Have you ever tried to say something important, only to have the message fall flat? Perhaps you didn’t get the reaction you were hoping for. Or you had the sense that they didn’t really grasp the magnitude of what you were saying.
You were likely left feeling frustrated and the gulf of understanding between you widening.
Communication can be compromised when you are more focussed on the words you are saying, than the feeling you are trying to convey. Your message can also be impacted if you are subconsciously worried about what the other person is thinking as you talk, if your Inner Critic is speaking loudly at the same time.
I have a terrible habit of being “in my head” when I’m trying to communicate something important. Whether it’s a presentation, a meeting or even a crucial personal conversation, when my nerves are on high-alert I revert to my go-to tool, my brain, to try and think my way out of the problem.
According to Rachael Jayne Groover, this is impacting my ability to communicate in a compelling way. I am speaking from what she calls my “Head Bubble”. I am speaking a series of rehearsed words while ruminating on my past mistakes/experiences of these types of conversations or worrying about the future/what others are thinking.
Our voice power comes from being in the now. Grounding in the physical and energetic body helps us to feel safe and present, dissolving the self-consciousness that interferes with our ability to connect with our audience and give them an authentic experience of us. This is what Rachael Jayne calls speaking from your “Power Center”.
Rachael Jayne’s TED talk demonstrates the difference between communicating from your head bubble vs your power center (the key part is between minute markers 11:00-13:00). But the most powerful way to understand the difference between the two, is to experience it for yourself.
So next time you’ve got something to say, try dropping into your power center before you speak and notice the difference in the way you communicate. You can access your power center by feeling your feet grounded on the floor and dropping your hips to focus on the physicality of your pelvis. You can also visualize your words dropping from your head into your gut or breathing from your belly as opposed to your chest. The key thing is to be present … to the moment, to your audience, to the importance of what you are trying to say.
It may sound crazy, but I challenge you to give it a try. It has changed the way I show up in conversation.
Lingering Thought: What are some situations where you would you benefit from speaking from your power center? What can you do differently before that next opportunity, to drop into your power center before you speak?
*Experiencing different communication techniques is the focus of Session 7 of the Women’s Coaching Circle that I cofounded with Laura Bennett. This program is designed to help high achieving women develop a deeper sense of self as a way to bring more meaning and fulfilment into their lives.
The Spring cohort of the program begins on April 1. See here for details and registration information.