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Sound boards rock

November 30th, 2009 Kevin No comments

I am sure there are not enough sound boards in the world. Sound boards are people who listen carefully when others speak. They do that to learn and react to what they hear. It is their attention that both honors and challenges what we say.

They take our words and expressions at face value. A common sentiment for them: “If you said it, it must be true for you, let’s see how and why.” Sound boards make sure they understand what is said first, exploring and discovering how we got there, knowing our way of thinking and feeling. Only after they get us on our terms do they begin to appreciate what we said in their way of thinking. That approach makes all the difference in the world between a good sound board and a not-so-good sound board.

Sound boards are real handy when we need to understand stuff for ourselves before sharing what we know with others. With a sound board handy, answering and stating things lets us do something very important, it lets us tell ourselves what we think.

Out loud. A sound board let’s us tell ourselves things out loud. We can hear ourselves talk it out, what it means, how it works. It is in that telling, in that stating, that comes our knowing.

Now, place a smart sound board in the middle of all those answers and statements we make. Tell him or her something, anything, and see what happens. What is the reaction we get? Do we get away with what we just said? Or, is there a search for proof? Are there follow up questions that show gaps of logic, missing facts, or opinions not yet expressed? Do we make sense? Can we even understand what we are saying?

Sound boards are the real deal. They are an invaluable step in figuring things out. They help us get things done because they cement our knowing.

Humans are lucky; we have a cerebral cortex, its really big and they are still figuring out all its bells and whistles. Who misplaced the user’s manual, anyway? That’s another post… The thing is, we do know that the funny looking jiggly thing called our brain is like a muscle. Oh yeah. That means we need to flex it. Daily. To ensure its in proper working order.

Sound boards help us do that in spades, they are like “fitness trainers for the brain.” They train us, make the things we say out loud come to life. When they are real good, they challenge us to speak clearly and purposefully about what is on our mind. They make us tie up loose ends, track down reasons for why we say what we say, and hold us to an organized progression of thought. Go figure.

We are surrounded by them and covet them. They come in many forms: moms (the best cross examiners); pops; great bosses; close friends; kind strangers and good clients and customers. These sound boards stick to what we say like bloodhounds on a trail. They genuinely want to know how we know what we know. More than that, they want to connect it to what matters.

They help line up our thoughts so we can do something with them. Thinking, and speaking (and rearranging our thinking), and finally, doing… its a good trio to have around. It avoids the reckless, hapless reactive world of low to little thought and high to furious action.

Their ought to be more sound boards. With them present we would have more checks and balances on what we say. We would end up hearing the reasons we say what we say (not always the prettiest, we come to find out). They help us explore what we hope the outcome will be of saying what we say.

We need more sound boards. Because in the end, we ought to mean what we say… and understand it too, as it gets reflected back at us with the help of a great sound board.