Choose to Speak Freely
How choosing to Speak Freely could liberate the Business World from Business Speak
We were in awe at a recent conference at the lack of business speak. You know the stuff – business management language that covers a multitude of honest facts and feelings.
Through speakers that simply shared deeply personal experiences and revelations, the delegates made more rapid progress through their own journeys.
As we see with many communication models, it is when we hit the level of authenticity, honesty and integrity that comes with sharing personal feelings and emotions, that we cut through the business language barrier and connect. We engage and make progress.
We always find in our internal team meetings, discussions with businesses and coaching sessions with clients, that when we talk about real concerns, we make greater and faster progress.
How are you feeling now about that decision you need to make? About that phone call you’ve been putting off for a while? How are you feeling generally about your work today? This week?
Who could you speak to about these feelings? And in my personal experience, whoever springs to mind as the person you definitely could not talk to, they are a great person to start with. This is not about a moaning session or a lying down on a couch type conversation. This is about being open in a professional environment. Sharing things like,
“This phone call I need to make. I’m having some concerns about how to start the conversation. I’m nervous that…. What do you think? Any suggestions?”
“This project I’m working on – I’m so passionate about the outcome that I want to make sure everything is done right. I’m concerned that not everyone is on board. At the last meeting I thought I saw a lot of apathy. I’m now becoming uncomfortable with the idea of leading a project team that’s not interested. What do you think?”
What are you feeling?
What could you share?
And what we strongly suspect is that it’s fear that holds us back from speaking freely. The main issue with fear is that it stops us from taking action and from making changes.
So if we’re happy for things to continue just as they are, we’re probably ok listening to those fears.
What if we’re not happy to continue? What if we want to see a change? What if the call to change is so strong, we can’t bear the idea of leaving things as they are?
The phrase “face your fear” can sound a bit scary really. So perhaps we’re better off starting with, what’s the big fear anyway? Would I really get fired for pointing out that the business decision we’re about to make could see us losing money?
Would I really be seen as pathetic for pointing out that I’m nervous about something that most other people are probably nervous about too?
What’s the worst that could happen? And if that actually happened, would that be so bad?
Have a think about what you want to change, what fears may stop you, and what could make it easier for you to side-step those fears.
A really useful read is Susan Jeffers’ Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. In this book she points out that fear is not an insurmountable problem, it is an educational problem and, “by re-educating the mind, you can accept fear as simply a fact of life rather than a barrier to success.”