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  • Writer's pictureDale Partridge

Talking…the courage to ignite change.

My convictions about the power of talking to someone, especially to yourself, reflects a lifetime of talking. Learned watching my mom talk to people as a youngster, I noticed that she loved the intimate, often lively connection, yet mostly she listened. When I became a broadcaster at 17, that became my trademark too. My unending curiosity, added to my excitement of intimately connecting with people, led me into emceeing dances and concerts, public speaking, hosting an open-line radio show, doing television news and public affairs, then joining the world of commercial communication: persuading prospective buyers to choose a particular product, service or idea. I did that in sales, advertising and marketing, then finally in business consulting. Throughout, it was my communication - listening - skills that also made me valuable in countless volunteer community projects, from staging public celebrations or making something new happen, and talking to people in crisis or helping people deal with inordinate chronic pain.

Mom’s formula, listening, became my view of communication as well. In all the roles I’ve played, my major value to people was always my keen interest in what they were saying and what they meant when they said it. It’s an intimate connection, someone revealing or offering themselves - what they think and feel. It was a privilege for me, one I respected and enjoyed, and people felt comfortable enough to explain themselves to me when I didn’t understand. In broadcasting, I was a conduit for important people to honestly connect with large audiences who would otherwise have dismissed them, except when an intimate revealing conversation attracted their attention. That was my role with community leaders, politicians, cause champions and visiting authors, always wanting to make sure ‘we’ understood what they were really saying.

Working with business owners, entrepreneurs and managers, my value was the same: I wanted to know what they were trying to do and how they expected to do it. I listened, asked questions, heard them and admired their courage, their dream and their willingness to go for it. People with dreams and aspirations are exciting to be with, to learn from and to serve. I served by listening.

Communication, actually connecting with someone, always starts with listening. Most of us worry about how to express what we want to communicate to someone else: how we’ll say it, present it, sell it, write it or somehow share it. Some in words, some in music or art, some in movement or making sounds, each performing something they want to share or express to someone - someone else. It’s an act of intimacy, often intoxicating to witness, as someone expresses something so deeply.

Today, I believe communicating with yourself, in an honest private conversation, is the power to connect with yourself, your intentions and your heart’s desire. Clarity is created, confidence builds, ideas clearly expressed ignite action and desire. Over decades of working with hundreds of people in every kind of situation, it was their willingness to communicate what they wanted that led to their success, and I was the one who heard it and helped them hear it too. That’s what Go for it! Self-Coaching is based on, and how it works. Listening to someone who is willing to work out what they really want in a situation by helping me to understand it, so they understand it too, thus see their choices in dealing with it successfully. Talking to someone is a powerful, energizing act of intimacy and self-love, in my view. Particularly talking to yourself. What do you want to ignite today? Talk to someone.

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