Communication Enables You
It was the motivational guru, Anthony Robbins, who got me thinking some years ago when I heard him shout: “You can become the change you want to see in our world every day!” I was visiting with my Mum and I was taken aback by the fact that this man seemed to be speaking everything I was thinking and feeling.
Communication Sparks Ideas
I am not easily impressed with people or things, so this man had to be good…and he was. Tony did not say anything that I had not heard before or did not know, but he dared to say it powerfully and directly…in his way…to me.
To say I was impressed would be putting it mildly. I was engulfed by this man’s charisma and passion as he delivered his message. If he was running for elections, I would have voted for him.
Suddenly I felt compelled to move towards a different way of thinking about myself and the impact I wanted to have on the world.
Yes! I actually wanted to impact the world. But first, the reality hit me that I had to change myself.
Such is the power of effective communication.
Do You Choose Silence?
Often within organisations, I experience people with a good message sitting in silence, not willing or wanting to share their words, their thoughts or their experiences. They choose silence and go with the flow of the majority because they do not want to have the floodlights on them, they do not want to be noticed or, they are afraid that people would not listen or understand their message.
In short, they hold little belief in their own personal power. Why? Simply put, they have not invested time and energy into strengthening this aspect of themselves. They have sold themselves short.
Personally I find his behaviour very unfortunate because we each have the power to change it. So very few of us capitalize on this precious opportunity.
What Do You Invest In?
You invest heavily in a good education, good clothes, a nice car, a house in the best neighbourhood and being seen in the most socially acceptable places.
But what about your investment in the intangible, unseen parts of yourself?
- What about investing in your voice to improve your language and word power?
- What about investing in your body language to create a sense of presence when you walk into a room?
- What about establishing thoughts and opinions for yourself?
- What about putting all these to good use to enable positive change in your environments and the lives of those around you?
I think a lot about what life would have been like if people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela had kept silent and still, and had been comfortable with just being another groupie member. You and I would have lost some of the best parts of world history and some very valuable and timeless lessons with which to live our lives today.
The passion and effectiveness with which they communicated didn’t come easily. Each one had to work hard to develop it by investing a lot of time and effort and by making many personal sacrifices.
In the beginning, few people listened to them, but they persisted and never gave up because they believed in themselves.
The Action Of One Changes The Lives Of Many
Lives are changed every day because some-one was brave, bold and caring enough to put himself or herself on the line and express what they thought, felt or believed. Organisations are changed every day because some-one recognised a need for it and dared to face the spotlight, if even alone.
Countries change policies and politicians are brought to their knees or stand tall because some-one challenged them or recognised the positive outcome of their efforts. Because of one, many more stand to benefit and experience the impact of change in their lives.
Could that some-one be you?
Followers Are Leaders Too
True, without followers we would have no leaders and, we cannot all be leaders. But who ever said that followers have to be silent, inactive pegs?
Followers can have an opinion and a voice too. Followers can express their thoughts and feelings. Followers can challenge and ask questions and offer suggestions and give feedback. Followers can believe in themselves.
To be an effective follower, some of the skills of being an effective leader also apply and a key one of those skills is learning and practicing the art of being an effective communicator.
Learning this important and life-impacting skill does not have to be complicated to laboured. You can begin at this very moment and embark on a journey of continuous improvement.
As you travel along this journey, your actions and behaviours will inspire others and attract curiosity and like-minded behaviour.
Remember how simply listening to Tony Robbins had such a major impact on my life?
From simply sharing you experience or a different perspective or questioning a redundant routine, you could impact the life of someone else and create a domino effect. That is the personal power that you harbour.
You Are Already A Role Model
Without even knowing it, you are already a role model to someone, somewhere. Have you ever considered that?
Every day you are moving through life and interacting. You may be a mother, father, brother, sister, co-worker, friend, manager, leader. Or, you may be performing many of these roles already.
By examining the roles that you perform in your life, you will be able to measure your assertiveness and effectiveness. When you understand this, you will have a deeper understanding about your circle of influence and the impact that your actions and behaviours have on those around you.
The wider your circle of influence, the more impactful you will be when you are implementing change.
Try this simple exercise.
Start paying attention to how people react to you when you walk into a room or share your thoughts and opinions.
- Are they acknowledging your presence?
- Are they pleased to see you and welcome you?
- Are they listening to you?
- Are they engaging with you?
If you can answer yes to at least one of these questions, you are on good footing to influence, impact and implement change. You are in a good place.
If not, I urge you to start being curious about how you are functioning. Ask a friend how they view you. Invite feedback. Listen and take notes. Use those notes to begin your journey towards self-improvement.
I Challenge You
Today, I challenge you to be more than just a silent bystander or a complainer. Extend some effort and think about the changes you would like to see in your personal life, family life, work life and national life.
When you’re finished thinking, value yourself enough to actually do something about making the change you want. Speak out…behave differently…be a driver…be curious.
Who knows? The outcome may surprise you.
One thing is for sure though: “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten.”
Do you want to become the change you want to see in the world? Then, follow our Founder’s journey.