Why – “If ONLY I had SAID this” – is the WRONG strategy

 In Delivery, Media, News, Politicians, The Winning Voice, Voice

“Understand the greatest generals, the most creative strategists, stand out not because they have more knowledge but because they are able, when necessary, to drop their preconceived notions and

focus intensely on the present moment.

That is how creativity is sparked and opportunities are seized”.

This is a quote form p.21 of Robert Greene’s great book, The 33 Strategies of War. The point of sharing the quote is this.

In under-pressure situations, the person who has the most options, readily available to deploy, wields the most power.

For example, in my Listen and speak under pressure programmes I provide participants with numerous options to respond to any type of pressured interaction.

However, at certain times, as Greene describes above,

it’s wise to ignore those options.

Greene further elaborates on this topic below:

“In looking back on an unpleasant disagreeable experience, the thought inevitably occurs to us: if only we had said or done x instead of y, if only we could do it over . . . The problem, though, is not that we think of the solution only when it is too late. The problem is that we imagine more knowledge is what was lacking . . .

What makes us go astray in the first place is that we are un-attuned to the present moment . . . applying ideas that we digested long ago but that have nothing to do with our predicament in the present. More books, theories and thinking only make the problem worse.


Own the Conversation

This may be tough to do.

In one of your next under-pressure situations – that might prompt panic – focus intensely on the present moment, and trust that an idea or solution will emerge.

It could be a simple as allowing a one or two second pause that settles you – that gives you time for a fresh in-the-moment response.


p.s. Consider this statement. People size you up quickly, and change their mind . . . slowly. How are people sizing you up?

p.p.s. A reader recently asked for my analysis of Greta Thunberg’s (GT) United Nation’s presentation.

Here is the LINK to the 3:30 minute clip.

Here was my first run-through analysis:
– the delivery was monotonous and somewhat robotic, partly due to GT reading the presentation. GT spoke sentences/phrases of the equal length with a predictable intonation pattern. This delivery loses audience attention.
– there was no emphasis on important points which lessens their impact.
– the speech needed better structuring. There was no spotlighted key messages to retain and/or act upon. On reflection, to me the key message which GT wanted to convey is something to the effect of, ‘We will be coming to change the world with or without you.’
– the rushed closing also lessened the impact.
– due to the above factors some may find it difficult to take GT and her message seriously.
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