The power of language
In July 2019, Bloom Scotland was lucky enough to secure a private audience with an absolutely amazing woman called Mariana Lin. Mariana was in Edinburgh for a few days speaking at and attending the TED Summit, and whilst she was here, she agreed to have a discussion with our members about the power of language.
Not only is Mariana a life long writer, but she was a creative director at Apple for six years, latterly working on Siri, helping to shape the character and personality of the AI. Like many writers, Mariana is keenly observant and interested in the behaviour of the people around her.
Mariana shared with us her experiences of working in corporate America, and her observations of the different styles of communication that people have.
Her talk was followed up with an excellent discussion amongst the whole audience about different communication styles which they have, difficulties that they encounter because of their own or other's communication styles. The atmosphere in the room was one of support, safety and vulnerability, and one from which the whole audience benefitted.
What we learnt during this session
There is no one way of communicating. There aren't two ways of communicating. There are infinite ways of communicating. And finding the one that is most comfortable and authentic to you, is like finding your superpower.
If you're struggling with the way someone else is communicating with you, try changing the way you communicate with them, and see if their response to you changes. And if that doesn't work, try talking to them about it. In the words of our her Brene Brown, "clear is kind, kind is clear".
Don't forget that silence and listening are also part of communicating.
Notice how other people communicate. Try mimicking (not mocking) them, and see how it feels. It's like trying on someone else's jacket that you like to see if it suits you, before you go ahead and buy it.
Experiment. Change up the loudness of your voice. Change the tone. Try speaking up when you'd usually stay silent, and vice-versa. Use big hand gestures and body language, or stay very still when you're talking. Discover what works for you.