“I preach my philosophy constantly and, where necessary, I use words.” St Francis of Assisi.
An expression comes to mind, specifically the cliché “Tell it like it is.” If you are visibly living in accordance with your beliefs and impressing upon others through your behaviours that you are congruent, you can support your efforts to impress the efficacy of living that way by talking about what you are doing. To again use the example of St Francis, to ‘use words’ where necessary. Living congruently shows others how you have integrity, but what else can you do? You can teach using words, in a way that people listen.
In order to teach using the Auditory Learning Mode it is necessary to have two abilities. First of all, and this is the result of dutiful study when what you are to teach, you have to understand your values deeply enough to be able to explain the logic and philosophy behind them, particularly if questioned.
Next, you have to be able to talk about them confidently, passionately, imaginatively and with authority.
Confidently – speaking about your values confidently exemplifies your own confidence in them. You believe in them, and the way you talk about them is proof of that.
I have a friend whose knowledge and belief in Stephen Covey’s leadership principles is shown in the impassioned and expert way he talks about them not only in seminars but in the one to one conversations we’ve had. There is no pretence, no lack of understanding, no hesitation in being able to talk about them, nor in being willing to talk about them. My friend has absolute belief and conviction in the principles, and it shows when he talks.
The skill of speaking is also a prerequisite. So few people seem to have the skill to elucidate fluently. My own recommendation would be to practice through attendance and observation at speaker clubs such as those provided by The Association of Speakers Clubs (UK) and Toastmasters (international). Doing this raises your confidence and skill levels in speaking, thus supporting any efforts you wish to make in explaining your values and beliefs through the Auditory Mode.
Passionately – speaking with passion underlines and emphasises the confidence you have, but adds emotional intensity to the message. You can teach others your values in a monotone, emotionally passive and logical way, but clear emotional involvement provides an emphasis that is invaluable when it comes to showing how much it means to have integrity.
Imaginatively – if you can speak not only from experience but through the use of metaphor, your message will have more impact. If your metaphors are directly relevant to the people to whom you are sending the message they will be more prone to firstly understanding the message, and then to accepting it.
Authority – some people lack the ability to believe in or even merely accept something unless there is some objective authority standing behind it. Some listeners want to hear the science or legal basis for a statement before they would accept it is true, so being prepared through your studies to answer those questions is prudent. But where no such scientific or legal foundation is easily found then it is just as acceptable to use experience. For example, if challenged about the basis for an argument, refer to metaphor. Ask someone if they drive – they usually do –and then ask them for the scientific basis for the internal combustion engine, transmission and gears, and the physics of mechanical and aerodynamic grip. Assuming you haven’t just challenged an engineer (pick your battles carefully), and they reply that they don’t need to know that in order to drive (or you tell them they don’t need to know it) ask them why it’s okay for them to drive without that engineering knowledge but your belief in your values and in what you are speaking about isn’t allowed that benefit.
Being able to explain your values audibly is empowering not only because of the background knowledge obtained when learning about them but because (like my friend) the more you speak of it then the better you know it – and the easier, and more consistently, you are able to congruently – especially when challenges arise that mean living them is harder.