Is your voice enhancing or minimizing your impact? That’s a question you may never have asked yourself before. And it’s one of the most vital questions a Leader must ask.
Last Thursday night I watched the Grey’s Anatomy episode “The Sound of Silence.” [Spoiler Alert] In the episode, title character Meredith Grey gets attacked, temporarily loses her hearing and has her jaw wired shut, preventing her from speaking for the middle 80% of the episode (much of which also occurs in complete silence). Nowadays, I usually watch Grey’s Anatomy to wind down and fall asleep. I was not expecting to be captivated – and yet I was. I was utterly and completely captivated – primarily by Ellen Pompeo’s performance … her silent performance. I suddenly saw deep pools of talent radiating out of her. The depth of her character’s anguish and anger beamed out her eyes like a lazer. And, as soon as she opened her mouth and spoke again, my excitement deflated like a cheap balloon. When she spoke, it was as if a brilliant, dynamic, shining ray of light was covered up by static. There is so much tension in her throat that it strangles the life out of her voice and prevents the fullness of her talent from shining through.
Watch this video for a demonstration of what I mean …
To theatrically trained voice coaches this is known as emotional armor. Habitual tensions, born out of years spent subconsciously training herself to speak with the voice of suppression rather than expression, create the difference.
This same phenomenon may be limiting your impact as a Leader. In fact, the cold, hard truth is that your voice probably is minimizing your impact.
I hesitated to share this with you. It’s not my intention to be a “hater.” I never want to push people further into their self-protective silence. Commenting on another person’s voice means we run the risk of hurting their feelings. I doubt Ellen Pompeo will ever see this. And, just in case, let me be completely clear… I’m not talking about a “pretty” voice or a “good” sound. Those are Soul Sucking descriptors. I’m talking about rediscovering a voice that resonates and reverberates with a kind of clarity that creates an undeniable impact – A voice that shares the resonance of what lives inside her with the outside world. Consider what everyone is missing out on when the emotional armor and unnecessary tension block her gifts from reaching the world.
So, back to Leadership… If, as a Leader, you have the kind of habits of suppression that Ellen Pompeo has, imagine what the world is losing out on. Frankly, if you have even a fraction of her emotional armor blocking the fullness of your gifts from resonating out to others on the sound of your voice, preventing your full signal from reaching the world … that’s a tragic loss.
If you are a Leader (with a capital L) who wants to help change the world and you’re ready to take your Voice and your Vocal Presence to the next level in order to make your mark, sign up for a Breathe Deep & Breakthrough Session with me now. I will help you identify and embrace your gifts and show you where to focus your attention in order to walk the path of growth.
Until next time!