Enterprise Talk: a handrail to authenticity and integrity
- If you undertake the challenge of Enterprise Talk, test if these guides work for you, and sustain a year of practice, you will make a lasting change in your life.
- If you are willing to count your habits of talk, you can decide upon the three that could use more practice and enjoy catching them before they occur.
- If you choose to build new habits of authentically speaking to others, you may find yourself being a more effective teacher and parent, with the added benefit that your children will naturally talk more authentically, too.
You have probably heard it: “Do as I say, not as I do.” Often in times of stress, we can hear ourselves talking in the voices of our parents, using the same tone and words they said when they were under stress, too. Those knee-jerk responses are hard to change. You have in your hand the guides of Enterprise Talk, a path toward a more truthful and thoughtful way to talk to children, and adults. Enterprise Talk stops you from blurting the first habitual thought—to pause—to open a moment for you to communicate more honestly and respectfully. I think of it as a handy grab bar to rely upon when out of balance—a way to create a match between how you want to be and what you do.
We have integrity when we act as we say we believe.
We are authentic when we are being in each moment true to the depth of our spirit.
Teaching and parenting operate inside a human relationship. The quality of that relationship depends upon one’s integrity and authenticity. Achieving those virtues challenges teachers and parents to act in the best interest of others as well as be present to themselves, too, right now, in this moment, in good times and bad. Taking steps toward personal growth is always hard, and sometimes it can be frightening. Yet we know that new ways of being are possible if we can accept working through our mistakes and trusting our natural wisdom and kindness can guide the way. As we are more able to walk our talk, be true to ourselves, and laugh at our mistakes, we build integrity and authenticity in our own ways.
To teach well or parent well requires self-awareness, like having a security camera watching at every moment. This self-awareness enables us to anticipate what we are about to do just before we do it, allowing us to pause in that very moment to preview our reflexive reaction, and, if necessary, invent something better to try this time. Our anticipation and brief pause allow us to lay aside ingrained habits and try a more authentic way of being. These little moments of correction enable us to act less out of habit and more spontaneously fresh.
I liken the feeling to setting down a heavy suitcase. Relieved of the weight of habit, we gradually become more relaxed in the ambiguity and complexity of life with children. We become comfortable, flowing spontaneously and fearlessly, giving children the gift of being present for them with unconditional, positive regard.