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Plan For Great Communication
Only the gifted few can walk into a meeting, presentation, or conversation, wing it, and communicate powerfully and prolifically.
I work with several leaders who are considered gifted in this way by their colleagues. But the truth is, they don’t wing it. They can expand upon their ideas naturally while speaking, but they have often thought out what they want to convey.
People expect to hear refined thoughts from executives, and if you aren’t prepared, having clarified your message, your words won’t have the impact you wish. It just isn’t effective to bounce from meeting to meeting without some time to think and prepare.
Here are some tips for getting your key ideas ready for your next meeting:
  • Carve out time. Take even 10 minutes before a meeting to ask yourself, “What do I want to communicate most in this meeting?” This will prime you for the discussion and allow you to formulate your thoughts.
  • Don’t think out loud. This results in a lot of words without a lot of meaning. Most business meetings are not an opportunity to think out loud, they are the time to succinctly articulate your points.
  • Drive precision. Refine the ideas you need to convey in the meeting. While many leaders address the necessary points in meetings, they are often buried in context, detail, considerations, and different opinions. As an executive, it’s not good enough to hope everyone gets what you mean. You must be deliberate.
Consider what captures the essence of an idea before explaining it to others. This will improve your ability to speak to your opinions, intentions, and ideas. And doing this consistently requires some preparation and practice – if you really want to be good at it.
Energy Is Your Greatest Resource
There’s a finite amount of time in one day. We work tirelessly to plan and squeeze more into those 24 hours, but we can’t create more time. What we can do is control how we use the hours that we have.
It all comes down to giving your energy as much attention (or more) as your time. In order to be more productive during working hours, we need to consistently maintain our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. While you certainly know the basics, it’s important to continually check in and see where you can improve. Ask yourself:
  • Are you eating well?
  • Are you staying physically active?
  • Are you avoiding relying on sugar and caffeine for energy?
  • Are you well-rested?
  • Are you focused during work hours and unplugged when the work day is done?
  • Are you finding activities that sharpen your intellect?
  • Are you fully engaged when interacting with colleagues at work?
  • Are you doing the things that bring you joy outside of work?
Succeeding in each of these is not always easy or doable. But the effort you put toward tending your physical energy and state of mind will pay off with increased clarity, focus, and productivity.
Cult Mentality
I recently listened to a podcast that compared current day politics to cults. The case was made that people on both sides of the political spectrum exhibit behaviors and attitudes that could be considered “cult-like”. So, I did some digging to find the characteristics of cults and wanted to share a few with you that I thought widely applicable.
  • Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  • The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel.
  • The group has a polarized us versus them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.
  • The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group.
  • Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
While I don’t think modern day political parties behave completely like cults (though they have their moments), it was a good reminder to take a step back and consider the mentality of the groups around you.
LinkedIn Live
Join me on Tuesday, October 12th for another live session where we will be discussing how to accelerate sales transformation by focusing on the long game.
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In the first article of my newsletter, I mentioned the importance of preparing your ideas before discussing them. But being thoughtful about how to approach conversation isn’t only critical for presentations and meetings. It’s also the key to a successful brainstorming session. Brainstorming sessions are the perfect time to think out loud and build off of one another’s ideas. They are great tools for business leaders to increase innovative thinking. Sadly, they are often a waste of time because they are not planned out. This article gives you four tips to have more productive brainstorming sessions that generate creativity and allow all team members to contribute in a meaningful way.
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Edinger Consulting