“Being heard doesn’t necessarily mean shouting the loudest.”
This uncited quote lives on the wall beside my desk. I sometimes forget to check out that quarry of sticky note gems, and other times they stare relentlessly at me until I finally look up and soak them in. This particular quote jumped right out today and is fitting the bill in every possible way.
It is important to structure your thoughts, questions, and messages so that they land poignantly. No need to shout when your words cut right to the heart of the matter, right?
- It’s true when you’re a member of a class.
- It’s true when you’re a colleague.
- It’s true when you’re a family member.
- It’s true when you’re interacting through emails or social media.
- It’s true when you’re a friend.
On the other side of things, it is also important to possess (or be, at least, willing to develop) the ability to provide pause and space for those quieter voices to actually be heard. This can be tough to do, especially if you feel that it’s absolutely your job to get your voice out in front of others’. If everyone is only waiting to jump into that teency space that can be stolen in between others’ voices, then the air becomes overfilled with harsh and loud insistence. If the focus can shift to sharing the air and allowing all voices to be heard and honored, then the air becomes filled with co-creation, dialogue, and perhaps even more compassion and empathy.
I’m curious about your experience. How do you help ensure that the loudest voices don’t always win?