This Speak Previews hopes you are well-rested and filled with joy from the holidays and the break from your everyday routine - although your everyday communication routine is exactly what we are addressing today.
For over 35 years professionals from all walks of life have come to us for communication strategy and coaching support. As you might imagine, many times it is for high stakes situations. Everything from an FDA approval to a critical corporate initiative, a funding event to a commencement speech.
It never ceases to amaze us that everyday communications with the people most important to you in your lives don’t receive the same care and attention.
Please, hear us out! We are not advocating for high end strategy and persuasion tactics with everyone all the time, but we are suggesting that your everyday communication hygiene is a critical representation of who you are and how your reputation will develop.
Start with the love(s) of your life. Do you still make sure to look in their eyes as deeply as you used to? Do you take the time to listen - we mean really listen - so they know how valued they are? People know you aren’t listening if you aren’t looking at them.
At work, our colleagues and coworkers consume more of our communication time than family. How engaged are we with these people? Do we seek more to understand than insist on being understood? Perhaps this is why some are incorporating mindfulness into their professional life.
Different corporate cultures value specific communication skills. Very few cultures encourage conflict, but many appreciate colleagues that have the skill to tactfully confront issues so collective problem solving can take place. If your work requires creativity, do you know how to brainstorm most effectively and in a manner that everyone feels valued and has ownership of the positive outcome?
Some cultures are more interested in storytelling skill so key ideas and initiatives live more persistently in the collective consciousness. Steve Jobs from Apple was famous for making his ideas understood, exciting and persistent.
By contrast, some cultures are about how quickly you can get to the point. Film icon Louis B. Mayer was purported to insist that he would not make your film if you could not summarize the unique story in 25 words or less.
We could go on, but the takeaway is simple. Communication is one of the most important elements of human aspiration. Are you using them as well as you can for the people most important to you?
Sounds like a good New Year's resolution!