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Finding Power in Your Own Voice

Posted July 1, 2024

Hana Jacover, Leadership, Executive, and Performance Coach, joins our host, Camela Thompson, Go-To-Market Thought Leader, and B2B Insights Expert, in this episode of the Revenue Marketing Report. Hana shares how to find your inner voice and the communication wheel that can help you discuss difficult topics more effectively.

Today, I’m joined by Hana Jacover. Hana you have made it to day three! I’m so excited! We are going to talk about finding power with your own or by using your own voice. Please get into it.

“Yes. Oh my gosh! I could say so many things about finding power and using your voice. I think the most important thing I love to say is, and I wish I remembered who said this, but it is essentially use yourself as an instrument for the progression towards things, for liberation, for success, or whatever it is, use yourself as an instrument for that. So you can see your voice as a tool for your success, for your growth and that of others, everyone around you for reaching your potential. All of those things, you can use your voice for that, but it does require doing some inner work to actually then express how you feel on the inside and feel confident to express that on the outside. I would say the prerequisite is obviously doing that hard work to where you understand how you feel on the inside.

“You understand who you are at your core because then you can start living that out loud. Then you can begin using your voice since you feel so connected and you feel super aligned with who you’re at your core. There is a lot of prerequisite work that is required to be able to stand up and use your voice. I think I see many people where they’re saying, I’m trying to use my voice or how do you use your voice? The part that’s skipped is, well, you’ve got to deal with your stuff first. And, you have to understand who you are first and what you stand for before you can use your voice.

“However, there are big and little ways that we can use our voices. And, there are little ways even just standing up for yourself, setting boundaries, and forcing a boundary. Even just having a conversation with somebody and being present and engaging in a conversation. It’s all rooted in co-creation vs. trying to get something out of someone or you’re distracted. That is a powerful way of using your voice since you are inspiring something within that relationship. I’ll pause there to get your reaction and see where you want to take this.”

It all resonates very deeply. I don’t think I always showed up in the way I would have wanted to. I mean it still happens from time to time. We all have days, but it’s much less frequent than before when I epically burned out and had to do a lot of work. And that involved understanding what my values were and how what I was doing wasn’t aligning with those values and what would align more and what I wanted out of life. But it is interesting because I’ve had conversations with folks who are very hungry to take over leadership positions and are chasing the next tier of payment. I always ask them to pause and think about what are you going to be remembered for after all this is said and done?

“Yes. That is huge! That’s where I start with a lot of my clients too. They, I want that promotion. I want to move. What is the why behind that? Three things you need to know before you begin utilizing your voice in effective ways is who you are, your purpose, and how you do that in a unique way. That is a good framework where it does involve having to understand your values, understanding who you believe you are and what the words are that you associate with yourself? How you show up in the world, what is your purpose? Those are the things that are important because, to me, they embody authenticity.

“Then to be able to articulate that and spread that to the world, that is where you begin to get the impact of when an authentic person is using their voice. They make an impact since they inspire other people because you’re seen as authentic, they’re seen as authentic, they’re seen as true to themselves. They are seen as, hey, I operate under this moral code. I’ve got these values that I stick to. I have this purpose that drives me. That is inspiring in big conversations and little conversations.”

I love it! It resonates on every note. Do you have resources you point folks to who are curious about how to get this journey started?

“Yes. Even just the process, the three things I mentioned are some things that I think are important is identifying who you are at your core, which in itself involves plenty of introspection and reflection. There are a couple of different books that are out there that will help with this journey. There’s one that I love, I think it is called “Let Forgiveness Set You Free.” That is a really good resource that honestly opens the door to reflection and awareness around how things and experiences have impacted you and what lives inside you. And pushing away the pieces, the trauma, the things that activate you so you can get to the good parts, so you can get to the parts that are remaining that make you you, that aren’t altered, that are not going to go away, that didn’t come from a traumatic experience. I think that’s very important.

“Then understand what is your purpose in life and go through that process. I think another thing is I have a few communication frameworks that when you get to the point of, I want to use my voice and I have done all the work and I know who I am and what my purpose is. I know different ways that I can accomplish that because of thousands and thousands of books and exercises that you could go through. Honestly, I’m obviously biased here, but I think the most impactful thing is working with somebody to do all those things. You don’t have to do it on your own. It’s difficult to do it on your own. I did it on my own. I had to go out and find all the tools, and figure it all out for myself. I think having someone who can guide you through that process is really important.”

And our realities are so subjective. In the piece Hana said about forgiveness, I think what many people don’t understand is that a lot of that is forgiving yourself and turning off this inner monologue that we’ve inherited from so many different directions. Because many times when I’m working with direct reports, they would assume that somebody implied something about them in a meeting I was in where I was also paying attention and I could tell it wasn’t what they said so much as what they were saying about themselves. It’s so important and you can’t always do it alone. I like Hana’s advice.

“Yes, I love it! That is exactly the book’s premise since you feel like you either need an apology from somebody or you need to forgive someone. However, in reality, if you can actually do the work to consult with your true inner self, there’s probably some forgiveness that you need to partake in there with yourself. That is going to build that strong voice, that person, that highest self you want sitting in the driver’s seat. Camela’s point about things being subjective and especially within conflict, one of the communication models that I would love to share here that can be extremely helpful is called the Communication Wheel. It is very similar to non-violent communication, but essentially, once we can show up and use our voice without projecting and without getting activated, you still have to have a model for that because you still  have to practice how you do that since you don’t want to come in and make judgments.

“You don’t want to come in and trauma dump. There are so many ways that you see people fall flat on the way they communicate. I think the first step to Camela’s point is to see things objectively. You can do this by yourself. You can do this with others. Yet, if there’s an issue, if there is something you want to dig into or want to release some sort of communication around, the first thing you need to do is zoom out and look at the data. Just look at things with extreme objectiveness, what happened without judgment, what happened to my knowledge? What are the facts about the situation? I think this is called the complete communication wheel. It begins with data and then moves to judgment. Judgment sounds bad like I’m judging, but it’s really about interpretation.

“Here’s what happened. Here’s how I interpreted that. You’re not saying, this is what they did or this is how they interpreted it. Here’s how I interpreted it. Here’s my experience of that and honoring your experience of that. Then bring in your emotions. Here’s how I’m feeling about that. And try to get as close to those core emotions as you possibly can. There’s another great resource; I think it’s called the Emotion Wheel. It helps identify our core emotions. So I’m feeling angrier, I was feeling angry during this experience or I’m feeling sad during this experience. Then move on to wants, which is really about what you want. What did you want to move forward? What did you want for yourself? What did you want for the other person? What do you want for the team? Whatever the context is, what is it that you want?

“This is another hard one and people say, how do I ask for what I want? If you go through this process, you will find it easier to just ask for what you want. Then the last part of that is ‘wills,’ which is really around taking action. This could be a request that you want to make. Here’s what I want. I want us to collaborate in a way that’s more effective in driving towards our goals or whatever it is. In order for us to do that, I would like to request that we spend more time together talking about things on a weekly basis. Or you can make a promise. In order for us to do that, I promise that before I show up to meetings, I’m going to take five minutes to do some breathing exercises so I can show up in an emotionally-regulated state. You can offer something, you can advocate. There are so many things that you can do, but as long as it is centered around taking action and moving forward. That’s the communication wheel and it can be very helpful even if you do it by yourself.

“And going back to our earlier point in moving through some of your own issues as well as those moving through issues with other people and conflict with other people. Misunderstandings, whatever it is, this wheel can be applied to many different scenarios, which is why I love it.”

Oh my gosh! I love it too. I’m not familiar with the complete communication wheel, but I’m familiar with non-violent communication. The ask is so important because you’re giving the person a way that works. You aren’t just coming to them with a problem. You’re coming to them with this, I think it would be a better situation. Here’s why and here’s what I’m bringing to the table to ensure it happens this way. If it doesn’t work, we can try something else, but at least you’ve some kind of, this is the next thing we can try to see if it goes better.

Yes. What I love about this model is that you’re sharing a perspective and your experience where sometimes, we get into these back and forth, where we don’t even know what the other person experienced. We don’t even know why they’re acting like that. Why are they being such an arsehole? Well, maybe if we knew how they perceived and how they interpreted that situation, whether we felt that way or interpreted that way or not. It’s not really up to us. It’s their experience. However, if we knew their experience, we might have more understanding of how to move forward, and how to have more grace. How to have more empathy towards that person or towards the situation.”

Yes. Fewer assumptions are always a better thing on all sides.

Hana, thank you so much. This has been so great. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation.

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