After a long day of work, with the remote in my right hand, and dinner on the table, I was flipping through the channels and came upon this channel. The words “Global Warming” were in the caption, the reason for me to halt my remote surfing. The scientist was talking about global warming, an issue I care considerably about. He was highly intelligent and clear. Yet, I found myself zoning out. When this happens I always ask myself, why am I zoning out. Is it because of something on my end? Maybe I’m too hungry to concentrate, overtired, or something else is dominating my mind, or is it the speaker? I conclude it was the speaker. For me, he had enough leverage just on the subject alone to keep my attention, but yet, he wasn’t.
I avoided my kneejerk reaction to change the channel and examined why I had a stronger desire to not listen to him than to listen to him. I watched a bit longer to understand, way.
He seemed to be concerned that he was perceived as legit and intelligent and was hiding behind his “50 cent words”, rather than just connecting to the issue. Another way of saying this is - he was overcompensating for not trusting he can just speak his message. This is a common communication trap lots of “smart people” fall into. Some hide behind their resume, connections, status, or money. Other’s hide behind words.
I found myself being his silent rooting corner. “Just speak. Your message is important, don’t worry about YOU looking important! Come on you can do it.”. Well, he never did, so after another 10 minutes, I changed the channel.
This happens countless times a day in every business, every industry, every department, and more times than not, this is not accurately identified and if it is, more times than not a clear and tangible solution is not implemented.
If this happens to you, or a colleague, let’s connect.