Did you leave your communication baggage at the door?

What is the first thing you think of when you think of communication? Is it the words? Is it the tone? Is it the body language? Is it silent communication?

There is a saying in the theatre ‘leave your baggage at the door’. It means that you are present in the moment and not thinking about the argument you had with your brother/mother/child this morning. It means that you present yourself as a professional and allow yourself to focus on the character’s reality and leave your own problems out of the equation.

Thoughts have an impact, not only on yourself, but also on those around you, your colleagues and your clients. Actors explore the thought process of the character they are playing and they think the thoughts of the character as they say the lines written for them. The thought underneath the lines is unconsciously reflected in vocal tone and body language. This is true of everyday communication in the workplace.

Think about someone in your gathering who is in a mood. Someone who is angry and frustrated, who brings that mood into the meeting and who allows that mood free rein. What impact does it have on the group? Alternatively think of someone who is really excited and happy and how it is almost impossible to keep a smile from your lips when someone is joyous. When a character giggles with delight on stage an audience often giggles too. Mood is infectious.

People naturally have an energy level they bring with them. Think about the person who is always rushing and, perhaps, anxious, the person who is calm and simply gets on with it and the person who really has to be wound up and the impact of these different energies on those around them. An actor considers what energy a character brings into a scene and responds to the energy level of other actor/characters.

Consider the sum of these silent signals – thought, energy and mood – and reflect that the choice for yourself is yours. Place the focus on others in a gathering rather than focussing on self. Leave your baggage at the door. This can result in you being present, neutral and open and inspires confidence in others.

All views expressed are authors own.

Lyn Lee
About this author:
 Lyn Lee, Course Manager & Training Consultant, NIDA Corporate
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Want to know more? Give her a call today on 1300 650 357