When our self-talk comes out of another’s mouth

Channel surfing on Sunday, I stumbled upon the show “Off Camera with Sam Jones”.  Off Camera is hosted by director/photographer Sam Jones who created the show out of his passion for the long form conversational interview, and as a way to share his conversations with a myriad of artists, actors, musicians, directors, skateboarders, photographers, and writers that pique his interest.

In the dark

I’d never heard of Sam Jones, his show or knew of the interviewee Mike White’s career (film writer, director, actor: School of Rock, The Good Girl, Orange County, Nacho Libre, Enlightened).

Mike White’s communication style drove me batty.  Within 1 minute, I desperately wanted to keep surfing. Mike didn’t complete sentences and trampolined from thought to thought.  I was batty for the entire hour of the show.  The vulnerability and unpretentiousness with which he revealed his concerns, uncertainty, and dreams grabbed me and was worth fighting to listen.

In the light

While I didn’t know him, and had to fight off my communication preferences to listen to him, what he was talking about was something I not only knew about but make it my business to understand. He shared the conversations that come from the universal human being paradigm — the conversations that lurk inside each of us and shout fears, dilemmas, doubts, and desires 24/7.

In his stories, I heard my self-talk. His insights about “comparison anxiety” rang especially true for me.  When you watch or listen, and I really hope you do, I think you’ll hear yourself, too, and reaffirm that you’re not “the only one” with this nagging conversation. (BTW, Sam Jones, the interviewer is so skillful.)

When we hear our internal conversation — the ones we think are ours alone — come from the mouths of others, the opportunity is to use what we hear to connect deeply, person-to-person. That connection can help us  generate compassion for ourselves and others. That connection builds trust and relationships, the fundamental elements that we  need to resolve dilemmas and put doubts on the shelf.

Thanks for listening.

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Camille Smith

Fueled by her unwavering commitment to unleash people’s potential, Camille helps leaders and teams work together in an environment of respect and accountability to solve tough issues and produce business-critical results. Combining her business experience in high-tech start-ups and Fortune 1000 organizations with her experience as an educator and international management consultant, Camille provides knowledge and support that enables people to create the Foundation for Results – authentic relationships defined by shared commitments.