So, in the last blog post we talked about how having the confidence to express yourself does make a difference. Likewise, HOW you say what you have to say matters as well.
One brief sidebar before we get started…I mentioned chakras in the previous post. For those of you who are not aware, the body has many energy centers. There are 7 more commonly spoken of chakra’s that run up the center of the body, along the track of the spinal cord. The first is the Root Chakra, located in the pubic area; the second is the Sacral Chakra, located in the region of the reproductive organs; the third is the Solar Plexus Chakra, you guessed it – located in the solar plexus; the fourth is the Heart Chakra, again easy to guess as it is by the heart; the fifth is the Throat Chakra; sixth is the “Third Eye” which is located in the forehead between and slightly above your eyes; the seventh is “The Crown Chakra,” which is located at the top of the head. There are many other chakras as well. Okay, back to the fact of the matter…
How you say what you say truly matters. For example, people are turned off by certain delivery methods and so are less likely to listen. Also, the setting you are in, your perceived social status in that setting and your comfort level in speaking up will have an impact as well.
Let’s start with your delivery method (which is likely not the problem anyway). If you are coming across as angry, over the top, or mean or threatening, people will be less likely to want to listen. Nobody likes a bully or a really negative person.
Second, if you are whiny or just complaining without any solution to offer, that will not get you far either. People have enough things to deal with and don’t want or need to be your regular whining stop. If you feel the need to go to the negative or whine a lot, you may want to look into that for WHY you do that. It is likely that you are not aware of it. It is also likely it was the only way you could get noticed growing up, but now that you are grown up you need to adjust that.
Third, don’t be pushy, condescending or preachy. People stop listening when you act like you know better than they do. You may very well know more than they do, but please try to find a nicer way to communicate it. Also, you may not know more than they do. An example would be Hollywood stars, musicians and sports stars – over the decades – chiming in on politics (for either side) and how we should think or feel, simply because that’s how they do. They live very different lifestyles than we do. These folks overestimate their value as well. Yes, you have star capacity, but you are no better than, nor do you know better than the people who come from different walks of life than you do.
If you do not know what it is like to be working your tail off to make ends meet, to stay afloat, much less get ahead, don’t preach higher ideals when basic needs need to be met. Refer back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
The point is, if you are delivering a message that comes across as insulting in any way to the audience you will fail. Likewise, you cannot assume that everyone needs to think and feel the same way that you do. We all have our reasons for how we feel. It is based on our life long compilation of experiences. If you fail to take that into account when speaking, you will not be listened to or you will anger people and then your message will fall short, or worse, get misinterpreted to fit their preferred view point.
When you say things in a respectful, even keeled manner, people will be more likely to listen. You also should be fairly succinct as the average attention span these days is pathetically short.
Other good ways to deliver a message that people will listen to is to play it down the middle. Use the truth and facts, and be sure you know the reality behind it. Also, a bit of humor is good – as long as it is good, clean fun.
Language is one of the most important factors of HOW you say what you say. The words you select are important. If you like to use big words and have a wonderful vocabulary, that is great. Many people like and can understand what you are saying. However, if they need a dictionary handy to figure out what you are saying, then you may need to simplify the flowery words so the conversation can move along smoother.
A key point is that you need to Know Your Audience! What is important to them? How educated are they? What are their high level interests? What are their high level concerns? For example, using lots of sports metaphors can work well in certain crowds, but in others it can fall short.
Okay, if you have a message to deliver and aren’t sure of the best way to approach your crowd, give me a call and we can work it out.
One last thought, kindness, originality and coming from your heart are always good tactics. People want to speak with real people who are genuine and who can relate to them and what they find important. We should always try to approach any discussion from a place of genuine caring for the subject and the other persons in the discussion. Most important – Be YOURSELF! When you shine your true inner light, you will glow no matter what.
Here’s to you, your inner glow and to meeting people where they are, whatever level that is, and being kind and genuine to them. Love is what really matters more than anything else.
All my best,