Anyone who aspires to live a Heartspoken Life must also learn to speak from the heart. But what does that mean in real-world interactions? This was the first post ever published on this blog in April of 2010.
The guiding principle wherever you go
I try very hard to speak from the heart in all my deliberations, both personal and professional.
I don't always succeed.
I don't believe there are two sets of standards—one for home and the other for the office. No matter where you are or to whom you're speaking, your words and actions should always come from your heart with the intent to seek the highest mutual interests.
What does it mean to speak from the heart?
It does not mean being blunt or abrupt. The “tell it like it is” approach is usually meanness hiding under a cloak of honesty.
Nor does it mean you should tell the truth no matter what pain it might cause. There may be situations in which you can't—or shouldn't—tell everything you know. That is not the same as lying. Truth in pursuit of damage is motivated by self-interest and self-preservation. Truth in pursuit of love is what it means to speak from the heart.
How to speak from the heart
Here are some simple action steps to help cultivate the habit of speaking from the heart with courage and love:
- Before speaking, listen…and pay attention. Attentiveness is a gift we should give others freely, whether we're with them in person or on the phone.
- Let the other person know you've heard and understood them. Repeating or rephrasing their words or nodding your head are signals that you're listening carefully.
- Say what you mean, without beating around the bush. Hidden agendas are deceptive. Try to be a “what you see is what you get” kind of person.
- Make kindness and thoughtfulness the well from which you draw your words. Life is not a zero-sum game, and win-win solutions are the highest value.
- If you're with someone in person, look them in the eye. Not only will you pick up cues from the other person's face, but they will sense your own sincerity.
When you speak from the heart, your words are true, kind, and sincere. Speaking from the heart is Love in action.
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