The Foundation for Speaking Your Truth
Our voice is strongest when we are speaking the truth. There is a resonance that comes from within us when we are in alignment with our authenticity and integrity. Like a carrier wave, this resonance carries our power on the words we speak. When we are speaking our truth, these truthful words are amplified tenfold on this wave.
Accessing our authentic, integral truth to be spoken is facilitated from a foundation of four truths about truth.
1. Controlling Hides Truth
If we find our self working or living in a space where we have not been trusted or simply do not feel trusted, then how willing are we to share more of our self? To take a risk? Or to be open and receptive to new ideas and solutions? Will we trust the feedback we receive? Of course not! We can easily move into a mode of withholding, not trusting others or even deceiving and manipulating. That can even simply feel like a matter of survival. Most would agree that these are caustic environments. And yet, they exist everywhere.
For leaders, the implications of enabling a controlling environment are critical. Controlling can emerge from behaviors such as over exercising “position power”, letting our ego take charge, imposing our will, knowing better than others, interrogating or demanding complicity. All of these behaviors erode trust. Inevitably, people spend more time “covering their ass” in a game of subtle (or not) manipulation and survival.
Controlling others causes the truth to go underground. The opposite of controlling is allowing. It’s critical to allow everyone to be more vulnerable, honest and in touch with their truth. In organizations, new forms have been emerging that facilitate more empowered decision-making in networks, rather than the traditional top-down seniority system depicted in most organization charts. These developments reflect moving control out and embracing allowing.
2. Listening Uncovers Truth
There is far too little listening today. Most of the time spent in communication with others is in formulating a response. Our minds are racing so fast to a conclusion that we misunderstand and even misinterpret communication. Mind-chatter prevents hearing the truth another is speaking to us.
Our mind is not the only obstacle to listening. Very often we experience emotions before or during a conversation that interfere with our listening. These emotions don’t have to be depleting or heavy emotions either. Unchecked emotions can cause our ears to close, our heart to dim or even create unintended reactions while we should be listening.
When listening isn’t present the truth has a hard time surviving. We miss the bigger picture of the context and intention of another as well. Listening accesses our intuitive ability to sense for truth. To be more open to truth, these are very effective listening tools:
- Pause (take a breath or feel your heartbeat)
- Eye contact (open eyes that hold a gaze show openness)
- Feel the energy between you (keep it open, authentic)
- Watch non-verbal messages (facial expressions, body movements)
- Paraphrase back what you heard (active listening)
3. Saying “NO” Opens Everyone’s Truth
Honesty and authenticity draw in and engage others. When we say “no” in an authentic, open and clear way we are in fact speaking our truth. There is an added benefit: the other person(s) in the conversation know exactly where we stand as a result of saying “no”. It is then their turn to speak. And truth has the opportunity to shine.
We may not know our truth. To be honest about not knowing it and to be authentic in the pursuit of finding and speaking our truth is all anyone can ask of another. We can express our “no” by clarifying boundaries, being crystal clear on what is and is not acceptable, or following up on spoken communication with writing.
Creating an environment where people feel safe to say “no”, to speak what may be the seemingly unpopular point of view, to express their own truth is the hallmark of organizations that will thrive in the best and worst of times.
4. Attachment Equals Manipulation Of Truth
If we are focused on a particular desired outcome, we miss a lot… or maybe everything. An attachment is wanting something to go our way, to be as we think it should be, or to meet our expectations. While others are speaking, our attachments start a process of formulating how things match our truth. When the message we are receiving doesn’t match our attachment (our desired outcome), communication breaks down, teamwork and relationships fail, and results are far less than required.
The problem is that the truth can not survive in manipulation. Even in ignorance, if we are manipulating events or words, then the truth will be ever elusive.
Being open to new views, new ideas and to different solutions than we may think are required is key to letting go of attachment. When our desire for a particular result begins in aligned intentions and purpose, then everyone involved has more opportunity to find and embrace the truth.
In a world where it seems that the truth is missing, elusive or buried too often, practicing each of the four foundations to truth is needed more than ever. Ultimately, we all have many opportunities to be a voice rather than an echo. When we not only know but FEEL our truth, the power to be that voice is amplified.
“Speaking the truth is our soul’s thunder.”
~ Coach Lane Michel