Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group.
It’s the time of year for graduation ceremonies and new beginnings. We’re seeing inspirational books displayed on the shelves of our local bookstores, graduation cards at stationary shops and snippets of commencement speeches flooding our newsfeeds. As I think of the new beginnings that friends are embarking on at this time of year, I recalled a recent article on powerful college essays.
The very point of a college essay is to make an outstanding impression on the admissions committee and the New York Times selected a handful to publish that did just that. Those chosen shared a unique voice and illuminated the person behind the transcripts and recommendations. When describing a stand-out essay, one of the admissions officers said:
“I wanted to have a conversation with her about it…and I love leaving an essay like that, where you want to say, ‘Let’s keep talking.’”
You may not be perplexed with the challenge of crafting a short narrative essay to compel an admissions officer to review your application; however, we can all take a cue from the essay process.
Think of your own communication and the impression it leaves. Whether we’re leading a meeting or simply replying to email, we’re constantly positioning our ideas through our words. How does your communication represent you? Are you inviting your audience to keep talking?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of communicating to transmit information. Rather than focusing exclusively on the information you need to deliver, think of the audience you’re addressing. Consider your message from their perspective — when you can identify and understand their needs and goals, you can be much more effective at making your point. Not only will you successfully share information, you can engage in a dialogue and learn from one another. Think of your communication differently: challenge yourself — invite questions, encourage discussion and remember the college essay — how will your words inspire others to keep talking?