Don’t do things you hate…

10th May 2016

What’s your Pet Hate about how people communicate with you?

Mine is when a presenter quickly clicks through slides saying "you don’t need to know this … or this … or this …"

I hate this. In effect, they’re saying "you aren’t important enough for me to respect your time. So I’m showing you slides I’ve already used for a different audience. I haven’t bothered editing them for you. In fact, I’ll just edit them right now. While you watch me do it’.

Yep, hate that one.

Here’s another…

When a presenter shows a slide and says "you won’t be able to read this, but …"

But what?

Surely, the only reason for showing me a slide is to help me understand your content. If I can’t read it, it’s just annoying.

So why tell you this?

Well, there’s a very strange phenomenon in communication:

       What we hate, we do

In other words, what we hate other people doing to us, we do to them.

For instance, we hate it when presenters use wordy slides. But, when we’re presenting, we use wordy slides to remind us what to say.

Or, we hate it when a meeting’s Chairperson makes no effort to engage us in their agenda. But we go from that meeting to a meeting we’re chairing… but don’t explain how the agenda helps our attendees.

Or one of my favourites: last week, I saw an email a manager sent to his entire saying "stop sending impersonal emails to everyone."

If you don’t like the negative wording of "what we hate, we do", the positive version is "think what people love – and do that."

For example, people love interactive presentations. So prepare good questions to ask, to get them speaking.

And people tend to prefer to be called than emailed. So pick the phone up.

Your next communication today will be something that others love, hate or feel indifferent about. If you want them to love it, you’ll have to do things they love. So, will you?

Action point

Write a list of things you hate others doing when they communicate with you.

Now ask yourself: ‘do I do any of these when I’m communicating?’

If so, you know what to do…

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