Someone I highly respect asked me last week what I stand for. I realized it was an exceedingly good question and something I had never written about before.
I stand for something you don’t hear talked about much.
Yet it’s actually what makes me valuable to the people I serve.
I stand for beautiful communication. In large corporations, where I mostly work, professionals and executives are always talking to me about being effective, compelling, inspiring. Mostly about being effective.
The truth is that I find being effective rather easy and quite boring. Someone I coach struggles to get promoted. Then, after coaching, communicates effectively and makes it from Senior Director to VP. Personally, I don’t find that very interesting.
That’s the reason why, when I’m coaching someone, I don’t often stop after helping them be effective. Being effective is a level they do need to hit, but I don’t stop there. And fortunately it turns out they are always happy I don’t.
Let me give you an example. This past week I was coaching a woman who is responsible for a large segment of a major corporation. Brilliant woman. She’s new to the role and struggles with the leadership team she’s a part of. I’m reluctant to mention that it’s a male-dominated team because the fact they’re men is not really the issue. Her communication skills are. But you get the picture.
I coached her until she was effective in getting her point across and persuading. She was quite happy.
But I could see she had a beauty within her that had not yet emerged. I continued to coach her until her communication reached a level where it became beautiful. When she communicates at this level, she takes your breath away. Yes, she’s effective. But she is also extraordinarily beautiful, graceful and elegant. Not just physically, but in her presence.
Her very being, and in the incredible quality of her communication is a demonstration of beauty.
It was incredible what happened to her own beauty when her communication became aesthetic.
I coached another executive on giving presentations to difficult audiences. He went from being overly defensive and somewhat forceful to being effective. It was good.
But I didn’t want to stop there. I continued to coach him until he tapped into something inside him that made his communication extraordinary. It’s funny to use the word beautiful when you’re describing a man, but his communication was beautiful in the way that Martin Luther King‘s I have a dream speech was beautiful.
It wasn’t the words that became beautiful. It was his arresting connection with the audience and HOW the words were spoken.
And, yes, he became handsome.
I believe that inside each person resides an ability to communicate at a level that is WAY beyond effective.
Yes, being effective is a milestone. But for me it’s not an end goal. It’s not enough. I coach until the natural artistry and aesthetic within each person emerges.
Their communication becomes spontaneous. They’re not thinking about it. It’s just coming out of them. It’s pure. They’re in a zone where they can’t help but be amazing.
They’re now capable of creating an extraordinary relationship, whether it’s with one person or 10,000.
If a person is willing to do the work, that level of aesthetic is always there to be found.
I love seeing people become beautiful and handsome. It has nothing to do with flawless facial features, youth or being slim. Their faces completely change when it radiates from within.
Beautiful communication is inspiring. It is compelling. It is persuasive. It creates extraordinary leadership.
I find that extraordinary outcomes are all byproducts of extraordinary and extraordinarily beautiful communication.
It creates the kind of conversation or presentation where you say, “Wow! That was beautiful!”
I love this in my personal life too.
This is what I stand for: serving as a guide for people who want to experience this level of communication, to transform their communication into something extraordinarily beautiful.
Wishing you great beauty in the communications that are important to you.