Yes, I realize the irony in MY not being able to speak, but the truth is - I loved it because there were so many great things to learn! Here are four of those lessons that are worthy to pass on to you!
1. 93% of communication is non-verbal
Yes, Leah, we know this…you all taught us that at the Memory Training workshop!
As much as we know this is true, we often lose sight of that reality. We overlook the fact that impressions are formed about us long before we speak - just by people watching us enter a room or converse with others.
Here is a recent example of this phenomena: At a cocktail party we attended when I wasn't speaking - I had literally not said one word all night - an old friend of my husband's described the kind of person I "seemed" to be, and he was dead on!
How did he know? I hadn't said one word!
Be aware that your communication is 93% in your energy, your gestures, your nods, your smiles…in everything but your words.
2. Taking a breath before you speak changes conversation
Many times people wait just until another person finishes his or her sentence to jump in and share their thoughts. Although I am certainly guilty of this, I also watched many others almost cut off the person they were speaking to in order to get their words out.
If you simply decide to take a deep breath before you "take your turn" in conversation, you'll find that many times people will just keep talking, giving you a great opportunity to really learn what is on their mind.
3. Language is a gift
Charades is a great game…Pictionary, too! However, when it comes down to communicating with friends, family and especially your spouse, being able to really talk is invaluable.
Traveling to foreign countries gives us a taste of this, but losing (for the short-term) your ability to communicate clearly with loved ones really helps you to appreciate the gift of language.
Because most of you will never need to learn this lesson by being silent for weeks, please be sure to be thankful for the gift of communication!
4. We take much for granted - including our vocal chords
The secondary function of the vocal chords is to talk (the first is to keep liquid from entering our lungs). We use our vocal chords all the time.
For as many other body parts that grow old and wear out - think knee replacements, reading glasses, etc. - our vocal chords just keep on trucking.
And boy am I thankful! There are things all around us like our vocal chords --we rely on them, yet we completely take them for granted.
For one hour today, pay attention to the number of people/skills/body parts that you count on but never really think about. As you notice your reliance on them, take a moment to be thankful and see how it your thankfulness changes your day and attitude.
You'll love it!