Fire Your Bodyguard And Free Yourself!

Fire Your Bodyguard And Free Yourself!

Often in business, we’re taught that it’s wise not to show our hand. Negotiators play it close to the vest, we’re told. Keep a poker face. 

But we’re not negotiating here, we’re communicating. 

People have laid down the tools of communication in the name of being professional. We think we shouldn’t risk anything when we stand up to speak, that a lifeless face, a monotonous tone is somehow more business-like. The idea of getting animated, being expressive, and using gestures doesn’t fit our idea of the serious corporate pose, but that idea interferes with authentic expression. 

The “tools” we’re talking about are the performer’s tools. But don’t take that the wrong way. We are actually performing all the time… with family, business associates, lovers. Now, “performing” and “acting” are completely different. Acting is trying to convince others you are someone you aren’t and performing is about conveying authenticity. The truest, deepest, expression of yourself.

One important aspect of becoming an effective communicator is to become an effective performer. We use these tools to show who we are and to infect the listener with our enthusiasm. 

Power is not in the words alone, it’s in the way it’s presented.

Consider JFK, when he issued his memorable challenge to the American people: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” The words are certainly powerful, but consider whether these words would still resonate generations later if Kennedy

had not understood the power of a pause, the power of leaning forward to convey urgency, the power of direct eye contact.

With the right use of the right tools, a good speech becomes great.

So let’s not hide our “tools”. 

That bodyguard that’s keeping your physical tools under lock and key? Let’s send him out for coffee, and while he is gone, let’s explore your valuable assets. Let’s jump out of the box we place ourselves in! Let’s stop worrying about our level of comfort. 

Always remember… communication isn’t about how comfortable we are. 

It’s about how comfortable the listener is and how effective the sender is.

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