As March comes to a close on International Women’s month, take an extra moment to think about the wonderful women in your life who fortify you with joy, creativity, compassion, and, of course, fun. To the fierce, courageous women who came before us and weren’t afraid to use their voices for the changes that have made our lives better, thank you. To all our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, daughters-in-law, and friends who are our guides, partners, mentors, and teachers, we love you and thank you for all you do to make this a better world.
One woman we shouldn’t stop thinking about is Hatice Cengiz. She’s a Turkish journalist, Middle East expert, and the partner of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggis. Since his politically motivated 2018 murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, her mission has been to reveal the truth and to ensure that other journalists do not face the same tragic consequences. She is a fierce critic of Saudi Arabia and other countries that kill innocent people in search of the truth. Hatice calls out Presidents Biden, Macron, and German Chancellor Oalf Scholz for their diplomatic visits with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. And, though her life has been threatened numerous times, she continues her fight to bring Khashoggis’ murderers to justice.
Have you been following violinist Hilary Hahn’s 100 consecutive days of practice on Instagram?See how she maintains virtuosity in her art.
In his best-selling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell, reports that it takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery of complex skills. What is your level of mastery, and how can you further accelerate your progress?
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Jock Soto, one of New York City Ballet’s most celebrated dancers. I had seen him perform many times. His skill as both a solo dancer and partner to some of the world’s greatest ballerinas was an absolute joy to watch.
Now retired but still teaching, I asked him what his life was like as a professional dancer. He replied, “I rehearsed eight hours a day, then I rushed to see my chiropractor and a masseuse so that I could be ready to perform when the curtain went up at 8.” I asked him if most dancers take care of themselves so meticulously. He quickly replied, “The ones who want to keep dancing until they are 40, as I did.”
Our conversation made me think about my experience working with business professionals for every type of communication from town halls, client pitches, IPOs, and board meetings.
As a communications and leadership coach for over twenty-five years, I’ve heard many professionals admit that they don’t prepare or practice despite knowing how important communication is to good leadership, teamwork, and their own career advancement.
I’m familiar with all of the favorite excuses: I don’t have time, I’m too busy with “real” work, I’ve been doing this for 20 years so I don’t need to prepare; the audience won’t know if I screw up because they’re not as knowledgeable as I am, and, of course, the ever-popular, preparation is tedious and boring.
My 80/20 rule always prevails…
80% of the time when you wing it — meaning you don’t fully prepare and practice your communications, you will fail to impact your audience to the degree you need to. 20% of the time you will succeed. That, unfortunately, is enough of a reinforcer to keep professionals winging their communications.
Is it any wonder why our meetings are often unproductive and forgettable?
WHAT IF: You want to be more prepared for your upcoming meeting or presentation but can’t seem to prioritize your prep time amidst all your other responsibilities, personally and professionally.
REFRAME IT: Instead of resting on your laurels, why not:
It’s time to reclaim the Art of Bragging with consciousness and confidence.
To master these essential communication skills for our times, EMAIL ME.