Have you ever watched your thoughts? Paid attention to how you form sentences? Observed how you tailor your language to suit the audience? Considered how emotions impact delivery?
For the next 20 minutes, sit silently and reflect on how you form a thought. What is the process that converts thought to word? Does an idea begin with an image? A word? A feeling? When you want to communicate, do you edit what you want to say?
For the next 24 hours, pay attention when entering a conversation. How do ideas transition between thoughts and words? Is there a pause? If given time, would you edit the idea before speaking? NOtice that pause between idea formation and verbal sounding? This is the moment where we regain control. When we learn to listen for that pause, the silence between the instant when the idea forms and the instant when we say something harsh or emotionally charged. That instant just between the idea and the word, when we can regain poise and grace….. for the next 24 hours, try to notice that pause, that instant just before you speak. Try to take a breath there before speaking…….
If you want to take this exercise farther, take a long deep breath before speaking, does the added time change what you say? Be sure to inhale a deep belly breath and exhale completely. Give yourself a nice long pause before speaking… does this change anything?
Often, when we are supposed to be listening, we are formulating our next sentence instead. Notice which one you are doing… do you listen when someone is talking to you? Do you prepare your next sentence? Try to focus on your breath while the other person speaks. Take a long, slow, deep breath while the other person speaks. Does this change how you communicate with others?
Be sure to come back and tell me how this works out for you. I would love to hear from you!