Learning My Voice

At work today, I attended a workshop that probably will change how I view the rest of my life. It focused on the way we perceive ourselves and what it means to have a strong voice.

The presenter described the term voice as the confidence we have in our decisions, competencies, and authority. Trusting our voice allows us to make decisions with confidence while owning the consequences because we are confident in our abilities and authority. 

The discussion of developing a strong voice helped me realize how I have been letting fear rule my personal and professional life. I have been doubting my competencies and authority.

In the workshop I learned that being confident in my voice is a choice. I can choose to recognize my competencies and authority given to me or not.

So I choose to be confident. I choose to recognize my competencies and authority. This is going to be a process a constant process of choosing over and over again to be confident in my voice, but if this workshop taught me anything, it taught me that it is possible.

We don't have to live in fear of making choices.

Interpreting Words

I currently work as an interpreter and one of the things that we often do is try to come up with large lists of words that can describe one concept. Doing this will give us more wiggle room when trying to come up with an equivalent interpretation. Interpreters need wiggle room because we don't interpret verbatim and languages don't have a one word for one word correlation.

Instead we interpret the concept and meaning of what someone says, not necessarily the words. If I were to say, "Don't make me ask you again." What does this mean?

Well, it can mean a lot of things depending on context and tone, but let's throw out a few options:

"Stop it."
"I will not repeat myself."
"Clean your room."
"I am getting upset."
"Please can we go to Hawaii."

These are just a few of the various meanings that could be conveyed by the phrase, "Don't make me ask you again." I am sure you can come up with a lot more.

Interpreting can be quite squishy because languages are squishy. The process of interpretation changes depending on the participants, environment, and noise and languages change depending on participants, region, and culture among other things. 

All of this to say, words are only a representation of an abstract thought in our heads. The more words and languages we know, the more clearly those thoughts can be communicated to another human being.