Well, can you?
Imagine being asked that right now in front of your colleagues at work; in front of your ‘Boss’. What would you say? More importantly, what would you be thinking? Your mind would probably race along working out what was really being asked of you. You may well fear the prospect of banging out a song. You may indeed relish that opportunity to show-off your hidden talent that you’ve worked on for years in the comfort of your own bedroom, that only your nearest and dearest and your pets have witnessed.
I want you just focus on your thoughts. To hear clearly what your brain is saying without you controlling it. Well, what is it saying? Right now. As you read this. Are you focussed, intrigued, bored, thinking of the day? Maybe you’re holding and battling with a whole host of thoughts. For the next few moments just read and listen to that ‘voice inside your head’.
What you are listening to is you Inner Voice. [IV]. I call it that. Many others label it Self-Talk, Inner Dialogue, or even more mysteriously, ’The Voices’. We need to listen more to our Inner Voice. It is the most honest thing about us. We rarely let it out. We clean it up. We make it more presentable to the world and the people we are with. More often than not we feel that it is rude to say it ‘as it is’. By the way that’s an Inner Voice telling us not to say this or that; do not upset others; be polite in company. We ‘polite-it-up’. We make it more ‘acceptable’ to hear.
What is your Inner Voice saying right now? Carry on? Leave it? I’ve got more important stuff to do? Actually, there’s not too much more so do read on.
By the way, it’s OK to talk back to you Inner Voice. Oh yes, everyone does, yet very few of us admits it. Talk to yourself today.
Just a word of advice here. When you do find yourself talking back to yourself today, do it silently. Its an Inner Voice thing. Doing it ‘out loud’ sets off other peoples Inner Voices. We always impact on others’ Inner Voice. It just happens. You cannot stop it.
Reflecting on our inner voice and what it is saying to us is the start of effective Leadership; Self-Leadership. Taking responsibility for your Inner Voice is the first step in being effective in leading yourself and others. Understanding someone else’s Inner Voice is the beginning of a truly trusting relationship. Have a go. Aim to hear someone’s Inner Voice today. Listen for it. Aim to hear it and understand it. Ask them questions that show your intention to wanting to understand their inner voice and not to question it or mould it to what it is that you want it to say, or even to prove them ’wrong’ in what they are thinking.
Once you have asked the questions, listen to their answers. Really listen. Listen with the intention to understand their thinking. You can test this out for yourself. To listen with that level of understanding, your own inner voice becomes virtually silent. If it is, then you are now really listening. The impact is almost instantaneous. They will begin to trust you. They will begin to realise that what they are saying to you is more important to you than your own thoughts. This is what being a Leader in the 21st Century is, – Listening more in order to understand.
An anagram of LISTEN is SILENT. Worth reading this just for that!
So, stay more SILENT today and listen. Give it a bash.
Watch what happens around you. Feel the difference. Listen to what it does to your own inner voice. Have fun with it. Start to Lead.
Oh, and remember, sometime today – sing out loud.