It's New Year's Eve, a time for celebration and joy.
Tomorrow is soon enough to face the New Year, but when you do look in that direction, take a look into the mirror of 2014 as well.
Think about all the opportunities you had to communicate important ideas, positions, and feelings to others. Think about the speeches, the emails, the meetings, the conversations in the corridor, the letters, the teleconferences. In fact, make a list of the meaningful communication you've had throughout the year.
Amazing, isn't it?
One of the truths about our lives as Homo sapiens is that communication is the fiber that connects us with the world, the prism that shines light on our relationships, the foundation of our social and professional activity. Choose your own metaphor: anchor, cement, root, heart. No matter which you've chosen, the truth remains. Our ability to communicate shapes the way others perceive us.
The New Year is a good time to take an inventory of how well we have shaped these perceptions and what we've done to improve.
What was your best communication moment? Why was it good? How did you know? How did you prepare for it? How did it feel?
What was a communication moment you'd like to have the opportunity to redo? What would you have done differently?
We become better communicators by looking at our experiences, reflecting on them, then adjusting to find ways to make them even better. That's why the New Year is such a good time to make a commitment to do an even better job in 2015.
It's a good time to remind yourself of some of the basic principles: communicate with a purpose, tailor to your audience, commit to content, rehearse, revise, and rehearse some more. It's a good time to find other people who are committed to improvement and to work together to help each other. It's a good time to participate in a company speaking program. We might also suggest that it's a good time to revisit some of the Speak Previews of years past and put them into practice.
If you follow this gentle advice, then next New Year's Day you'll be able to add new questions to your list about the year gone by: What did I do in 2015 to become a better communicator? When did those efforts pay off the greatest? Where do I still need work?
We close with our own New Year's intention: In 2015 ECG will continue to work hard to help our clients achieve their most important goals. We're looking forward to working with you.
Happy New Year!