Acceptance – Still Communicate

Happy New Year, everybody. Hope your holidays were fun. And now look at me, still trying to make good on finishing out this series. Still talking about Acceptance. Here’s the next installment. This is what I talked about with regards to communicating.

I have accepted that I can still communicate when I am not fluent. When I sit in a meeting and raise my hand to speak, to bring up a point, people listen, and they listen no matter how long it takes the idea to come out. They are interested in the message, and not how it sounds. I have accepted this, and it’s because I have heard others speak. And how some speak slowly, some quickly, some with many hesitations. And of course I’ve heard my brothers and sisters who stutter as well.

For a long time I was silent. I didn’t want to say anything because it wasn’t going to be fluent. And if it wasn’t going to be fluent, then I thought it wasn’t going to be relevant. It wasn’t going to add to the conversation.

Over time what I noticed was that when I did say something and stumble over my words, people generally didn’t care. I would get the occasionally snicker, but the co-workers who I had who had been with me for a long time, didn’t care at all. I noticed that I was able to get my point across, and usually someone would comment that it was, in fact, a good point. Something valid. Something worth adding to the conversation.

When I moved overseas, the dynamic was different as well. My confidence went up exponentially during meetings. This was because there was a lot of respect for me and what I was bringing to the table with regards to people and project management. They wanted to hear how I had done things, and how we were going to move forward.

It’s always been easy to give up and just send an e-mail. Not pick up the phone or walk down the hall. But in a smaller office setting where I became very comfortable with my colleagues, in-person discussions became the norm. This allowed the exchange of ideas, developing solutions, and understanding where others were coming from. I had to then present in front of other leaders. Having gone through an idea so many times, I knew my message would be sound, and that always helped my delivery and ongoing confidence.

Of course age has helped as well. Nowadays I try to listen first and then ask questions. Listening allows me to understand. And then breathing in and out a few times … slowing myself down … allows me to form a response and think through clearly what I want to articulate. I know that I’m not in a hurry. I know I can go back and forth. I know my default isn’t to argue or judge. Just calm.

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