At a Speaking Circle Facilitator Training in 2013 Doreen Hamilton and I were coaching Facilitators in bringing Relational Stillness to their participants. When someone said the words, “soften into the moment,” my body, which I am not often in good communication with, instantly sighed “YES!!!”
Soften into the Moment has become my mantra since then.
Those words bring me to a place, the sweet spot, from which I want all my communications to arise.
I soften into the moment, and then into the next moment and the next and the next and the next until I am softening into the river of life … softening into compassion for all humanity. And this is where masterful communication comes from.
The ideal is soft front and strong backbone so your softness is not compromised or taken advantage of. And this is from where your power and passion arise to flow your gift to the world.
One way into the softening moment is to follow the suggestion, “Let go of your face.” Take a breath right now and see where suggestion leads you. I’ll wait…..
Can you feel a full body relaxation when you let your jaw go a little slack and your face just hang there? Many of us put more energy into our face than is useful in communication. When our face is the facade of our self-image, anxiety lurks behind smiles and eye contact. Consciously letting go your face at any moment of social stress makes a big difference in how you respond in a sensitive moment.
So what does softening into the moment and letting go of your face have to do with public speaking?
Everything. The great communicators come from here. Business leaders build trust and loyalty only from here. And softening into the moment in relational stillness is the fundamental parenting and relationship skill that has any hope of defusing the power struggle.
The great news is that once you intellectually grasp this foundational reality it can be practiced effortlessly. In fact this practice, which might be called “the work behind the work,” yields great results only when practiced without effort. Once you tap into the ease of softening/surrendering into the listening rather than hardening into a script, passionate eloquence arises.
You may think this kind of transformation would require years of meditation or a lot more therapy, but with the support of a well-facilitated intelligent group I witness quantum leaps every week.
You see, anxiety or contraction around public speaking is a product of habitually trying to swim/speak against the current. Once you get a taste of softening into the river of listening, starting with your face, your relationship with audiences changes forever.
© Copyright 2013-2014 Lee Glickstein. All rights reserved.