“Status quo is disguised decay.” -Pete Wilkinson
The truth is, status quo is a facade. You're either improving or decaying. Some have put it that you are either growing or you're dying. True. There is no in between.
What’s your goal as a communicator? To improve specific behavioral skills? To develop your communication skills to the next level? To be a highly-sought after speaker? Or are you at the top of your game - the pinnacle of your capabilities? You think?
We're all moving along the continuum of effective communicators. Even when you reach your goal as a communicator, the journey continues.
Perfection is a dangling carrot, serving as a motivator to lean forward and do it. Whatever you have achieved, there is always more work to be done. This is especially true when it comes to your image as a communicator. At a Speaker's Roundtable meeting last year, Don Hutson - a great speaker, good friend and author of The One Minute Entrepreneur said: “The image of a person, company or product is never a constant but an ever-changing variable.”
Your image - and the substance behind it - is indeed an ever-changing variable. And you don’t define it – others do. What you do and how you do it are constantly under scrutiny. There’s no end to the evolution of your reputation. It’s dynamic - interpreted by people in real time, all the time, every second you're exposed to and interacting with others.
To rest in the confidence that you have secured for yourself a favorable image or reputation is to rest, period. There's no room for inertia in a highly competitive world of constant motion - not when your objective is excellence. There is no capturing a dangling carrot. To be an excellent communicator, you must continuously solicit feedback. Ask, listen and learn. What they see is what they get. Learn what they see; then make sure what they're seeing is what you want them to get.
Get on video. Often. Observed behavior changes.
Keep your eyes on the carrot and your ears peeled for feedback, and the communicator you seek to be will align with the communicator others see in you. Over time...