How do you introduce yourself? by Pam Slim is all about walking the talk – modifying our language to reflect our ambitions instead of our fears. I suppose this is related to NLP, and I can vouch for the fact that it does make a difference when I can present myself in terms of where I want to be, rather than where I fear I’ll end up.
That said, the reason I’m writing this is because of an almost throw-away line towards the end of Pam’s piece:
“A Buddhist friend once told me that the words that you say form a force field of attraction around you.”
This strikes me as true in so many ways. The actual choice of words we use matters so much, and reveals so much about our preferences, beliefs, prejudices, fears and so on. And the congruence – or lack of it – between those words and our actions is often a great barometer of our authenticity.
A few times in my career I’ve been asked by colleagues how it is that organisations have tended to adopt values or approaches I hold dear. I answered that I just talk about stuff sufficiently often that it becomes part of the meme soup of my working locality. That’s the attraction field, and I think it only forms when the congruence is there too. There have also been a few occasions when the force field hasn’t materialised, and in each case I was trying to force something without being it. As Ghandi said:
“Be the change you wish to see”
(Thanks to Nynke Fokma for reminding me of that quotation, and to the force field that brought both of these statements into my browser today.)