Effective Communication

Michael Hyatt recently posted a summary of what he believes is the four keys to effective communication:

  1. Effective communicators know how to prepare a message with a singular and crystal clear focus.
    • If you know where you are going, you can take anyone with you.
    • If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
  2. Effective communicators know how to read an audience and are able to customize their presentation to make that audience want to listen.
    • Until the audience is engaged, communication has not taken place.
    • An engaging presentation puts people on the edge of their seats.
  3. Effective communicators are passionate about their subject.
    • They pour every part of their being into the presentation.
    • If the subject is not worthy of your passion, it should be distributed in a memo.
  4. Effective communicators leave the audience no doubt about how to benefit from the objective of the talk.
    • They call people to action.
    • They make it easy to respond.

I never took a course with Michael, but I have to say that I have long tried to practice these four things. Generally speaking, when I speak I have one single point to get to; I always adapt to the audience; you can always tell if I am passionate about the subject; and no one is ever left with ambiguity about what we are discussing, even when I leave things open-ended.

That’s my own self-evaluation anyway. I am always trying to get better at communicating. What do you think?


Standing Up

After reading an article from Michael Hyatt about working at a standup desk, I have been considering it for a couple of weeks. Last weekend, I asked one of the guys from our congregation to help me move a piece of furniture to my office so I could set it up as a standup desk. I have worked at it for most of the day today (January 31) and I have a couple of thoughts.

  1. Typing standing up definitely requires a correct posture. You can’t do it standing straight up or your lower back will hurt like crazy after a couple hours.
  2. Good shoes are essential. Your feet kill after four or five hours of standing up and doing anything.
  3. Standing up means I can access my whiteboards much easier. Since I write ideas on the various whiteboards in my office before committing anything to paper (I rarely commit my sermons to paper anyway), this is convenient for me. Once I get my articulated arm for my screen, this will work even better.
  4. Standing allows you to move around when you think. I walk around a lot when I am working through a concept, so this standing thing definitely has its advantages.
  5. Make sure you keep a couple of chairs around. Sometimes, you just need to sit down.My screen will soon be mounted on the wall, which will allow me to sit down from time to time and watch Netflix if I want. That has its appeal.

Overall, I am very pleased with standing. Since I am in a bit of pain at the moment from all this standing, I am much less prone to waste time on Facebook or doing something that doesn’t pertain to work. This is a good thing.

I’ll let you know in a week or so as to whether your back or feet get used to the additional strain. I have a feeling that mine will. I spent hours on my feet when I was a teacher, doing much the same thing – well not typing into a computer, but standing in one place, thinking.

I’m Not Sure How I Feel About This

Michael Hyatt recently blogged on the topic of Tribe Building – this idea that marketing is not as important as a community that believes passionately in your product.

To be honest, I have never been a big fan of marketing in the church in the first place. But I am also a bit hesitant to think of building community as a method of growing the tribe. It seems kind of repetitive to me – create a tribe to build the tribe? Which comes first? The product or the tribe?

The examples Hyatt cites built their tribes not by building a tribe but by having a superior product. The product itself united the tribe, and then once there was a tribe, they became rabid supporters of the product.

In the church, we are not in the business of building tribes. We are to commit ourselves to the glory of Christ. As he draws men and women to himself through us, they will in turn be used to draw other men and women to him through them. In my thinking, building the tribe is not the glory of God. The glory of God will build the tribe.

What do you think?

Chokepoints, pt 3

I enjoy reading Michael Hyatt’s blog. Recently, he posted on the subject of saying “No” and I thought it fit very well with what I have been writing about chokepoints.

Particularly, check this out:

Every time I say “no” to something that is not important, I am saying “yes” to something that is.

I might rephrase that in my own context and say:

Every time I say “no”, I am giving an opportunity to someone who is better gifted to say “yes”.

Sure, the person I say “no” to is not going to be happy about it, but that’s the reality of life. If you try to please everyone, you will ease no one – including God.