Silence Is Power

Silence is the preparation to understand the world around us. Of course, it all depends on how we use it.

  • An earnest silence nourishes the soul and enables awareness. It allows new thoughts to emerge as it stimulates a receptive mind.
  • An enthusiastic silence creates alertness and interest to hear and encourage clarification.
  • Silence brings calm and serenity with others and nature.
  • Silence is a way to doze, to resent, to rage, to be indifferent or detached.

Although there are many intents and purposes for silence, one cannot deny that it plays a vital role in creating something better, meaningful, and peaceful. In the creative world, from composers to writers and artists, silence is used to create a space to communicate ideas without agitation to enhance the experience and encourage comprehension.

Artwork by Michael Whelan

Maybe we should all contemplate the power of silence and how effectively we can communicate without rattling on.

Truly, we should all learn to dwell in silence to express our thoughts and engagement. Knowing that silence is one of the conditions within our power to control, this dynamic state must be part of our daily lives. Certainly, immersing in silence is not an easy task. There are many scenarios that we lose the capacity to be silent, in highly stressful situations, in serious discussions or even self-talk. However, the core understanding of the following statements can help us navigate our emotions and use silence to connect with our creative and strong self.

Silence to calm a situation

You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.52

Engage in meaningful talk

“Be silent for the most part, or, if you speak, say only what is necessary and in a few words. Talk, but rarely, if the occasion calls you, but do not talk of ordinary things—of gladiators or horses races or athletes or of meats or drinks—these are topics that arise everywhere.”

Epictetus

As a stoic visualize the worst thing that can happen and champion you fears

“Silence is a lesson learned through life’s many sufferings.”

Seneca

You are in control 

“Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.”

Marcus Aurelius

The best answer to anger is silence

“Better to trip with the feet than the tongue.”

—Zeno

Stay humble

“Work hard in silence; let your success make the noise.”

– Frank Ocean

On a final note, be present, be conscious as Rumi said: “Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”

 

Artwork from Chris Levine 

4 Elements To Define your Brand Voice

Everyone has a brand! The impressions, we leave behind, are combinations of how we have reflected our traits and presented ourselves. Done correctly, it serves as a compass for personal development, establishes credibility and is instrumental to our success. Personal branding starts with the ability to outline your skills, intellect, strengths and style. It gives you a clear focus using your best elements and what sets you apart. Once defined, you will be able to shape your brand voice.

The very first step is to pen down:

  • Who you are! You can use simple terms to define your attributes, such as:

    cheerful, confident, culturally curious, witty,….  

  • What is your mission another word your brand promise? An example would be:

    “I have a positive outlook, I bring passion and creativity to my work and I am in my element when I help others,…

  • Define guidelines by thinking of what is your brand and what is not:

    Bohemian not conventional; lighthearted not poker-faced; compassionate not indifferent,..

  • Write 5 words that best describe your core values & guiding principles. The essential qualities that you live by and they create value and connection. Such as:

    Aspirational, spirited, caring, loyal, honest,…

The exercise gives you a solid foundation to create a coherent brand voice that holds together all your efforts and communication through any medium, to establish your brand.

Now, bringing the brand voice to life has a clear path. Your social media engagements, your style, your interactions are all guided by a set of references that articulates your personality.

 

 

Featured image: artwork by Metis Atash – Crystal Buddas Sculptures

How to foster advocates and loyalists?

Generally, people are more inclined to engage with brands that are truly invested in improving social issues. They establish a meaningful connection when the brand’s voice provokes a conversation, signals ethical standards or involves their audience into cause activism. According to 2017 Edelman Earned Brand Study: ” Fifty-seven percent of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue”. This means that a brand can prompt haters or possibly harness advocates by manifesting a point of view, taking a political stand or starting a dialogue.

For that reason, tapping into the subconscious of the belief-driven audience fosters loyalists.  On that account, how to connect in a meaningful way?  By creating:

  • Personal and relatable contents
  • Provoking a conversation
  • Activating sustainable solutions
  • Engaging your audience in shaping the social movement

Remarkably, each and every referenced approach that offers “empathy”, will be rewarded by consumers.

“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Be mindful and remember that Homo Sapiens appreciate being understood. For that matter, recognize the hurt, the desire, the need or the joy. Get to know your audience, send the message that “you get them” and initiate a memorable bonding. Your platform as an individual, profit or non-profit entity is not solely about growing your brand but how to make a difference.

Consider the shaping elements of good storytelling as a starting point:

  • What: is the topic, what has happened or will happen: be clear, focused and unveiled the matter. Be attentive, the spotlight should be on the issue not on your brand but your shared values.
  • Who: has been affected
  • Why: are you taking a stand: acknowledge the importance of the topic and the impact. Avoid mixed messages. Ask open-ended questions.
  • How: can you as a brand and belief-driven audience feed the beast, get involved and have an impact. How to convey your message: contextually or visually based?
  • When: the development speed of news, an issue or a talking point is critical in your communication
  • Where: does your audience absorb information?

The underlying emotion of empathy rooted in your brand’s voice and taking a position in life, strengthen your authority.  Individuals with great personal branding such as Tony Robbins interact with their audience with stirring personal stories and the ability to understand their feelings. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, UNICEF tackling social issues or J. Crew blog post “How to get (and dress for) the job you want” are all about making life better for others.

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Procter & Gamble’s thought-provoking ad called “The Talk” acknowledges biases and the challenges that black community experience as parents.

Or “thank you Mom, Winter Olympics 2018” video:

Unicef’s campaign, “It’s on all of us to stand up and speak out to #ENDviolence against children. Recognize it. Report it”, deeply disturbs and propels you to act upon.