Maxwell Maltz said it takes 21 days to change a habit. In training over 300,000 people over the last 30 years our company has found that to be precisely true (give or take a week or two!)
Our communications behavior is made up of literally dozens of
habits, which we need to know first (through video feedback), and then practice to
modify, improve or change. (Remembering ‘Perfect practice makes perfect.’) Maltz
proved this in his self help classic Psychocybernetics.
How we think is also a matter of habit, so in our workshops we teach people new ways to look at their content – to focus, have a Point Of View, and avoid data dumps. And with the advent of new technology (ie. Twitter) we ALL have to look at modifying our habits in our approach to our audiences. (More to come on how to handle this challenge, and opportunity.)
In our coaching and consulting, the biggest obstacle we encounter is clients who just don’t want to practice. If you don’t like to practice either, think of what Malcolm Gladwell found in his research for “Outliers.” The people with the most success in ALL fields were those who had either 10,000 hours of practice, or 10 years of experience (give or take an hour or year or so.)
We are all communicators. Gain mastery in this most important skill where you influence others every day at several important touch points. And those who have mastery and leverage in those formal speaking opportunities with large groups are those who know their habits, and practice at them.