Voice is a theme that is near and dear to my heart. As a musician, writer, and life-long student of human communication, I’m continually amazed at how much people take for granted the value of finding one’s voice.
If you consume any national news today, you’ll notice political pundits commenting on the topic of voice in relation to Mitt Romney’s, “My father used to sell paint because he believed in America,” speech following the Colorado caucuses. This speech is being heralded as a defining moment of voice for this republican hopeful.
So, what is the value of finding one’s voice?
The value in the Romney case, could mean the perception of presidential electability and, ultimately, the difference between being on the ballot in November or not.
For you and me, finding voice means knowing what we stand for. Understanding our deepest passions and personal vision. Building deeper, more trusting relationships. Discovering these desires helps us devise a plan for achieving our personal and professional goals.
Voice is characterized by a sense of authenticity, congruence, and genuine caring. Finding our voice allows us to live a life that is consistent with our true desires and values.
How do you find your voice?
Your voice isn’t hidden. Although some of us try to disguise our voice with what we think people want to hear from us. Some of us even do a good job of convincing ourselves that what (we think) others want to hear is actually what we want.
If you’ve been looking for your voice (or are considering a positive change in your voice) try the following exercise on for size:
1. Start by making a list: What do you want out of your job? Your relationships? Your community?
2. How would you share these desires with your most trusted friend, if they gave you their complete undivided attention?
3. Practice expressing your voice by saying what you really want out loud. Go ahead. While you’re driving. While you’re getting ready in the morning. Practice expressing who you are, what you stand for, and what you want.
4. Now “Go Live.” Share your voice. Speak up. Ask for help. Take action. See what happens.