Team in Training — for Communication

I’m guilty of waiting to floss until the day before my dentist appointment. Last minute rush to fix what needs to be fixed. I’ve spent the last few weeks at different company kickoffs, product rollouts and industry conferences to do a quick “floss” before they go live. But as my hygienist says to me, “That’s not ideal.”

It’s #3 on our list of the Five White Lies about Communication—“I don’t need to prep. I can wing it.” As leaders, our calendars are often booked back-to-back-to-back and it’s tempting to cross off all the small to-dos instead of focusing on the bigger issues. But it’s important to take the time to be intentional about things that make you better because you will see results.

I write this blog before the summer rollout of any kickoff, national sales meeting or company all hands. If your big meeting is in June, the time to start is now so that you can cascade your message to others whose plans might depend on it. Hundreds of people will either do or won’t do what you’re putting forward. How important is that to you?

Have you ever known someone who signed up for a marathon the day before because they think they can give it a go? It seems crazy, but it’s exactly what we do when we wait until the last minute to prepare for a high-stakes meeting.

In contrast, many prepare for a marathon or other big race with help of an organization like Team In Training, which provides a training program, timeline, coach and a supportive set of peers who all have the same goal in mind. In exchange, trainees fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

When you train for your communication—the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society won’t be the one receiving the benefit—but your audience will. Possibly more importantly, you, your cause and your influence will win if you train for your next big communication.

The Vampire Effect: Do Your Messages Suck or Stick?

Have you ever seen a cool ad, but can’t recall what it’s actually for? You’re experiencing the Vampire Effect, a term coined after a study conducted by MediaAnalyzer Software & Research, which results concluded that attention-grabbing content—from sexy images to celebrity endorsements—was sucking attention away from what the ad was actually trying … Continue reading

You Are Your Presentation

It happened again. Another case of PowerPoint abuse. This time the offender was House Speaker Paul Ryan—and we’re just waiting for an SNL skit on this one. ICYMI: Last week, he held a press conference to explain the newly proposed healthcare plan—a massively debated issue. And he used a PowerPoint … Continue reading

Don’t Be A Pushover

If you ask most leaders or decision makers, they’ll tell you that they prefer not to surround themselves with ‘yes people’. Instead, they want to be challenged. Leaders want to know that critical thinking has been put into decisions—and that there’s value coming from the other side of the table. … Continue reading

Are We Defensive In How We Communicate?

When is being on your heels a good thing? And by that, I mean, being defensive. We’ve all seen it before in sports, most recently in the Super Bowl. One team is up, and then there’s a momentum shift and the tide turns. I’ve had sleepless nights while coaching my 4th … Continue reading