Amid reports of the deteriorating Syrian peace talks and mounting tension in relations between the U.S. and Russia, my mind has turned increasingly toward a leader’s commitment to impeccable speech in their responsibility to forge life-affirming, sustainable relationships.
The language we use is so often an under-appreciated extension of our presence, carrying with it an immediate and powerful impact. This is particularly true in the highly complex realities that accompany the protections of lives and interests across the world stage.
The bottom line is that the commitment to using language in an impeccable manner is a noteworthy topic for all leaders regardless of our work in the world.
CTI CEO and Co-Founder Karen Kimsey-House talks about impeccability as “a commitment to cleanliness in our communication.” Indeed, this definition goes well beyond the spoken word to all forms of communication and connects not only to the outward expression of who we are but also to who we are at the source.
How then is impeccability cultivated, particularly when the intricacies of life seem to set us at odds with the needs and wants of others? Here are some tips:
- Start with Silence
Silence is about being. When we start from silence, we come from an appreciation of life, both our own and others. We see the commonality that lives at the heart of all things. At the same time, we see what makes us unique, the values that drive us, our gifts and how we best express those gifts. Silence also sets the space to listen and connect with others. Hearing is the basis of our leadership.
- Move with Cleanliness
Whether in words or action, moving with cleanliness is about being intentional about your impact. It is about integrating awareness with your choice to express action and assessing your impact on a moment-by-moment basis. When we move from here, we are in alignment with ourselves and are creating alignment with others through clarity, compassion and a willingness to be agile. This puts the relationship first and allows all sides to feel safe in showing up.
- Affirm Life
Finding alignment with others, particularly in complex or volatile situations, comes down to affirming life. At one level, when we affirm life on all sides of a conflict or issue, we connect people to their humanity. When we witness another’s humanity, they become more willing to reflect it back. Once this begins, affirming life can take on a new dimension, one where it becomes the basis for generating solutions free of personal agendas and undermining motivations.
Our roles as leaders are gaining complexity as we expand our realm of impact. Where can these three steps bring your expression of leadership to life?