Friday, August 21, 2009

Speaking with conviction

One of the most entertaining, and relevant, portrayals of the ineffectiveness of modern-day communication is Taylor Mali's "Speaking with conviction." Taylor makes fun of, but directly critiques, the pervasive equivocation, avoidance of commitment, and vagueness of our language. Sometimes I struggle with this in my own communication because I seek to reach others with my ideas while doing it in a way that does not impose my ideas on them. I really believe that Taylor is on to something here. How to understand our own convictions, to share them with others in convincing ways, yet without presuming to force others into submission is key to leadership effectiveness.


John Shertzer said...

Great find! I find in myself that I can write much more convincing arguments than I can speak. Always something to develop and work on.

Overall, speaking with conviction implies that one has conviction. Perhaps the root of the problem is that many have not found conviction in their beliefs. Perhaps in our efforts to encourage more collaboration, compromise, understanding, etc., we have made it too easy for folks to sit on the fence?

This could be different depending on the context as well. In my work with nonprofits, I don't typically find speaking with conviction to be a problem. These are the frontline folks.

I'd like to repost your ideas and a link to the video on my blog . Good stuff!

Denny Roberts said...

Dear John - Great to see your response on my blog. It has been a long time since we communicated. I hope all is well in work and family.

I've found that cultural background is one of the most important contextual variables to influence our communication style. Both what we use with others and the type of communication that is most comfortable for us to receive are powerful. In my present setting, mutual or cooperative leadership looks passive and weak. In order to be taken seriously, I have to be more aware of, and willing to engage with, more power, influence, and positional strategies. It's a stretch for me to both use and receive but I can't be effective without recognizing and adapting to it. And, the key is remaining authentic when I use an approach that may be outside of my comfort zone. I wish I could say that I've mastered this but I know I have a way to go.

Best always,

Cầm Trương Thị Mộng said...

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