Speak with your own authentic voice

Queen Elizabeth I

In this time of churning and change, your ability to inspire yourself and others becomes essential.

There is no one ‘right’ way of doing this but there are seven key building blocks that you can use.

The first is to speak with your own authentic voice.

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

Faced with these twin perils, from home and abroad, Elizabeth I might have run away. Or she could have bluffed it out: “Everything is fine. I am the best ruler ever! A very stable genius!! England means England!!!” 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, at the mercy of several thousand heavily armed troops, and with an escort of only six men and two page boys, 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 once they had decided to listen to her, then 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 authentic truth people hear that and trust us.

Our words will resonate most strongly with the people who are 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 you 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, 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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