Have you listened to yourself?

by | Jan 14, 2019 | Change, Learning |

Think for a moment about some of the best media interviewing you know (TV, radio, etc.). How many of them do you admire because of what they say versus what they are able to tease out of others?

Last night, I spent my evening listening to myself as I was editing an interview I did for my podcast I’m launching in this month. It was a fascinating and humbling experience as I listened to my voice speak in broken sentences as my mind raced to articulate what was in my head. And of course there were lots of ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’.

Have you ever recorded yourself? Listened to a conversation, a talk you have done? This isn’t a narcissistic endeavour, but rather one for learning. Your voice will sound different than you think. What you say will come across different than you think – this is the fascinating part because when we speak, we have a lot of ‘noise’ in our heads that are contributing to the understanding of what we are saying; this noise isn’t shared by the listener unless you actually say it. I, particularly, noticed this in listening to myself as in the pauses, the umms, the ahhs, I knew my mind was firing overtime in my head connecting dots, ideas, words, trying to determine the best words to say. None of what was happening in my head was communicated out, except the pause. I imagine this partly because I am an introvert, but I imagine even extreme extroverts have this noise in their heads.

When we are involved in or lead a change process of any kind, communicating clearly is incredibly important. As Donald Miller says,

If you confuse, you lose

Donald Miller

This isn’t a new insight or rocket science, yet it is a rare occurence. I wonder if our clarity of communication would improve if we listened to ourselves more, not to big ourselves up, but because we cared enough about our audience, our customers, our team that we were willing to figure out how we could get better and ‘we’ could disappear but the message remain.

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