We are often told, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel!”
But the reality is far worse than that!
We not only hide our skills and abilities under a bushel, but we hide who and what we are behind so many barriers that even we have difficulty in identifying ourselves. Almost to the point that our language and what we say consistently supports this fortress that we have created.
We do this to the point that not only is it difficult for us to identify ourselves to ourselves, but we make it almost impossible to create and develop real relationships with other people that we become a mystery.
If we are so disconnected, then how can we actually build strong and trusted relationships?
Winston Churchill said of Russia in 1939 – “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.
I say of people – “They are an identity wrapped in a function inside a fortress”.
Often when I am conducting a seminar or workshop I ask the participants who they are. Typically the answers that I get are, “I’m an accountant”, “I am a social media expert”, “I am a plumber”, “I am a chiropractor”, “I am a solicitor”.
Occasionally someone may say “I help people achieve financial security.”
The biggest problem with these answers, is that they have not answered the question.
The real answer is that they are a person in business.
A person in business first and foremost and NOT what they do, not their function within a business.
We have gotten to the point that it is actually more important to have people believe in the shroud we wrap ourselves in, which is our job, and the underlying perceptions around that title, we continually put up this MASSIVE barrier between ourselves and others.
As a consequence we have difficulty connecting with everyone around us in an effective and productive way, and because of this we continue to create the “Low Trust Environment”, that we live in.
Stephen M. R. Covey states in his book, ‘The Speed of Trust’ – “When trust is low, everything takes a lot longer, costs go up, however when trust high, things move more rapidly and costs go down”.
I mentioned earlier the term “business person”…
Recently even I came to realise that this isn’t actually a truthful designation. In fact, it is a PERSON (first and foremost), in business, because the importance of framing our language correctly brings down old constructs and barriers and helps us to reconnect with people again.
When we start recognising that we are dealing with people, not a business person or a business or a title, then we start making real connections and take the first steps in building strong and meaningful relationships.
The fortresses that we have built around each other have been nothing short of disastrous, taking huge amounts of emotional energy to maintain and causing us far more harm than good. As we continue to become disconnected, we continued to distrust everything around us and we become more and more frustrated, angry and depressed because things aren’t working out for us.
How Do We Fix This?
Stephen M. R. Covey’s, “The Five Waves of Trust”, is an excellent starting point. We are not going to cover all the waves just the very first two, Self and Relationship. The flow of the rest of them is self-evident and if you build strong trust with yourself and start building powerful relationships, it follows that organisational trust, market trust and societal trust start to occur.
How we use language is a big part of creating or deconstructing our barriers to the world.
We have been so used to using titles, position and structured identities, as well as the supporting language to create what is now proving to be the most ineffective way for us to grow in the world… both personally and professionally, we need to change our language behaviour and our perception of who we are in this world if we are going to fix this and start building good connections, great relationships and high levels of trust.
To start with, we need to begin by changing some simple language frames. We need to start thinking of ourselves as “Who am I?” “Why I am important to myself and to others?”
Not “What, How, Where, When”, I am? As these only support the old fortress were trying to break down.
Let’s start looking at ourselves as a person that has value, not a title that has false constructs around it, or a job description where other people will overlay their perceptions on what they think of your profession, despite what you may think about what you do.
When we can simply answer the question, “Who are you?” With a simple, “I am simply a person who is looking to connect with other people to see if we can mutually help each other in our professional lives.” or tell a story that highlights the way WE make people FEEL when they interact with us.
Then we are on the way to start connecting and building trust with others, so that we can actually move forward in the world more effectively and reduce the barriers to connection and communication and trust that currently exist in our lives.
Perhaps one day, we may even have the courage to say, “I am simply a fractured, lonely soul that wants to connect with others so that we can help each other heal and grow and prosper.”
Now wouldn’t that be something?
I invite you to “Get Connected and Get Successful”, and build your business success by creating awesome FOCUS on your networking, social media, writing and public speaking skills, so that you can reap the rewards that you deserve. Check out our FB business page…