You’ve heard about the wave of layoffs sweeping over the tech industry and swamping careers in the process. It’s about the same story at media companies, both “legacy” networks and newspapers, and the online-only entities like VOX are shedding workers in big numbers. One hallmark of the current cutbacks is the utter lack of humanity displayed. And I mean that literally. There’s no human connection in the career-killing. Employees are finding themselves locked out of websites, losing access to Slack, getting mass emails informing thousands of workers at a time that they don’t work here anymore. It’s hard to stay human.
3 questions you must answer. It’s an intriguing way to think about organizing our thoughts for a talk, a blog, or even a LinkedIn post.
I often hear from clients who find my suggestion of a three-part agenda for their presentations challenging. They have so much to say! It’s all important! And they can’t possibly narrow it down to three things. A three-part agenda doesn’t mean you only get to say three things though. It does mean all the things you say are organized into three broad categories.Why? Well, you already know about the power of three, right? People are more likely to listen, understand, and stay with us if we tap into that triplet rhythm. And listening, understanding, and staying have to happen before we can expect them to act on what we tell them. The challenge for speakers is to choose and organize their content.
It’s better to stand out than fit in. Remember those word puzzles we used to do when we were kids? They’d give you a list of items like “Apple … Orange … Chair … Banana.” And then ask, “Which one of these is not like the others?” It’s pretty obvious the chair is the one that doesn’t fit into the fruit bowl, isn’t it? Here’s the thing. I always identified with that chair. I didn’t fit into the fruit bowl either. The sad part is that I believed that was a bad thing. If only I could be cherries, instead of a chair … then I could belong with the apple, orange, and banana.
Not just as a child, but well into adulthood, I often felt like a misfit. And just as often, I felt sad about being not quite like the others. Maybe you can relate? There’s a lot to be said for fitting in, and those of us who don’t, exactly, can wind up wondering what’s wrong with us.
Whether you’re making a sales presentation, speaking at your professional association, or accepting your party’s nomination, creating a genuine connection with the people in the room goes a long way toward assuring success. And a lot of speakers find that challenging. If you’ve been following the news, you’ve seen some of them blathering on Capitol Hill and on your TV screen. Here are some pointers from my 39 Keys to Command the Room and Connect with Your Audience …
How’s your social fitness: Mine is right there in black and white: “There’s room for you to develop some good social fitness habits that will keep your relationships strong.” Let’s just say I didn’t get an A+ on the Friendship Quiz from the New York Times. Their Well newsletter writers concede that I do have “the outline of a healthy social network.” But, they tell me, “You could go a step further.” Are you wondering why I’d take a Friendship Quiz? Or why a paper like the NYT would run one? They’re not Cosmo, after all. The quiz is step one in Well’s week-long “Happiness Challenge” based on the idea that happiness helps us stay healthy, and robust relationships are among the things that make us happy. In fact, they may be the main thing that makes us happy.
We’re looking back at 2022, pondering what worked and what didn’t work in our professional life. And maybe in our personal life too. Why not zero in on your differences in order to build on your successes and to avoid repeating those experiences that feel like failures. Try thinking back over the work you did and the life you lived this year and jotting down whatever comes up for you. It’s a worthy exercise, looking at the events and achievements that got us to where we are today. And, it’s possible to put this pondering to good use moving forward. You might want to join me and start with these steps …
The question is whether you’re using the power of your voice. More and more, it seems, many of us aren’t.
A text is so easy, or an email. And often, in our haste to get a message across, we go for the quick and easy instead of a conversation that might take time and energy. And yet, we can make so much more impact when we talk to someone.
You know how it is. A friend gets an exciting new job. Lands a big client. Or meets a promising potential romantic partner. You say, “How wonderful!” “That’s fabulous news!” “You must be so happy! And I’m happy for you.” And—deep inside, in your heart of hearts—you’re struggling to keep that smile on your face. Thinking about your own situation. And wishing it were you with a new job, a big client, or a budding romantic relationship. Well. It turns out, if we can find a way to be genuinely happy for a friend who shares good news, we will be happier in general.
Crisis Communications is a well-established field, at this point, with thousands of practitioners ready to help a company that gets in hot water get back out again. Or at least turn down the temperature.The experts offer all kinds of direction for handling a snafu. You can read articles or whole books on the subject. Attend two-hour workshops or week-long seminars. Consult one authority after another. Most of it boils down to this …
Maybe I should just quit. Maybe you should, too. Quitting still has a bad name in our culture, even after a worldwide pandemic persuaded a bunch of us that maybe it was time to move on from unsatisfying jobs. Meanwhile, millions of us hang on to a job we hate, a relationship that stopped being satisfying years ago, or a hobby that’s lost its luster. Our bias against quitting shows up in less consequential matters, too.