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The 4 Steps to Finding Your Voice


“One word expresses the pathway to greatness: voice. Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do.”
Stephen R. Covey
Key Message

The power to discover your voice lies in the potential that was bequeathed you at birth. Latent and undeveloped, the seeds of greatness were planted. You were given magnificent “birth-gifts”-talents, capacities, privileges, intelligences, opportunities-that would remain largely unopened except through your own decision and effort. Open these gifts. Learn what taps your talents and fuels your passion-that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet-therein lies your voice, your calling, your soul’s code.

Q: How do you define “voice”?

A: Voice is the overlapping of the four parts of our nature: our body, our mind, our heart, and our spirit. These also represent the four intelligences: our IQ for the mind, our EQ for the heart, our SQ for the spirit, and our PQ for the body.

To help you find this, answer these 4 question.

  1. What are you good at? That’s your mind.

  2. What do you love doing? That’s your heart.

  3. What need can you serve? That’s the body.

  4. And finally, what is life asking of you? What gives your life meaning and purpose? What do you feel like you should be doing? In short, what is your conscience directing you to do? That is your spirit.

People are internally motivated by their own four needs: to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy. When they overlap, you have voice-your calling, your soul’s code.

Q: Is finding your voice an evolving process, or can it happen all at once like a light bulb going on in your head?

A: I think that it can happen all at once, but more so, I think it is an evolving process. As people grow up, they are exposed to different fields of knowledge and different experiences. They don’t yet know what they’re good at or even what they will like doing. Once they have this exposure and education and they start getting involved, they start to find satisfaction, and that leads to success as it begins to give them a sense of their voice or what they really love doing that they do well. For some people, it does comes like a flash of light, but it is usually preceded by someone who really deeply believes in them-sees their strengths and affirms them when they don’t see their own potential themselves. This creates an opportunity for that voice to be developed and expressed. This happened with me.

Q: Is the process of finding your voice the same for an individual as it is for an organization that is trying to find its voice?

A: That’s a very interesting question and I think in a very real sense, it is the same. But because an organization is made up of many different individuals who have different voices and a different sense of what gives them meaning and their life purpose, it takes communication processes where people are genuine and authentic with each other in expressing what they really care about. However, people gradually get a sense of what the organization stands for, what it loves doing and does well, and what it feels like it should be doing. So, there is kind of a collective form of the four intelligences that overlaps and develops in an evolutionary way.

Q: How can we help someone find his or her voice?

A: I think if you care about people genuinely, you listen to them and observe them; because this is more than just hearing them speak, it is observing them-observing where their excitement is, where their enthusiasm is; observing where you sense they have potential. Sometimes it is very powerful just to say to them in sincerity, “I believe you have great potential in this area. I see real strengths in you that you may not see in yourself, and I would like to create an opportunity for you to use those strengths and to develop this potential. Would you be interested in that?” Most people are so flattered by someone who sincerely cares for them and affirms their work and potential that they are moved and inspired by that kind of input. It’s very powerful and it can make all of the difference, particularly with people who grow up with a confused lifestyle, bad modeling, and basic education. Often they have no clue as to what life is about or what they are about until someone becomes a teacher to them-a mentor, a confirmer, and a coach. This kind of mentoring is becoming increasingly important in education, in relationships, and in work environments. It can make all of the difference as to whether a person takes a higher road to his or her own voice or a lower road to where he or she is swallowed up by the priorities and voices of others.

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11 Responses to “The 4 Steps to Finding Your Voice”

  1. Victor Parrott Says:

    I don’t have this balance yet, but one day, I’ll get there…

  2. Sue Miller Says:

    When I read or listen to the national or international news, I feel “compelled” to speak. Most of the time, I want to help find a solution, heal the sick, or work sacrificially to solve the dilemma. As a corporate consultant, I realize my passion for making the world a better place comes through in my work. I think that is “finding my voice”. I love the feeling when I can make any contribution.

  3. tosin sonde Says:

    … it’s only better to find your voice (discovering your calling) earlier in life, but most importantly is acting it and carrying out at any stage of your life. It’s never too late.

    Also, i think as life is in phases, so some of our potentials are relevant to certain phases of our lives … I mean some have expiry period.

  4. Susanna Giesey Says:

    I grew up in a rural community in Northwestern Pennsylvania where many are considered to be ‘economically disadvantaged’. Two years ago at age 38, I returned to college to finish my undergraduate degree — This month I received my B.S. in Organizational Development. Now, I am working as an AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). I have found my voice encouraging children and youth in my community to find their voice.
    My passion is encouraging children and youth to have and follow their dreams in an environment where the overriding message is ‘find a good job and make money’. I believe that dreams can be lost between the innocence of childhood and the harsh realities of adulthood; it is my passion to encourage children to believe in their dreams and find their voice.

  5. Hellen Says:

    I think to find my voice, is means that i find my special calling in this life, something that uniquely me, and only me the one who have and could contributing to this “world”. Because I always sure that each of us live to contribute not only consume. And speaking about my voice, I just finishing my post graduate study in counselling, to make my voice heard in the community where I live, play and work and serve. My voice is to encouraging people who are weary, listening to their problem and always trying to be there when they need me around, serve them with a heart and smile, touching and hugging them with a heavenly touch.

  6. Azara Says:

    Peter Drucker’s article on ‘Managing Oneself’ is also very enlightening in this aspect. The mentoring aspect of helping people find their voice would be very fulfilling too!

    http://azaraferozsayed.blogspot.com/2008/05/finding-your-voice-azara-feroz-sayed.html

  7. Taiwo Opajobi Says:

    Finding your voice is an important point to start in our ladder of progress as leader. The article has been very inspiring and highly instructive.

  8. Adoga Agbo Says:

    Finding your voice is placed strategic in starting a purposful and a more focused life. It’s fundamental, it makes one recognise and stand up for his or her full potential.

  9. Festus Audu Says:

    Hi Steve, I clouldn’t agree with you less. Not finding one’s voice or mission on earth would invariably make one settle for mediocrity and live uninspiring and boring life. A common reason people spend loads and loads of years on jobs they do not ‘really’ like but just have to work at to just get by. I think your article is very inspiring and should spur people to break away from just going with the crowd but finding one’s unique passion and path in life which will undoubtedly deliver the goods we earnestly crave doing the wrong things, working the wrong job and pursuing the wrong pasions!

  10. CarolinaMama Says:

    Awesome! I think I’ll add you to my blog post on
    “Finding My Blogging Voice - Carolina Mama.” Thanks much. That sums it up.

  11. Voip - Telefonia Internetowa Says:

    Voip - Telefonia Internetowa…

    You are so fabulous! Thank you for everything you have done for Dane and I. We truly can’ t say it enough!…

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