Blog Details


Why Talk In Before You Talk Out?

‘Why Talk In Before You Talk Out?’​ asks Susan Furness

It’s time to find your voice in a world desperately wanting to hear you.

You likely know this. You likely feel this deep inside. And it’s also likely that (like me) procrastination pops in, along with a sprinkle of perfectionism just at the moment that paralysis rings your bell, instead of action.

As we designed Strategic Heartistry in 2020, Ian Berry and I opened our collective courage by listening to our hearts first, before asking our head. As we practiced, we realized that the heart really does know.

We realized that by talking in before you talk out something awesome happens – the heart connects to the head which connects your hands to plans. As the author Mark Nepo says in The Book of Awakening, ‘you can then turn dreams into dreaming, love into loving and plans into planning’. You give life to your life.

Ian gathered heart and went that step further; by November of the curious corona year, he had published the book Heart-Leadership – become the wise leader you want to be.

Indeed, some of you know that in my vision for Alternative Strategy comes with a commitment to alternative education. My work is guided by many great teachers, among them is Dr. Judi Neal’s work captured in the book, Edgewalkers, and the 21 Skills of Spiritual Intelligence by Cindy Wigglesworth, as well as Everything Is Workable by Diane Musho Hamilton. It is also nourished by the research of the early learning years by Dr. Maria Montessori.

Dr Maria’s work observing how children learn took place 150-plus years ago when she was one of the first female medical doctors to graduate in Italy. She named what all you parents, aunties and uncles reading this will also know – that children learn first with their heart, then engage their hands, with the head coming into play last.

This is a tall order for us adult learners – to leave the head until the very last, but I can share that by engaging the sound of silence in meditation, prayer and journaling, the voice of your heart is loud and precious. I observe that such conscious practices bring a whole new invitation to allowing time to ‘talk to yourself’.

Here’s Three Strategic Nuances to opening your voice by talking in before you talk out:

  1. DISCOVER THE NUGGETS IN DREAMS You talk to yourself all the time, but are you listening? Stop now. Take a deep, deep breath. If you can hear yourself think then you are also listening to yourself talk, right? But are you truly listening and are you allowing yourself to talk? And guess what, we all dream but do you capture the essence of the actual dream, as well as the metaphorical dream (your vision), and your daydreams too? It’s likely you do not, so here you are with an immediate opportunity to tap into your very own ‘connection to knowing’. Try this: as you awake from a vibrant dream or when you catch yourself in deep though throughout the day, stop and listen to You. Grab a pen and paper and write to yourself from Yourself. This speaks to Mark Nepo’s turning Dreams into Dreaming.
  2. DISCOVER THE LANGUAGE OF KINDNESS In Heartistry we discovered that the Fearless Leader knows that acts of love & kindness evoke acts of love & kindness in others. Indeed, the simple act of offering Gratitude – a genuine thank you, ignites special connection inside and out of both the giver and the receiver. Love, kindness, and appreciation all speak to Mark Nepo’s turning Love into Loving. Of course, if we are feeling fearful in life, in parenting, in friendship, and in leadership the opposite happens as love & kindness are booted away. Whereas from a place of fearlessness, we all have the ability to positively repurpose in decisively human ways.
  3. DISCOVER NEW CHANNELS OF INFORMATION FOR TRANSFORMATION Staying with Mark Nepo, if we are truly going to turn stationary plans into active planning then we might as well activate planning that make a difference, right? I mooted in the first Newsletter, look in different places for new answers, or even in new places for different answers. There seems little point in deploying the same strategy and tactics as everyone else, unless of course you are really committed to co-op-ertition instead of competition. And if you are, this is awesome. In Heartistry, we encourage role modelling collaboration in a world that is fed up with competition.


The new places I am referencing include Nature. Mother Nature has all the answers as she creates our Infinite World. As you talk into yourself, also take time out to talk to Mother Nature. Go for a walk, but before you start, stand still for a moment or two and ask your question – whatever it is that needs an alternative strategy to really make an extra-ordinary impact. Then set off, in silence and observe. Keep going, in witness to Nature around you doing her work – the flowers, the fauna, the birds and how they integrate with the human-ness we have man made. Breath it in. Deep. And when you get back ‘to your desk’, breath it out. Then write to me telling me ‘YES! I got the answer’.

And please, as you practice talking in before you talk out, also talk into your team and your family before you talk out to the marketplace. All too often the ‘market’ gets to hear before those close to you.

Thanks for reading. I am self-proclaimed Alternative Strategist because the strategist in me just won’t buzz off and let me be something different, so I am Being Different by fusing Strategy with Spirituality at the intersection of Digital Technology. You can be different with me at


No products in the cart.