somewhere in there, you’ll find the perfect blend of words that express your very best and most elevated self. Eventually, you’ll wonder why you ever spoke any other way.