Since I first met her at CONVENE in Vilnius where I attended her lecture “Using your voice and physical presence to make an impact in meetings”, I’m reading her articles on LinkedIn and on her website www.executivevoice.co.uk with enthusiasm. I’m talking about Susan Heaton-Wright, a former opera singer who now works with clients to ensure they are using their voices and body language the best way. She’s coaching directors, teams and individuals in business, universities and organizations around the world.
All her texts are helpful and captivating. Best is that she is sharing her own experiences and this makes the articles very personal and authentic.
So, I was very happy when I came across her article “When YES creates opportunities”.
What is she telling us? Well, we often say “yes” but actually mean “no”. We agree on doing something that we don’t want to, we feel obliged to do it – for whatever reasons. Susan explains us that saying “Yes” can also be empowering, namely “in those situations where your little voice is saying “No, No, NO!!!”. In fact it could open a door to push you forward.”
She gives an example: some years ago, she was asked to give a guest lecture at a university. Her first thought was “No” – because she has never delivered a module at a university before, the module had not been written and last but not least, it was a subject she thought she didn’t know much about: Event Management. So what did she do? She wrote down the pros and cons and finally said “Yes” to the lecture – and in the end she acquired experience and confidence that outweighed the hard work. As a result, she developed new skills and pushed herself to the next level.
Her tip for us:
“So next time you are asked to do something, take a moment to assess whether it is you being taken for granted, or whether it is scary but could be a brilliant opportunity. If necessary take a moment to write down the pros and cons, and if it still feels scary DO IT: SAY YES!!”
I will definitely remember her words the next time I’m asked to do something unfamiliar, something I haven’t done so far and something that scares me at first sight.