Self-expression is a powerful part of being believable and connecting with other people at work and in life.
It’s most powerful when your words match your facial expression and body language.
As an example, do you trust someone else when they say “It’s fine”? It’s a phrase that has become the opposite of its dictionary meaning; “It’s fine” usually means it’s really not “fine”.
When someone says “It’s fine”, the unwritten social rule means stop talking about the topic, let the issue go. People who say “It’s fine” are often not believable as they have partially expressed an emotion, yet you can’t tell which one.
Do you see how saying something, while signalling it’s opposite, can keep you from being believable or safe to talk to?
Self-expression uses three areas of emotional intelligence. 1. Emotional expression is helping others know your feelings using words, facial expression and body language that all match. 2. Assertiveness is saying what you feel in a way that protects your rights without offending others. 3. Independence is to speak and act free from others' feelings, being able to plan and make decisions by yourself.
When used together, they make what you say more powerful, without upsetting anyone.
Here are three times when being clear about how you feel will make you more credible at work.
While self-expression is all about saying what you feel in a believable way (your words match your facial expression and body language), notice none of the statements use the word “feel” or “feelings”. Being clear doesn’t mean saying what you feel, it means connecting to what you feel and then communicating what you know to be true.
This is essential because your emotions help to highlight what is important to you and this other person, without getting personal or emotional.
That is the power of credibility.