Like millions of people, we went to see the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie. I thought the music was a little forced this time, but the movie did not disappoint. Our friend, Groot, is just a tiny twig. In the first one, he gave the ultimate sacrifice (his life) to save his friends. What I learned in the second movie is “You are Groot!” What does that actually mean? Let me explain…
Groot’s vocabulary consists of three words: I am Groot. Vin Diesel does a great job of adding inflections, tone, and heart to those three simple words. Mid-way through, I was beginning to understand Groot. Scary or awesome? I think it is a little bit of both. It is actually scary to think that people often hear our tone more than the words we choose, but it is also awesome to think that we have the power to communicate so much more than mere words!
A pastor and close friend of mine always said that how you say things matters more than what you say. He would use the example of telling a child “I love you” with a harsh, angry tone. Even though the words were positive, the child would retreat in fear and confusion because the tone was mean and hurtful. Compare that to saying “Come here you crazy, little monkey,” with a playful tone, and a kid will giggle and run to you.
You see, we give meaning to words. I am Groot doesn’t mean anything until heart is put behind it and through it, and Groot has heart! You definitely can tell the difference between a sympathetic “I am Groot” and an angry, upset one. I challenge each of us to work as hard as Vin Diesel did to add meaning to our words.
Of course, please continue to choose your words wisely, but also take the extra moment to add the right infection, tone, and heart to your messages. Remember, You are Groot!
A great resource for improving your communication skills is my book, Leveraging Your Communication Style! Get a copy today and speak with style.