Monday, November 24, 2008

Running Wind Sprints

When I played basketball in high school, my least favourite part of practise was running wind sprints. Essentially, I ran the length of the basketball court as hard as I could as many times as I could before collapsing like a Jenga tower in a pool of sweat.

Wind sprints were great for getting into game shape; however, they had little to do with actually playing basketball.

Preparing for your next meeting is running wind sprints. Rembember, though running wind sprints during your meeting won't help you win and may actually hurt your cause.

In polite terms this is called "info dumping." Blowing through your prepared statement while your meeting participants sit stunned, waiting for you to take a breath and say something that they actually care about.

To win show up in the best shape, but don't spend your time running wind sprints, play your whole game. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We are all in sales

Repeat after me, "we are all in sales." 

No matter if you are public relations practitioner, geophysicist, or dentist, sales is part of your day, every day. Unless you have everyone you know do whatever you ask without question (and if you do, I'm jealous), you have to sell our thoughts to other people. 

Sales is pretty simple (not easy, simple). Just ask a lot of questions, listen and ask more questions. No one is truly satisfied with the status quo so you will eventually ask the question that will uncover a hole that you can fill.

"The" thing is

How many times a day do you use "the" in your communications? How often do you have to explain what "the" means afterward?

Unless there is shared knowledge between you and the person to whom you are speaking, "the" can casue confusion and conflict (e.g. "I got you 'the' book." "Yes, but not 'the' book" I wanted). 

Communicating your thoughts clearly will increase understanding, retention, and action on the part of your targets (e.g. increasing chances your traget will buy your product or idea).