Presentation and Confidence building with Ivy Clem August: Change. Title: Listen to you.
I was talking to my son like the stereotypical ‘African Mum’, he was getting a good talking to with mannerisms, the mum stare, my voice kept rising. As I stared him down (even though he is much taller than me) I noticed he was with me but the look in his eyes let me know he was far away. He stuttered his replies, which I shot down until he put his face down, seemed to fold into himself as if protecting himself from my words. I was on a roll and wouldn’t stop. I was going to report him to his Grandma, I brought out my phone, put on the camera and recorded a video of me, an adult putting a teenager straight. But before I hit the share option I watched and listened to it and what was there stunned me. An adult was using her voice and words to overshadow a teenager and succeeding. I looked at his demeanour, how can I be a champion of confidence building and using words to dim his. From listening to myself speak to another person, I could see first-hand how tone, inflection, gestures, eye contact and choice of words make a difference in casting someone into a prison of self-doubt or building confidence in others, after all this was my son that I was talking too, not an adversary. I’m happy to say I’ve changed from speaking to anybody that way by consciously thinking about how my words and mannerisms may come across to people that listen to me, playing back conversations to myself and asking how I can ask, respond, advice, suggest or question with grace. Grace means polite, respectful, or considerate in manner- That’s definitely something to change towards.
Much love and respect
Colossians 4:6 let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt.