Senator Jack Reed Speaks on Fox New Sunday


I enjoy watching Chris Wallace’s show Sunday mornings. He usually stirs up debate on political issues by asking leading questions to guests and panelists from both political major parties.

 I usually watch with partial attention while getting dressed for my Sunday meditation group. Once in a while someone on his show speaks with unusual clarity and comes through so clearly that I stop my activities and watch and listen.  What captures my attention are the qualities of presence, calm simple language and clear-headed messages that don’t seem to push an agenda, but rather are focused on what is true and what is best for the whole.

 Today January 10th, I was captured by Senator Jack Reed who spoke with true authority about issues relating to Al-Qaida and protection from terrorism.  I don’t wish to get into political debate myself because I feel so ill-equipped to know what to do.  Rather I want to talk about Sen. Reed’s speaking style and demeanor, not what he said, but how he said it.

 What impressed me was that Sen. Reed was centered, grounded, present and pleasant as he spoke, taking time to share his awareness, understanding and points.  He was very relaxed in his body, in possession of his whole self.  He was not emotionally intense, not pushing emotional energy at Chris Wallace.  He was not agenda-pushing.

 Everyone else on the show, except some of the regular panelists, was speaking with an energetic pressure, coming from an emotional intensity that created a noise that distracted me from hearing their message.  I did not want to listen to them.  I could not hear the other speakers because I had to deal with the overly pushy energy coming from them as they spoke. It was too much work to sort through the emotional energy they were pushing out, so I just did not listen.

 Agenda-pushing is speaking with an emotional intensity to sell one’s point of view.  It has a make-wrong intention to it.  There is always a “my side” and “their side” of the issue. This is not persuasive.  When people agenda-push, their emotional energy creates a distraction from what they are saying.  Listeners will feel some kind of pressure behind their words that seeks to force people to agree.

 With Sen. Jack Reed, I could hear everything he said because he wasn’t trying to convince me or pressure me to think in a certain way.  He was simply sharing his understanding and his points as he thought and felt them. He was speaking the truth as he understood it. I was mesmerized by his comments.  I stopped what I was doing and paid attention, because I could hear him so clearly.

 What can we learn from this to help people hear what we have to say?

  1. Stay centered and grounded when sharing important ideas. Stay in your own skin.
  2. Take time to speak calmly, clearly and pleasantly.
  3. Don’t use a pushing energy when speaking.
  4. Speak from connection to your thoughts and genuine emotions.
  5. Speak from neutral emotional intensity.
  6. Speak by sharing your ideas rather than making others ideas wrong.

 What occurs to me about all this is that speaking with inner authority is compelling. Authority is what causes others to listen.  But it is not easy to express.  Not so many people even at high levels of position and visibility are able to speak with true authority.


I am Sandra Zimmer, author of It’s Your Time to Shine and founder of Self-Expression Center.  I offer group training and individual coaching that can help you transform fear of speaking and become a compelling, persuasive speaker so that you can shine when you share your ideas, insights and expertise. Follw me on Twitter @sandrazimmer.

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