Are you accountable for what you say? Do you give a Straight Answer?
It’s interesting how things come back to haunt us. A few years ago my personal development coach challenged me on a word I used. I used the word “You” instead of “I”. A couple of days ago my coach’s voice rang in my ears as I was doing a psychic reading.
It all came about when I crewed for my fantastic coach, Kurek Ashley at his Sydney Life to The Max workshop. As a crew member I got to participate as well help out in the workshop. There are many things I know I hear over and over again and I know I don’t get the message the first time round. I’m stubborn so in this case it was more like ‘getting’ it the 5th time round. To set the scene for you, Kurek was talking about goal setting. He was explaining the idea that for a goal to really hit home it has to be burnt into our psyche. This is easy by calling or saying the goal out-loud. I won’t go into too much detail because I think you understand the principle.
At this point I stood up and asked Kurek “When you read out your goals etc, how do you get past the self consciousness of actually reading them out?”.
An Active Voice is a Confident Voice
That question caused Kurek to jump straight onto me. I thought he was about to talk about me question. He didn’t. He jumped at me because I used externalised my question to him by using “YOU”. I was not being accountable for myself and I was not asking a straight question. If I had been empowered I would have asked the question, “Kurek, when I read out my goals etc, how do I get past my own self consciousness when I actually read them out?”.
In grammar my original I asked my original question passively when I would have sounded so much better to ask the question in an active voice.
Is there any difference? Yes, there is. I didn’t own my question. I was not confident in asking the question.
How many times a day do you smooth over a request by being ambiguous in the way you ask a question?
Ask Questions Confidently and be Accountable
When you ask a question in a soft, passive you do it because you don’t want to hurt an other person’s feelings. The truth is you do hurt feelings, and you hurt them more being indecisive. This is because your question is not straight and, when asked, you don’t give a straight answer.
He’s an accountable talk scenario we’ve all been in.
You’re home on a Friday night and you ask your spouse what he/she wants for dinner. Your spouse answers, “Fish”. What do you do, especially if you don’t want fish? You want Thai food. Do you tell your spouse you want Thai food?
Why did you ask what your spouse wanted in the first place? When a more decisive statement would be “I want to cook Thai tonight, how is that with you?”
Indecision is a curse in our society. I spent years being this way. I think I’ve been one of the worst protagonists in not being accountable for what I say and how I talk. It stopped me jumping out and trying things that could have failed and going for what I wanted. All because I didn’t want to hurt other people’s feelings, and this included those close to me.
What do I do now?
Use a Confident Voice
People ask me to do something I don’t want to do, I say “No”. I don’t give a reason because I don’t need to. The reason is none of their business. I never say ‘sorry’ if I’ve done nothing wrong. Saying “No.” to someone is not doing anything wrong, all I’m doing is say “NO”.
Call to action
Over the next few days someone will ask you for something or ask you to do something. What and how will you answer? Remember to own your answer with confidence and be accountable for what you say.
Have the best outstanding day.