We’re familiar with the phrase “walking the talk”—acting in accordance with what we say, being genuine and congruent—which is a vital part of relating effectively to other people.
Sometimes we might be accused of not walking the talk. I certainly have been. Our first reaction might well be some self-examination looking for where our integrity has been out. And often, we’ll come up with something where, yes, we let ourselves down.
We never said the thing we’re accused of not being. We didn’t paint that picture. Maybe we’ve fallen down against the other person’s views, not our own. Now that’s something to take seriously and the feedback may be crucial.
The thing is though…
Personal authority and connection with other people comes from walking our own talk, not someone else’s.
Where might you benefit from making sure you’re consistent with yourself rather than someone else’s ideas?
Colin Campbell says
Hi David thanks for this post. I agree with what you say about walking the talk, so felt the urge to try and respond to your question.
Having had to remain consistent for many years working with the terms social enterprise and social capital, terms often not liked in Scotland, I wondered to myself if there are ANY benefits to myself. Wouldn’t it have been easier for me to capitulate and use whatever term others wanted me to use? “Give me any other term to hang my hat on Colin and we can work with you”.
Being on the edge is hard work. but for me walking the talk helps clarify the fact that one of the main reasons thing DO change and improve is specifically because some people don’t just give up. This is true in science, business and social innovation. But that is how others benefit, how do I benefit is a more difficult question to answer, but I at the very least I believe I sleep better at nights for it and that I won’t regret the choices I made at some future point.
I look forward to hearing the thoughts of others on this intriguing question.