Here’s a unique phenomenon: you talk to yourself…incessantly.
So does everyone else.
It is always unique because you are the only one who knows what you’re talking to yourself about. It is always private because no one else can tune in. Others have to guess. Keep them guessing.
It is the place where you have to strategize moment by moment – in private. Others may guess rightly or wrongly. Do not reveal yourself either way. Keep them guessing.
So in every passive communication encounter, there are at least two people involved – you and the person you talk to when you’re talking to yourself. In every conversation between two persons, there are actually four people involved – you and your inner voice, and the person and his or her inner voice.
And so on. If you are addressing fifty people, there are one hundred and two minds processing what you are saying, in real time.
You never “get” directly the message that others try to send you. You filter it. You may even be discussing it with yourself while it is transpiring. The message you “get” is your interpretation, not theirs.
The imperative here is this: You must equip your inner voice to be wiser than you are. You must enable it to coolly take everything into account and come up with the interpretation that is most strategic for you at the moment as well as for the long term.
In the heat of what is going on, you might lose sight of that. So you need someone to provide immediate and ongoing counsel. That would be your inner voice.
You have to train and develop that inner voice. It is the ultimate secret of great leadership.
– Lee Thayer