Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Being Your VOICE

"We speak in order to be heard and need to be heard in order to be understood."
~ R. Jakobson and L. Waugh
The Sound Shape of Language

The desire to be heard lives in most of us. The way to be heard is to share. Some of us want our desires or ideas to be known, and yet those wishes may seem unknown, or simply unheard.

It is important we are true to ourselves and share our thoughts in a way that we can feel validated and think we have done our best.

A way to be that is to focus on, and live toward being your VOICE, meaning:
V - Verbalization
O - Ownership
I - Inclusion
C - Communication
E - Execution
VERBALIZING concepts to others and to ourselves is imperative. We must say things in order to have a chance to be heard. Asking questions in "What?" and "How?" format over "Why?" is a start at making a huge difference in the long run. Remaining positive about  your own capabilities, having believe in self talk, is a way to continue that verbalization that empowers.
How you OWN your opportunities and mistakes matters in sharing your voice. Excuses get you distanced from others, where ownership and acknowledgement of missteps shows transparency and vulnerability. We all make mistakes. The way to truly own those mistakes is to face them, learn from them, and not make that same mistake again.
INCLUSION is tricky, in that selecting those with whom you can talk openly can seem inclusive at first, and yet it can be exclusionary in the long run. Cliques don't garder others hearing you, rather the inclusion of people, groups and any others impacted by your message, approach, or decision, means openness and transparency...along with allowing people to know they are being considered. People listen to others who have compassion for them.
Being a COMMUNICATOR in words, body language, attitude and desired outcomes all play into being heard. Your voice is what is said (covered mostly in verbalization) as well as what is not said. People will heard what is spoken and interpret what is unspoken. You communicate all day in may ways. Be worth listening to.
In order to EXECUTE all of the above-mentioned approaches, they cannot be theoretical, rather you will want to combine them not for the sake of completion, but for the sake of having a true voice in mind, spirit and delivery.

When you verbalize, own, include, communicate, and execute your VOICE, then, with confidence, conviction and impact, your VOICE can be heard!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sharing Sympathy & Condolences

People lose jobs, pets, relative and more. Sympathy is compassionate. Sympathy is natural. Condolences can be awkward and uncomfortable. Over the years, many people have expressed to me that while they want to offer condolences, they are not sure how to act, or what to say. Sympathy and condolences are not wrong. They come from the right place. There is no time limit on when to express sorrow. A way to sincerely and thoughtful approach is to:

  • Resist asking "How are you?"
  • Watch the sympathy look of pity or discomfort
  • Send a card that you write a note about the loss, if you know the situation or person personally, and if you do not, and do not start with "I" in order to ensure it is about the other person/people
  • Call, text and/or tell the person know you are available (and be available), and don't push for conversation or time, answers or explanations
  • Know it is okay to say something like "While words escape me, please know you are on my mind and in my heart", as it's okay to not know what to say
  • Resist sharing your stories of similar, or seemingly similar stories, unless the other person wants to hear them
  • Don't say "I understand", as their situation is different
  • Do something for the person without asking "What can I do?"

Be sympathetic and offer condolences. Be there, and not too intrusive. Be available, and not disappointed if there is no response. Be compassionate without being overly communicative. Check in, make a difference, and then treat the person or people with respect and interest.