Hello! Welcome to 2024! Unlike me to do this, but I’m going to start my first real blog of the year on a rant.
What is with people listening to their devices with the sound up for anyone within a five-metre radius to hear?
To the rude family with the toddler in a beautiful restaurant, playing kid shows at full volume in the booth behind me, and who declined to turn it down even after the waitress kindly requested you to….
To the parents on my flight last weekend with their child on an iPad on full volume with the excuse that they were “just trying to keep them quiet” (I’d rather a crying child than the characters of In the Night Garden filling my headspace)…
To the man watching sport news sitting next to me in the Virgin Lounge and commenting loudly at the screen…
Another man at the table next to me in the beautiful restaurant of the ACE hotel in Sydney – a fellow solo traveller – taking a FaceTime call at his table – then switching to Insta reels shortly after…
…What the actual? I don’t care if you’re dealing with a toddler or a grown ass adult. Headphones were invented for a reason people!
Sorry – rant over.
Is it just me or are you noticing an increasing invasion of white noise filling our headspace? My frustration has me thinking about the other ways white noise creeps into our lives. In particular – people who like to fill the space with the sound of their own voice. Extraverts (I’m one of them) are particularly guilty of this. But I know a few introverts too who, once you get them going, can’t shut up.
Where do you experience white noise? Around board tables, in online meetings (the WORST!), planning sessions, team catch-ups, Monday morning “how was your weekend….blah blah blah” (who cares?).
A sign of true intellect is saying what you mean in as few words as possible. Perhaps we could all take guidance from the great William Shakespere – a man well known for deliberate use of words: Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest
I’m a professional facilitator. My job is to cut people short. To shut them up (skilfully and politely of course) when they start unnecessarily filling the space with white noise. To help them get to the point in as few words as possible. If people didn’t do this, myself and thousands of other professional facilitators would be out of a job!
In a world of short attention spans, the skill in communicating simply, plainly, succinctly, in as few words as possible, has significant value.
I’m a true believer in sharing your voice. Voice is important. It’s hard to add value without sharing your voice. Just be mindful of how you use it. Your voice can be a powerful tool for collaboration, innovation, growth and learning. Or a weapon of mass destruction breeding intolerance, selfishness, competitiveness and negativity.
Speaking plainly, simply and to the point. Stories that help make the point are great, but only if they actually do help make the point. Anecdotes and humour are also great, but only if they add to the conversation, not distract from the conversation.
If you’re keen to join the new movement to save our headspace, consider what is worth using your voice for:
I guarantee your fellow colleagues, friends and family will thank you!
Here’s to a fabulous 2024 – speaking our truths in ways that connect and inspire others.
If you’d like to work with me this year – I partner with leaders and leadership teams to be high performing and enjoy what they do. If you think you or your leadership team could do with a bit of sharpening up – reach out for a chat.