How You Give Is As Important As What You Give

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

— Maya Angelou

If people don’t seem to understand what you’re saying, consider how you’re saying it.

There are old adages that the body communicates 50%  of our message. Our facial expressions, the tilt of our head, our eye contact (or not) all speak as much if not more than our words.

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At two Toastmasters club meetings tonight, I was able to see clearly where the speaker said one thing, but gave the impression of another. A frown during a joke kept the audience from laughing. A lack of facial expression conveyed no emotion during an otherwise touching story.

Similarly, how a gift is given matters as much as what is given. If someone doesn’t seem to appreciate our gift, maybe we’re not delivering it with body language that is sincere, even if we are.

How we volunteer also matters. If we volunteer with little effort, thought or conviction, we may not be appreciated. Worse, we may not help very much or come away with a sense that we wasted our time.

“How” we say it matters as much as “what” we say.

“How” we give matters as much as “what” we give.

Worked very hard today to help several Toastmasters speakers understand “how” they were saying something and whether it matched with their intention. Also changed the reader board at my daughter’s school.

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About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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2 Responses to How You Give Is As Important As What You Give

  1. Natalie says:

    Interesting…. we had a severe “issue” at our house last night because I had a “look” on my face that didn’t match my intent. I was told my face was saying “what the _____” when in fact I was only curious and trying to evaluate a situation happening around me. Maybe I need to carry a mirror around with me so that I can be sure I’m wearing the right face…

    • Eric Winger says:

      Yes, I understand all too well. For a long time, I would be intently interested in something but my body language and expression would say “I’m angry.” … Slowly, I’m changing that.

      Thanks for sharing the story.

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