Mindstate Motivation Blog

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Speaking To…

I don’t know who first said the following thought and I couldn’t find out by googling the sentence.  Doesn’t really matter because it’s the thought that’s important but I like to properly attribute original thinking whenever possible.  The thought is:  “Always speak to express and not to impress.”

You may have done it but surely you have heard others do it.  Someone makes a comment that is clearly more complicated than it has to be.  They use words that most people don’t even understand let alone use in their vernacular!  Or, the comments are so self-serving that they clearly identify someone who is on an around-the-world ego trip!  Got that person or those comments clearly in mind?

Think back.  How did you feel upon hearing those words?  My guess is there was at least some degree of discomfort or disdain.  You weren’t impressed with what was expressed!  In fact, the exact opposite was true.  So, what did you do?  Well, if you’re like most of us, you filed the thought for future reference.  You wanted to be in a position to recall it so you could deal with the person who said it in a much more guarded way.  In other words, you were so negatively impressed that you wanted to handle any future interaction in relation to what was expressed.  The old adage:  “Once burned, twice shy.”

You can’t impress people.  They have to decide to be impressed not coached (through your words) to be impressed.  What you express and how you express it will determine how people are impressed.  It’s like Plato said many centuries ago but is just as true today.  “Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.”

Plato had an amazing ability for speaking to express.  Could it be because he didn’t feel the need to impress?  How about you?

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