I just saw the movie The King’s Speech and was especially impressed by the approach used by the therapist (played by the magnificent Geoffrey Rush) to reduce the king’s stammering. The empathy and psychological insight he used to build an ultimately transformational relationship with the king was a joy to behold.
The most powerful scenes deal with the roots of the king’s stammering. I found myself working from my seat in the movie theater to “help” the speech therapist put the puzzle together. I won’t spoil the plot but will share this: the therapist helps the king speak with the voice of the courageous man he had become instead of the helpless boy he used to be.
My work often involves helping people find their true or authentic voice. In discovering what that is, we frequently confront their fears and self-limiting beliefs. At those points in the coaching relationship I draw on my experience as a psychotherapist to help clients overcome obstacles that reduce their vocal power and capacity to influence others. The film reminded me what an exciting and satisfying process that is.
As the new year beckons, I am grateful for the trust my clients placed in me over these past 12 months to help them become more confident, effective speakers. Happy New Year!