Before, we believed that we needed to be clever to succeed and that clever people had high IQs. (Intelligence Quotient, as measured by the IQ test) In reality, many people with average IQs outperform people with high IQs in many areas of life, such as career, relationships and anything involving dealing with other people.
The missing link is called “Emotional intelligence”... and this is something we are working on in Organic Speaking sessions.
Standing up in front of a group and speaking is mostly a question of overcoming the emotions that get in the way. Once we feel confident, we realize that speaking and being expressive are skills we have had since we learned them during the first years of our lives!
In the following story. the scientific experiment with the dog and the hen is something I've read about when I studied psychology. I've added an imaginary character: Elsa, the little daughter of the scientist.
I leave to you to sort out why and how this story is relevant to us when we train our public speaking skills, build our confidence and improve our communication skills…
Scientists doing research about intelligence conducted the following experiment:
They put a dog behind a wire mesh barrier and a juicy attractive piece of meat on the other side. This barrier was straight and not very long. The scientists noticed that it did not take long for the dog to get around the barrier and take hold of the meat.
Elsa, five years old, daughter of the leader of the scientific team, thinks that her father should play with her rather than with a dog.
Then, the scientists renew the protocol with a chicken and juicy attractive grain of corn. They notice with great interest that the chicken, instead of running around the mesh barrier, collides with it again and again in a vain attempt to reach the object of its desire. The poor bird nearly strangles itself by pushing its head through a hole in the mesh but it’s not going to eat. The scientific team concludes that the dog is more intelligent that the chicken.
Elsa is not far from hitting her head against a wall. That her father prefers a dog to her was difficult to accept but somehow understandable. Dogs are cheerful and friendly creatures. But being set aside for a chicken is absolutely humiliating.
The scientists now proceed once more with the same experiment, with a starving dog and meat. There is always a cruel moment in scientific experiments involving dogs. They notice, with excitement, that the starving dog has become so to speak, as stupid as a chicken. It collides with the mesh again and again, obviously unable to move away from the object of its longing.
Elsa is in love with her father. She firmly believes that they will get married as soon as... next week. They will sleep together (which in her mind, means sleep) and they will have plenty of children. But he will have to stop these crazy games with animals.
How can one stop starving in order to be able to eat? Elsa sets the dog free. It catches the chicken and runs away. Elsa is sent to bed without any supper.
Her father is a great scientist. He understands nothing.
A few comments (I said I would leave you to it, but I can't help it!)
-When we are in a state of nervousness, we become like the starved dog, unable to see the obvious solution to our problems... We need to become stronger, and to cultivate detachment to overcome this issue.
-Because even the most apparently adult people are still a little bit childlike inside, those who are able to make people's "inner children" happy are the emotionally intelligent people. They will get the jobs, the promotions or the relationships they wish for…
- A last but not least thing: emotional intelligence is not only about “understanding”. It is also a question of strength, of self knowledge and experience. No amount of reading will never ever be enough. We need to pracise, practise, practise….
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Sometimes we speak as if we believed we had to explain everything. We give as many details or explanations as possible.
This is a mistake. The result is just overloading.
Whether from a stage or across the table, let's keep in mind that starting a fire is the purpose of communication.