Who You Are and How You Appear

By March 5, 2020Leadership, Preaching

While we live in a world of splinters and contradictions, we are hard-wired for connections. Literally. Our brains are designed to make connections, find patterns, and are troubled by dissonance.

This is why understanding the power of nonverbal communication is vital. Our words say, “I’m happy” but our face tells a different story. I tell my wife, “I’m not upset” but my eyebrows are narrowed and I’m squinting at her through beady eyes!

These mixed signals create red flags within our brains.

This is why the most effective leaders, communicators, parents, and presenters are actively engaged in developing better self-awareness.

For me to have good self-awareness, I must understand two things:

  1. Who I am
  2. How I appear to others

Simply doing introspection isn’t enough. It’s important – even necessary. But knowing yourself better is only half of the equation.

Let’s say through introspection I discover that my tone of voice sometimes comes across as harsh. That’s good. But it’s not enough. I must take the next step and try to understand (empathize) how I appear to others. If I only stop with introspection, I might justify my tone as “sometimes the truth hurts” and leave it at that. What might actually come across to other person is a lack of understanding and personal value.

In communication settings, if a speaker appears nervous, anxious, or unsure – it doesn’t matter how they see themselves. They must take into consideration how they appear to the audience.

Otherwise, our audience (or spouses and children) will receive mixed signals and through the brain into confusion.

If we’re fortunate, they might write it off as simply benign, unintended, and move on.

If we’re not so fortunate, they might question whether we are sincere or feel like we’re either hypocritical or outright lying.

If you want to improve your ability to inspire and persuade, work on knowing two things as best as you can:

  • Who I am
  • How I appear to others

 

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Experience and Background

  • 25+ years of senior leadership experience
  • masters in management and leadership
  • presenter at the WFX National Conference
  • former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
  • helped start 2 for-profit tech companies

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