Speak with your own authentic voice

Queen Elizabeth I

In this time of churning, your ability to inspire yourself and others is key.

There is no one ‘right’ way to do this but there are seven building blocks that you can use to create inspiration. The first of these is to speak with your own authentic voice.

Four hundred years ago, for example, Queen Elizabeth I of England was a woman under threat. Many people thought she could not rule, simply because she was a woman. Some of her own countrymen had tried to kill her. And then, seeing her weakness, a foreign power decided to invade.

Faced with these twin perils, from home and abroad, Elizabeth I could simply have run away. Or she might have bluffed it out, saying “Everything is fine. England means England. I am the best ruler ever! A very stable genius!!” Instead, she chose to speak her authentic truth.

Wearing armour (unheard of for a woman) she rode “like some Amazonian empress” into the middle of her assembled army. There, with an escort of only six men and two page boys, at the mercy of several thousand heavily armed troops, she spoke clearly and authentically what became her most famous words:

“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.”

Her authenticity won her audience over.

And then, once they had decided to listen to her, they listened to what she had to say. And once they had heard what she had to say they then did what needed to be done: the invader was repulsed and Elizabeth’s reign became one of the most celebrated in her country’s history.

When we speak our truth authentically the people around us hear it and know that they can trust us.

Our words resonate most strongly with the people who will be most inspired to work with us, the ones who will join us for the long haul, our ‘tribe’. And when we have an inspired team working together and pulling in the same direction, we can achieve anything.

In your work, do speak authentically what is true for you or do you say what you think you should? What outcomes does that create? What would happen if you chose to speak more of your authentic truth — first to yourself and then to others?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By mware2012 via StockPholio.net

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