I continue to ponder how the core ideas of Jazzthink confront our audiences. I call myself a provocateur and that means I do confront people with possibilities that are not always comfortable. I am intentional about pushing people out of their comfort zone and into a learning zone.
On the one hand, it's pretty simple and basic. We want you to consider what difference it might make if you managed your conversations better - as well as jazz musicians manage their instruments in a performance.
On the other hand, it's frighteningly simple and basic. We want you to change the way you talk with others - be more soulful, mindful, astute, responsible, and trusting in the kinds of connections that you generate through your conversations.
Your voice generates values through the vibrations it creates. You are the only one who can determine the quality of those vibrations. Cultivating the musical qualities of your voice has great benefits. It will tune your voice to how people hear best. It may be hard-nosed and critical content, but if voiced with calm, curiosity, and appreciation, it will be heard more constructively.
Here are the benefits of cultivating the conversations that generate a SMARTer presence:
You will be more compassionate with yourself through Soulful conversations;
You will be more connected with others through Mindful conversations;
You will be more creative with possibilities through Astute conversations;
You will be more collaborative in execution through Responsible conversations;
You will be more constructive with improvements through Trusting conversations.
Click on the image of the SMARTer Teamwork booklet for a more detailed description of the elements in the acronym.
Cultivating these 5 essential conversations, this way of being present, takes focused intention and persistent practice.
Cultivating this kind of presence will improve the influence you exercise in your workplace, your family, and the communities in which you volunteer.
I've used this quote before, but it bears repeating in this context. It's from Catherine Blyth in The Art of Conversation (2009):
More than words, conversation is music: Its harmony, rhythm, and flow transcend communication, flexing mind and heart, tuning us for companionship. (5)
Might this summer be a good time to pay some attention to the impact that your voice is making? Might this summer be a good time to cultivate a more musical presence?