Three commitments of a communicator

Peter Drucker once noted, “As soon as you move one step up from the bottom, your effectiveness depends on your ability to reach others through the spoken and written word.” Today’s note isn’t about “webinars,” per se. It’s about the foundations that help you succeed at them.

Perspective: professionalism if not profession
If Edward G. Wertheim, Ph.D. is correct when he asserts that people in organizations spend over 75% of their time in an interpersonal situation, then the question for anyone in any role is, “Are you a professional?” There’s a difference between your profession (your job) being that of a communicator and committing to growing professionally. If you’re committed to being professional, you should include being committed to growing as a communicator.

Perseverance: life skills, not “six quick tips”
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes “six quick tips” can be useful. But serious skill takes time to develop, and there’s value in sustained, spaced learning. You can’t “cram” for playing piano or golf, and you can’t cram for professional skills, either. “Get leads fast,” “five easy steps to…,” and “here’s how simple it is to…” will always get attention with some segment of the population (the same ones who make get-rich-quick hawkers rich). Don’t go there.

Pan-disciplined: balance of breadth and depth
Communication is a multi-headed beast, and it’s likely you’ll be better at some things than others (presenting, facilitating, verbal, non-verbal, written, etc.). To continue the analogies above, if you’re a golfer, just because you’re best off the tee doesn’t mean you can avoid working on how well you putt if you want to “have game.” Just because I specialize in teaching virtual presentation skills doesn’t mean I don’t write, hold meetings, produce videos. I’ll confess a bit of bias, but I really do think that if you’re not growing your presentation skills (webinar or otherwise), you’re missing an opportunity to be as successful as you could be.

And here’s a final (promotional) confession: I’m particularly excited about the upcoming course I’ve put together with the American Management Association because of the very opportunity it provides to go beyond the simplistic blog post or “webinar about webinars.” Many of you are, in fact, committed to growing the skills that will serve you well for a lifetime. Whether you join us for this class or not, you are the ones who get me excited to do what I do, and if it sounds like a “I have the best fans in the world” Grammy speech, I guess it is. Thank you.

1 Comment

  1. Anne Rein

    Thank you for this post Roger. It’s a keeper! Yours is one of the most articulate arguments I’ve ever read for providing communications training as part of management development. As a Communications Director in a Fortune-ranked company, I spent a decade of my life advocating this principle. I wish you had shared it on Facebook (and you still can) so that I can share it. Many Thanks. Anne Rein

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