Getting Over Yourself

February 22, 2011

Use the right eyes: get the right results

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 12:26 pm
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In a sermon given last Sunday, Archbishop Desmond Tutu gave the answer to many of the world’s problems: “If we had the right kind of eyes, the right ears, we would look at a person and we would see their divinity shining through.”

We naturally use the eyes and ears that are fashioned by our life experiences, but the messages we receive from that approach get us into trouble with fear, anger, doubt, uncertainty. We anticipate how others will respond based on our expectation rather than on observing them. We react because of something we were told long before we were doing our own thinking. And the results aren’t pretty. If we saw their divinity shining through, I’m pretty sure that would color our expectations and actions in a more positive way.

On a smaller than global scale, we do the same thing when speaking. But, with the right eyes and ears, we can stop filtering through our own life story and see and hear what’s going on and what’s needed from the audience’s point of view.

If you’ll make a stab at seeing the audience’s divinity shining through, you’re more likely to connect, to feel comfortable, to make your point, and get good results. It’s worth a try.

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February 7, 2011

Centennial celebration of Ronald Reagan holds lessons

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 12:06 pm
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No matter your political beliefs, when Ronald Reagan spoke everyone could learn something about speaking. He came across as likable and he didn’t take things personally. Journalists who decried his politics liked him.

He was dubbed the “Teflon President” because jibes and verbal attacks slid right off. He grinned. He replied as though the person had been joking.

To help your message get the best possible reception, work on your Teflon skills. Don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t take anything personally–either what others say to you or you’re saying to them.

President Reagan was a good example of being able to sound warm and friendly, passionate about his beliefs, but not angry.

If you’re one of those people who didn’t like his speaking skills and weren’t sold on his sincerity, consider how these things made it possible for him to have huge approval ratings personally from people who disagreed with his politics. And then see how you might adapt the concept of connecting and being Teflon to your own situation. You can avoid what you didn’t like while improving what made him successful with a majority of his audiences.

February 1, 2011

Governor Jerry Brown State of the Union address

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 12:40 pm
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Jerry Brown still isn’t warm and fuzzy, but he’s doing a better job of connecting than he used to.

Jerry Brown’s delivery was (typically) staccato and he read his speech. But. It was his speech and he gave it with conviction. He moved along quickly–more quickly than I’d recommend for most of you, but for him, it came across as not wanting to waste time using a lot of filler or “politic speak.” Plus, because he wrote it himself and was committed to the ideas he was expressing, he delivered those ideas with conviction.

He gave it a light touch by joking a bit with the audience about who was and was not applauding (by party). And at one point encouraged the audience to consider that what he had just said as something that could really get support from both sides, and therefore they could clap.

Like his ideas or not, he came across as having just one agenda–to save the state of California from going down the tubes. And he was believable when he said he was open to ideas on how to accomplish from anyone who would express them to him. The proof remains to be seen. But from the standpoint of delivering a speech, he sounded sincere and committed. We should all do as well.

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