Finding Your Voice

This is an excerpt from the blog of the late Dr. Stephen Covey.  The subject is “Finding Your Voice and Helping Others Find Theirs”.  It’s the core principal of his latest book called The 8th Habit.  Dr. Covey is an inspiration to me and I love to spread his ideas! 

The power to discover your voice lies in the potential that was bequeathed you at birth.

Latent and undeveloped, the seeds of greatness were planted. You were given magnificent “birth-gifts”-talents, capacities, privileges, intelligences, opportunities-that would remain largely unopened except through your own decision and effort.

Open these gifts. Learn what taps your talents and fuels your passion-that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet-therein lies your voice, your calling, your soul’s code.

Q: How do you define “voice”?

Voice is the overlapping of the four parts of our nature: our body, our mind, our heart, and our spirit. These also represent the four intelligences: our IQ for the mind, our EQ for the heart, our SQ for the spirit, and our PQ for the body.

To help you find this, answer these 4 question.

  1. What are you good at? That’s your mind.
  2. What do you love doing? That’s your heart.
  3. What need can you serve? That’s the body.
  4. What is life asking of you? What gives your life meaning and purpose? What do you feel like you should be doing? That is your spirit.

People are internally motivated by their own four needs: to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy. When they overlap, you have voice – your calling, your soul’s code.

Q: How can we help someone find his or her voice?

I think if you care about people genuinely, you listen to them and observe them; because this is more than just hearing them speak, it is observing them-observing where their excitement is, where their enthusiasm is; observing where you sense they have potential.

Sometimes it is very powerful just to say to them in sincerity, “I believe you have great potential in this area. I see real strengths in you that you may not see in yourself, and I would like to create an opportunity for you to use those strengths and to develop this potential. Would you be interested in that?”

Most people are so flattered by someone who sincerely cares for them and affirms their work and potential that they are moved and inspired by that kind of input. It’s very powerful and it can make all of the difference, particularly with people who grow up with a confused lifestyle, bad modeling, and basic education.

Often they have no clue as to what life is about or what they are about until someone becomes a teacher to them-a mentor, a confirmer, and a coach. This kind of mentoring is becoming increasingly important in education, in relationships, and in work environments.

It can make all of the difference as to whether a person takes a higher road to his or her own voice or a lower road to where he or she is swallowed up by the priorities and voices of others.

Extraordinary Teachers find their voice, and then help others find theirs.

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