Turn on any newscast and you have an opportunity to learn how to deal with conflict. Nothing feels more pressure-filled than being interviewed by a reporter on live television. There are no opportunities for do-overs, and what you say or how you present yourself is on view for millions.
The New Year is a time of recharging and starting over. For me, it’s a time for the annual purge of the files. I’m a pack-rat who never met a piece of paper I didn’t want to keep. Every year, I vow not to do this, but somehow I end up with home-office files stuffed with cable company bills, medical insurance explanations of benefits, and tons of articles I find on the internet to read later.
On a hot summer day in 1999, I was driving to a meeting that my boss asked me to attend in his stead. Traffic was bad. I was late and frustrated that I would not be showing up on time. I’m speeding along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia and someone cuts me off. Annoyed, I flipped her the bird.
Some people view TED and TEDx events to be inspired, to learn and to connect with other seekers and skeptics. This year’s TEDx Mid-Atlantic – with the theme of Superpowers – certainly had all of those components. But as a communications professional who works with executives and their teams on how to be understood to drive value and positive change, I listened to the talks with a different ear.
I don't know about you but I am tired of a black and white world that squeezes out the shades of gray. We live in a culture where everything seems to be “either/or.” It is us vs. them. For or against. My way or the highway. Fragmentation and confrontation occurs in every aspect of our lives.
Most enterprises approach communication from a “Prism of Me,” as opposed to a “Prism of Value.” Think of it this way. A prism takes white light and refracts it to create Technicolor rays.
A few years ago, I heard an NPR story about a man who had translated Herman Melville’s Moby Dick into emoji. It seemed yet another cruel assault on the English language and, for that matter, on language in general.
Two experiences with service providers on the same night reminded me of a key tenet of value creation: mutual trust between your enterprise and your clients, customers, donors or partners.