EMPOWERMENT ALPHABET

INCISIVITY

The act of representing or expressing an object, an idea, or a concept with energy and effectiveness or the ability to leave a deep mark on whoever is listening.

The self-empowerment approach values strength, action, provocation when it is intended as the attempt of getting the individual to explore new possibilities. It is not a matter of deciding which possibilities are the best or the most effective but rather of working to broaden such possibilities: in this perspective, a more direct, and therefore more incisive, approach is made possible (otherwise it would be unethical to affect one’s choices by choosing what’s best according to someone else).

Incisivity is necessary because often times exploration is not initiated due to a sort of passivity that we often manage to cast aside only thanks to an effective and challenging communication: within the self-empowerment approach, effective communication and provocation are the key components of developmental feedback and enable people to step up in class.

Specifically, effective and incisive communication is capable of breaking the vicious cycle of confirmation (i.e., sticking to the well-known, repeating the same things, going over the same discussions again and again) and to give way to the uneven, and yet more, stimulating and fascinating, ground of the not-known.

Therefore, working on communication means introducing new hypotheses and unexpected or bewildering elements, capable of provoking our interlocutor and pushing him/her “further”. As in any exchange, one has to accept to play by the same rules and remain open and curious even when provocation calls to provocation. Too often we want to communicate just because we want to convey our point, without actually challenging our opinions.

In this respect, incisivity is not simply challenging or provoking others, but rather provoking ourselves in the first place.

We would like to suggest you a little exercise: try recalling the most important feedback you received in the past: which ones have been useful and led you to act differently or to truly challenge yourself? How were those feedback? Try making a list of the elements those feedback had in common: perhaps they were upfront, supportive, emphatic, energetic, delicate … . Now, based on your list, try asking yourself which of these characteristics do you convey in your communication and which, on the contrary, are under-represented: now, it’s up to you to work on them!

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