I just recently spoke to someone who had a wonderful and powerful message but how it was said or delivered had a bigger impact than what they were saying. Has that ever happened to you? It has to me!
In the past and even sometimes now, I have felt frustrated because what I was saying was not being heard, so what I have done is get louder or more passionate! (As if that was going to help.)
We all have different styles but anyone who has something important to say must maximize how the message is delivered. Yelling the message from the mountaintop might work, especially if you are on the top of a mountain but there are not that many people listening on mountains. For the most part, people will pick on the style instead of the content of the message.
So how can someone deliver an important message without coming across fanatical, angry or righteous? The answer is awareness and clear intention!
Here are some tips:
Know your goal? Is it to be right or to educate? If it’s to be right… STOP, don’t even bother! If it is to share knowledge, then, ask for permission to share. Ask; “Would you like me to share my opinion or what I have learned?” (If you are giving a lecture on the subject then one can assume you have permission to speak but if you are in an informal setting then it is important to be aware of the other person or peoples openness to what you have to say.) It is also important to be open to a difference of opinion and not try to make the other person wrong in order for you to be right. There are many ways to have a productive conversation where one can agree to disagree. (Even if you believe, you are right!)
Know your audience: Ask yourself; “Do I know the other person? Have I established credibility? Do I even have a relationship or connection with this person?” Remember, people do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care!
Be aware & use your senses:
Ask yourself; “What does my body look like? What do I feel like? Am I relaxed, open and confident or am I anxious, angry and red in the face?” Look at the person or people around you, are they coming towards you or running away? Is the person responsive or has the conversation turned into a monologue? If things are not going the way you hoped then acknowledge it to the person/people you are speaking to and shift to how you want to be. You can say; “I get so passionate about this subject… Sorry, I need to calm down.” You could even change the subject.
Once you share how this topic has changed your life… ask if they have any thoughts on the subject and listen. Create a back and forth conversation. If you are the only one talking, go back to awareness!
Be aware that when someone is not ready for the message, nothing you say will penetrate. So be creative in your delivery. Start small and build your information as your relationship builds.
Be factual, you cannot argue facts:
Opinions are not facts; they are just your opinion. (2+2 = 4, water is wet and rocks are hard! Try to argue that fact!) You cannot argue facts and do not need defending. Sure, some people might want to argue facts but then again, it takes two to argue.
Exception to the rule:
URGENCY! There is an exception to every rule and here is an example to that exception. If you wake up in the middle of the night and you notice flames inside your home, then you can be as loud as you want to get everyone out of the burning building but even in that scenario you will need to have a clear goal in mind!
There will be times when the relationship is more important than the content and other times where the content is more important than the relationship. Either way, keep your goal in sight.
Be kind, be wise and be humble because you might not have all the facts! Listen and be willing to say; “Hmm, I never really thought of it that way… Let me think or sit with that!”
As Kenny Rogers would say; “you got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, know when to run!”
Be aware of the love you bring into every scenario! Ultimately, the goal should be to learn from everyone you meet and share love and knowledge! Come from a place of love and all your conversations will reflect your intention but if the other person is argumentative, then follow Kenny Roger’s advice!