Wednesday, November 16, 2016

You, me and the fear

You, me, we have all survived the American elections.

There is much to think about and say about the whole issue, but the thing that struck me, and has me thinking, is the use of fear as persuasion, as a communication tool, as a way of getting attention - whether you be a public speaker, in conversation, trying to win an election or simply getting your news items into your readers'/watchers' attention.

It can be as simple and unthreatening as in a fellow public speaking coach's update recently, listing Robert Cialdini's 6 methods of persuasion.  

One is Urgency.

"only 3 left"

"tickets selling fast"

"get in now before this offer closes"

And nowadays it is referred to as FOMO - Fear of Missing Out ... with a certain degree of wry humour.  

But still, in there is that word, "Fear".

Simple, non threatening, and often effective.

Except that on the other end of the spectrum ...

it can also be as huge and as threatening as a madman with his finger on the red button.

And somewhere in that spectrum sit you and me.

On the receiving end of so much fear and adrenalin.

And on the projecting end, as speakers, in conversation, just trying to get attention, to persuade someone to see our vision, our expectations, our needs and hopes, for ourselves or for others.

And yes it works, this particular persuasion technique, whether it be tiny or immense.  

What we need to recognise is how it is balanced

with its opposite,

and I do know that the opposite of fear is love - a genuine desire to serve, to give, to lead

with integrity.

And my wish for you, and me, today, this week, this year as it draws to a close, is that we continue to do that, to be aware of it, to avoid complacency when it comes to what really matters

and that applies whether we be on the receiving end or the projecting end.

Ask always where is the balance?  Greater fear?

or greater service?

It will continue to be our strength, our currency, our success.

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