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.

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

Yada Yada Yada

There is so much focus on the importance of storytelling in business. From brand to leadership to managing client relationships, storytelling has become the “silver bullet” for how to approach something better. This post is not about when or why to tell a good story. Instead, I want to call … Continue reading

Tail That Wagged The Dog

“Why does a dog wags its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.” I remember in ’97, when the movie ‘Wag the Dog’ came out—it got me thinking about things or people that control things, who really shouldn’t. … Continue reading

Top 10 Communication Moments of 2016

What a year. The Olympics. A Presidential Election. So much noise this year – a colossal communications cacophony. What, then, stood out? The moments. With such a divisive political, economic and social landscape this year, we found that people heard what they wanted to hear, and we also felt it … Continue reading

Connecting Matters to Sell…and to Influence

As we ramp up next week’s reveal of our annual Top 10 of 2016, it’s always an interesting effort to trim and tuck to make the list as robust and complete as possible. We consider memorable moments, and we also think back about the people who have influenced us. This … Continue reading

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

It’s a term that doesn’t get used often, although we all talk about it quite often. You know someone who bought a car or was thinking of buying that car. Then all of a sudden, they see the same car all around them and wonder what happened? That’s Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, and it … Continue reading

Club Trip? Yes, Please!

So many companies reward their top people with a trip. Destination: Hawaii, Mexico, Sonoma or somewhere exotic that feels like a getaway. Earlier this year, I even saw a bunch of top medical sales professionals in Park City, Utah enjoying a club retreat (as we were on day 10 of … Continue reading

Did You Read My Email?

If you’ve ever said or sent that question, you need these email tips. What’s the matter with emails? We read (and write) them when we’re sitting at our desks, moving between meetings (or sometimes even during meetings), hopping on the subway, standing in line for lunch, watching Netflix or even … Continue reading