Monday, August 29, 2016

Finding Your Voice

Have you heard this phrase? ....finding your voice...

It's often associated with writing. It's intended to make the connection between what you think and believe as a person, and your ability to express those thoughts and beliefs in a blog post, article, or book. It can also apply to speaking as well. 

Have you found your voice?

Step One: Who Are You
I think the most overlooked part of the "voice" strategy is stopping to define who we really are as people. It doesn't matter if we are in formal leadership roles or not; but for those of us who lead others it is a requirement.

Yes, requirement.

What is important to us?
What do we stand for?
What is so reprehensible that we will immediately address it regardless of the situation?
What do we want to achieve in our lives?
Who is most important to us?
How do we think about work?
What role do employees play in our prioritization process?
How comfortable are we taking risks?

There are many more questions, but without answers to these questions at the outset, it will be impossible to define "who you are" and thus express your voice.

Step Two: Start
Fear is a terrible demon in the world of leadership. Fear stops us from doing the right thing. It stops us from holding people accountable. It forces us to give people one more chance (for the 10th time) simply because we do not have what it takes to lead effectively.

Fear destroys.

However, once you begin on your path of expressing your voice something very powerful happens. Fear disappears. It's as if you have taken control of your entire world. You now make the decisions, and take risks, and hold people accountable. 

The anxiety about political repercussions no longer matter. Why? Because the other weak leaders around you are watching real leadership in action, and they simply can not challenge it.

Your voice does all of these things.

How About You
Today is a good day to answer the questions outlined above. Tomorrow is shaping up to be the perfect day to start expressing your voice. Don't you think?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes. Finding your voice is releasing the inhibitions to say what's really on your mind. And your voice can be the soft, sweet suggestion, or the enthusiastic advocate, or the growl of the rally call, or the measured speech of the mediator/negotiator when attempting to tone down a dangerous situation, a confrontation.

    All of these situations require using EQ. Not just discipline but also the wisdom to know which type of speech is the best option under the circumstances.

    Finding your voice very much involves ridding yourself of the notion that something horrible will happen or some meaningful opportunity will be wrested from you and leave you destitute in some way. The greater danger of remaining silent is becoming someone's doormat, being viewed as a fool, completely impotent when it comes to doing *anything* meaningful. You may as well be picking up litter.

    Find your voice. Say what's on your mind. Say it at the right time. Say it in the appropriate manner given the circumstances.