This was courage. Unadulterated courage.
And it was so. very. much. MORE.
Her emotional vulnerability plus strength.
Her downloading to us of core emotional information, through her high simplicity.
Her refusal to be goaded into reactivity or defensiveness.
Her graciousness under the most extreme pressure.
To say I am a fan is to put it ridiculously mildly. But there was so much meta information happening here that all I can say is: Listen up! We have been given some p o w e r f u l lessons and information here. So, yeah, that's what I'm gonna say: LISTEN UP!
COMMUNICATION AIN'T JUST WORDS, Y'ALL!
Dr Ford said some stuff, right? But what we convey is not just about the words we say. It's also about the meaning of those words, the possible interpretations of those words, and the emotional content of those words.
DR. FORD SHOWED US WHAT FEMININE STRENGTH IS: EMOTION + CLARITY.
As speakers, presenters and everyday communicators, we are challenged as women to stand our ground, to claim our truth, and we are expected to tame our emotions.
Granted, the emotion of fear is one that power-over guys have no problem with our feeling, so it's not as socially triggering as, say, anger, which earns us sobriquets like "bitch" and "man hater". But the combining of the word "terror" with her patent, obvious and absolutely undeniable strength...
...CHANGED. THE. GAME.
On not just a national stage, but a global stage, Dr. Ford showed what feminine strength was. And we too can embrace that as a high standard when we communicate our core messages, whether those are on stage delivering a speech or presentation, or in our daily communication.
JUST THE FACTS, JACK
How many times have you given a talk or made an argument and you have fallen into the apology or the disempowerment trap? How many times have you been afraid to simply tell your story, without varnish or masks?
What Dr. Ford modeled for us is something that I call the Core Emotional Message. She was terrified, I would imagine, for many reasons: telling her story on a global stage, being in front of cameras, being in front of the old guard of the Senate who had already declared themselves in opposition to her message.
"Tough crowd!" Right?
Her emotional message was "this tough thing happened to me, and it was so horrific that it broke me, and I'm not going to hide that resut from you." Atop that incredible message was her current-day truth of sitting on that world stage, and she didn't hide that either. So she was incredibly authentic, baldly so, but with a graciousness and simplicity and presence that could not be denied; at least, not honestly.
Just like Dr. Ford, when you know what your core emotional message is, now you are speaking to not just the minds, but to the emotional bodies and the humanity of those to whom you are speaking.
YES, VIRGINIA, WORDS REALLY DO MATTER
One little word. One little word that Dr. Ford used caught my attention and would not. let. go.
That word was, simply, "Brett". Not Judge Kavanaugh. Not Mr. Kavanaugh. "Brett".
That one word carried incredible amounts of meaning! By calling him Brett when she was describing the assault, she put them on an equal footing. In other words, she was saying "we were contemporaries at school together and I knew who he was".
Because she knew his name, this tells me the layer of betrayal. This was someone she knew. Whether or not she knew him well is not of import; she knew him as part of her general circle of fellow students, and extended to him that general trust that we all tend to extend even to people we don't know: that given reasonable circumstances and enough people being around, we don't have a lot to fear. But she did. And he did. And the betrayal by someone she knew was conveyed in the use of his first name.
Yes, Virginia, words really do matter. Choose yours with an eye to the emotional content!
WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
I have to wonder if - when it really comes down to core meaning - it matters who your audience is. We Speaker Trainers like to talk about taking your audience into account, but I have to wonder about the extent of that need.
When I tell my story from a place of core meaning, core emotion, and straight transmission of both the message and its multi-layered human message, I don't think it matters who your audience is: they will get it, and take it in however their personal doorways of message receptivity allow.
TIP OF THE ICEBERG
This is the tip of the iceberg. What she did in front of the world stage is chock full of linguistic, social, emotional and even spiritual information!
You, too, can take these lessons and tools and apply them to your talks and presentations. And it is critical that you do if you are to join in the transformation of people's minds and hearts.
Is there any doubt that it is time for you to share your powerful voice?
For a podcast about Dr. Ford and Speaking, visit itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/goodbye-good-girl/id1434972634?mt=2
To bring your voice out into the world with maximum breakthrough and emotional impact, contact Lori at Support@GoodbyeGoodGirl.com
Women's Leadership Coach and Speaker Lori is the author of Call Center Crazy and The Human Solution: Human Solutions to Every "Unsolvable" Business Problem,
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