It is a little after 4am on a cold and dark October morning in New England… jet lag. I’m home for a few days after client work that’s taken me across the country and back.
During stretches like these, where we have several busy months, and a global tour of client work, there is one thing we realize over and over. If you want to be a great communicator in the 21st century, you must have “situational awareness.” Over the coming weeks, we’ll have worked with executives from virtually every continent. And when you have a stretch like this, you realize that great communication in 2015 requires a broad understanding of a wide range of perspectives.
We have more cultural, generational and gender diversity in the modern business culture than at any other point in history. And in addition, people are better informed and more vocal in their opinions than ever before. All of this means that the truly effective and persuasive communicator has to be able to look at situations and understand perspectives… lots of them.
This requires two parallel concepts: first you must care about other perspectives. You must. There is no longer any choice, if you want to succeed in business today. And second, you must adopt a process that makes it quick and efficient for you to ask yourself the correct questions. In our experience, the simpler the questions, the more effective your preparation will be.
It’s a complicated, fast-paced, global business environment out there. And if you want to sell, persuade, influence, and build consensus around your ideas, you must, absolutely must, adopt a mindset of caring about other perspectives, and a process that helps you gather the information you need.
Does this sound obvious? Well, it may be. But in our experience, it doesn’t get practiced nearly enough yet. Not nearly enough.
Have a great day.