“By nature, we are lazy and quite satisfied at staying where we are in life, if our basic needs are met. Igniting the desire to become something different, when there is no apparent need to do so, is hopeless unless we establish a firm foundation of fundamental principles.” – Oliver Parker
The first part of the journey is inspiration. To inspire others, I must be inspired first. I must decide that ‘this’ really does interests me, and I can see the opportunity for me, and others to be a part of it. Once that is established, I begin to think about creative ways of accomplishing my goal. Ultimately, I become passionate, and that passion is contagious, or at the very least, commands the attention of people long enough to give me the opportunity to inspire them into action.
The second part of the journey is research. Nothing is more appealing than a speaker who is knowledgeable about the topic that is being presented. Inspiration alone is not enough to guide change. I must educate myself on the area in which I will be working. I need to familiarize myself with every feature of the vision. I study diligently, and carefully examine the potential strengths and weaknesses; to avoid being confounded by unexpected questions. I must believe in what I’m sharing enough to take out the time to commit to an honest representation of the facts. Just reading off my notes is not enough; eager listeners must feel that I am talking directly to them. If the audience is not asking questions, then I have failed in encouraging my audience to act.
The third part of the journey is Communication. While I may know many facts about a topic, I also must be capable of communicating those facts. I must communicate clearly. Nothing is more irritating then not being able to comprehend everything that is being conveyed. I should avoid being a dictator and allow people to enjoy a dialogue instead of a monologue. I try to encourage the audience to know that they are engaged in an actual conversation. The audience should feel it is a two-way street. Enthusiasm is a must when communicating; nothing distracts the audience faster than the sound of snoring during a meeting. If that should occur, I would use that as an opportunity to incorporate some humor. Humor allows me to connect with the people and reduce any tension.
The fourth part of the journey is to rehearse. I prepare by getting some feedback from that source that is brutally honest, I leave the cheerleader at home. To perfect my craft and get better, I need to know what works, and what doesn’t. This can avoid unnecessary embarrassment when it’s show time. I take full advantage of this process, and celebrate with the cheerleader later. The typical listener is subconsciously looking for contradictions or flaws in the finished product, as they should. There are too many promises being made that are found lacking when weighed. First impressions are everything; I win or lose in the first fifth teen minutes.
Develop Your Change
The final part of the journey is developing your change. I found if I don’t develop a newfound change, it usually falls to the wayside. I make it a part of my lifestyle by committing to it for a month; then it becomes a habit. I also put it in writing to keep myself accountable and to motivate myself to press on when obstacles are encountered. I make a public declaration; such as a mission statement, to allow the public to keep me accountable. I keep a log of progress and reward my successes. I surround myself with a support system of like-minded individuals to help me up and figure out what went wrong, if I should stumble. I keep trying, until I get it right.
Change can be overwhelming to people, I try to remember this when attempting to guide change. I make it a point to focus on one goal at a time, until it becomes a habit. When I multitask, it usually spreads my energy and focus thin, which impedes the process of reaching my goal. One size doesn’t fit all, so find out what works for you. Do your best and never give up, then enjoy the benefits of hard work.
I’m pleased to share my article featured in Issue 14 of the e. MILE People Development Magazine. Please follow the link below to view article on their website. Thank you for your support!