“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill
I will add: Wisdom is knowing when to do each.
Most people err to one side or the other. Some speak out easily, often, and authoritatively. Their voices are heard and they can change the world. Others, listen closely and carefully, enveloping others with their presence. They can change lives. If you are gifted with the boldness to speak out or the empathy to listen wholeheartedly, use those gifts!
Yet don’t turn your gifts into an excuse to avoid speaking out or listening.
If you’re a “speaker,” it can be excruciating to listen. It takes patience. It takes quiet. It takes curiosity. Yet you learn so much: you learn about others, you learn about yourself, and you learn how to share your own message in a more effective way.
If you’re a “listener,” it can be scary to speak up. The spotlight is on you. It requires confidence and self-respect to expect others to give you the same honor you give them. Yet your perspective is valuable and necessary! Others need to hear it. You owe it to them, and to yourself, to speak out.
Use your gifts AND stretch out of your comfort zone. You’ll find the most fulfillment and success in life if you practice both.
Change your communication, change your life.
I’m Rachel Beohm, a writer, speaker, and coach. Through nonverbal communication, I empower clients to show up as their biggest, boldest selves.
If you’d like tips on how to do that yourself, sign up here for “21 Days to Build a Better Life.” It’s a FREE 3-week email coaching program that I wrote to help you change your communication and your life.