If you hate it, don’t do it

3rd December 2013

I once spoke at the same conference as Larry Winget, a great speaker who describes himself as the ‘Pitbull of Personal Development’

He’s written a book called “Your kids are your own fault”. In it, he talks about how parents’ behaviours influence how their children turn out. I like this title. Granted, it’s pretty abrupt. But, as a parent, I find it makes me think about how I do things – not bad for six words.

So, in the same vein, here’s another thought:

     Your communications are your fault.

In other words, think of all the communications you hate others doing at work – all those pointless meetings, tedious conference calls, the unrelenting barrage of emails, all those listen-while-I-talk-at-you presentations…

…then ask yourself “do I do any of these things that I hate?” And, if you aren’t sure, ask someone you trust whether they think you do.

Logically, some (most? all?) people in your company will contribute to the communication problems you see every day. After all, everybody can’t say it’s everybody else’s fault.

And when you do find yourself doing something you hate? Simply, find the easiest way to stop it…

Thinking some of your meetings might be pointless?

    Stop having them. Or reduce the length, and/or frequency, and/or number of attendees, and/or agenda topics.

Wondering whether your conference calls are tedious?

    Liven them up. Invite other people to chair it sometimes. Vary the agenda. Invite special guests to contribute.

Worried that you might be contributing to your firm’s email culture?

    Pick up the phone!

Thinking you maybe deliver tedious presentations?

    Inject interactivity, stories, fun, visuals and so on.

This Tip might not apply to you. Maybe your communications are perfect. I guess you and I are lucky. I mean, I don’t need Larry’s book – I know my children are perfect too.

But then again…

Action point

Give your company a mark out of ten, for how good the communications tend to be. Now give your own comms a mark out of ten.

Identify simple ways you can make your score higher from now on…

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