If you ask me to name the most important keys to professional and personal success, I have to borrow from the old real estate joke:
Q: When you want to make money selling real estate, what are the three most important factors to consider?
A: Location, location, location.
In business and in life, it’s communication, communication, communication. And by communication, I don’t mean the ol’ “spray and pray” of broadcasting as much info as you can as loudly and as often as you can.
Even then, you really don’t know whether you’ve achieved actual communication until and unless there’s some confirmation sent back in your direction–a feedback loop, if you will.
One of my favorite communication stories dates back to a company I worked for in Chicago. A meeting between two groups almost broke into a fist fight because one group wanted to implement standard templates for corporate projects, and the other group was adamant that they didn’t need no stinkin’ templates–they needed boilerplates.
The problem was resolved when I asked each side to define their respective term. Turns out that a template and a boilerplate were the same thing. But everybody was so busy broadcasting their own ideas that they failed to really listen to what the “other side” was saying.
It’s not original, but it’s apt–you have two ears and only one mouth. Try listening at least twice as much as you broadcast, and you will be amazed at the honest, valuable communication you can achieve.
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