Are your communication skills Giants playoff worthy?

There is serious Giants fever in San Francisco. The sidewalks are streaming with fans clad in orange and black. Co-workers are screaming game updates over cubes (actually as I sit on BART, some guy just yelled, “the Giants are up!” (Game 3 vs. the Phillies began at 1:05pm today). There’s even a sign posted in the high rise window across from our office, “Go Giants!”.

In the spirit of the playoffs, communicators everywhere can take a tip from professional athletes. You gotta work on your game to get to the bigs. And keep working on it to clinch the pennant.

It’s about continuous improvement. There’s really only one group of professionals who are always in school, constantly acquiring and responding to feedback…

Athletes. They break down video, refine techniques, and in doing so they’re conscious of every position, stance and swing. And you should be too.

But, in our daily jobs, we blissfully go along communicating unconsciously. Maybe you stare at the Blackberry with someone standing right in front of you asking your opinion. Or talk in a monotone voice on a conference call at 4pm, while trying to rally the troops around meeting that project deadline. Or you talk in such complicated jargon that no one leaves the meeting with the same message. The problem is we don’t even know it - we are simply unconscious about our communications.

Start now: 3 easy ways to regain consciousness:

  1. Get yourself recorded. Ok, I get it – it might be tough to rig a video camera in the middle of your next meeting, but everyone has access to an audio recorder. You don’t even need to buyanaudiorecorder anymore. Get an app on your phone and record your next conference call – andthen listen to it. Would you want to listen to you?
  2. Get feedback. The only way to figure out what you’re doing is for someone to tell you. After yournext meeting, ask a colleague for feedback: 3 Keepers and 3 Improvements.The feedback must be balanced and specific so that you can do something with it.
  3. Get involved. Subscribe to this blog (and others like it) and have posts delivered to your Inbox.That little reminder in your email about communications just once per week is enough to keep you thinking. Other options:

Keep us posted. Let us know how you’ll turn your communications experience into a winning season.

BTW… update from the guy on BART: Giants take it 3-0, and now lead the series 2-1. Go Giants!

**Update: Comment on this post with why you need help with your messaging skills by midnight PST Oct 29 to enter to win a seat in an upcoming Decker Made to Stick Messaging!**

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