Sometimes it is good to listen to and evaluate the ideas you don’t like. When someone offers you advice or a critique that you don’t particularly appreciate, there may be a hidden lesson or clue about the energy you are projecting to others. This information could be useful to you in learning about or getting a consensus on how others experience you. Use this data to tweak your speech or body language when you and your audience aren’t quite in sync. Perhaps there is a gesture or unconscious mannerism that you use, which sends mixed or an entirely different message than you want to send. It may take putting on a “thicker skin” to listen to friends willing enough to be entirely honest with you about how you come across. Take heart, because this information can help you get the response that you want from others. It can also help you express your true intentions much more accurately.
Getting concise information may not be as easy as it sounds. Some people will not want to hurt your feelings so they will cushion the truth. Assure them of your sincere desire for complete honesty. Explain your commitment to improve your message, demeanor, language or whatever else is tainting your communication. Think about this a while and make sure you are clear with what you want to gain out of this exercise. You won’t be able to convince people to be honest with you, if you cannot be honest with yourself about your motives. Be clear with people that you won’t hold a grudge when they share their impressions and that your only intention is to articulate more effectively.
To give you an example, I have found out that because of my size and the tone of my voice, I often intimidate people when I get excited or passionate about a topic. This could not be further from my intention, so I have learned to adjust my vocabulary a bit and dial back my vocal inflection at times. This is one reason I speak a little slower than I might normally otherwise speak, and trust me – having grown up in New York, that is not easy to do when I get excited. The same precaution that I take to not intimidate some, will come across as being timid, shy or non-committed in other situations. All of this information just gives me a chance to be aware of myself and the body language of others. I am not suggesting that we change who we are. I only want to encourage communication with awareness on one level and openness or intimacy on another level. Here is to the hope that we all broadcast our true message to our loved ones as well as the world around us.
Peace be with you, Coach Ezell
WHAT ARE YOU CREATING FOR YOURSELF TODAY?