I’m back from a quick holiday and looking forward to pushing the art and science of communications forward with you in 2018. Let’s cut the chatter, get to the point, and change the world together in the New Year. Here are my top New Year’s Resolutions for speakers and thought leaders in 2018. What would you add to the list?
1.I resolve to spend less time on social media and more time face to face. Human communication in person is rich, (relatively) easy, and enduring. On social media, it’s shallow, prone to misunderstanding, and fleeting. Let’s do more of the former and less of the latter.
2.I resolve to fight fake news and to rely on trusted sources for my information. Good information is essential; bad information is not only a waste of everyone’s time; it’s also dangerous. We all need to sharpen our games in spotting and pointing out fake news. And we need to be deeply authentic ourselves.
3.I resolve to acknowledge my sources, my borrowings, and my mentors. We all stand on someone’s shoulders – our teachers, our team, our predecessors. It’s as dishonest to steal ideas without acknowledgement as it is to shoplift. So the rule is simple: be clear about where you get your ideas, stories, and insights.
4.I resolve to learn the communication basics. I witness too many instances of simple rudeness, lack of tact, and the inability to read a situation accurately. Owning a mobile phone does not entitle you to check it in the middle of a meeting when someone else is talking. We owe each other our attention.
5.I resolve to remember that words matter; I will not insult or demean someone carelessly or in a fit of pique. In a social-media driven universe, your careless words may get shouted across the globe. It’s not a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of adult behavior.
6.I resolve to remain flexible. Communication, like everything else, is changing faster than ever. You need to keep up. Not to be faddish, but to take advantage of the truly helpful new technologies and ideas out there.
7.I resolve to bring my emotions to play in my communications. Authenticity demands it. Audiences want to know where you stand. And everyone needs to know what’s at stake in your communications. So don’t keep your emotions out of the story. Rather, find them and embrace them.
8.I resolve to reach across generations. We’re living and working longer, and that means more of an age range in the workplace. We need to remember that these different age groups have different concerns and experiences. Understanding your audience means learning about the differences, not ignoring them.
9.I resolve to listen more than I opine. We have a plethora of experts, especially in the political world, shouting at and past each other. Partly as a result, we’re more polarized than ever. It’s time to do the hard work of listening to each other.
10.I resolve to stay positive. It’s more of a challenge than ever to keep your spirits up and your communications positive in this angry era. But that also makes it more important. Let others do the hating. Let’s — you and me — find something to celebrate.
That’s it – that’s what I’ll be focused on in 2018. What is resonating with you?