Listening to the radio yesterday and hearing some 'phone in requests I realised how naturally humble people tend to be!
"I'd just like to say…." "I'd just like to ask…"
And it's the same when people receive awards or are invited to make impromtu speeches at leaving dos or something like that.
"I'd just like to thank…" "I'd just like to mention…"
Listen to us! What is it that we're really saying?
"Forgive the intrusion …this won't take long I'll just be a few minutes?
"I'm not worthy of this attention that I'm attracting to myself?
"Whatever I say I know it'll be rubbish so I'll lower your expectations now!"
I reckon it's one of those cultural things that history has blessed or cursed people with. Whether we're a product of the forelock touching toiling class or the stiff upper-lipped landed gentry. Who can say?
Certainly not me I dropped history in the 2nd year at school.
But what I will say is that such a simple phrase as "just like to" – together with the inevitable excusatory voice tone and body language has a powerfully negative effect on the message that people communicate.
And it's this devlish thing called sub-conscious communication at work again. That cunning second channel into the other parties mind, that is so sensitive to auditory and visual signals. To the extent that it can undermine and over-ride the words travelling in via the conscious channel.
My colleague Julie, at career specialists Churchill Brook talked recently about people's performance at interview.
How we outwardly express ourselves, through our non-verbal language is of course an outcome of the way we inwardly feel. But it seems that few of us recognise this and take steps before an important presentation or interview to prime our inner self.
There are several simple and highly effective "inner-self workouts" you can try such as affirmations, visualisation and reframing.
Also, ask yourself how thoroughly you plan and prepare for that interview or presentation. Go on be honest – do you tell people that you're good on your feet or better when spontaneous? Yeah right!!
When you are clear about the specific outcomes you want to achieve – and equally clear about the steps you will take to achieve those outcomes – then you effectively create yourself a flight plan.