I started thinking about communication for the first time when I read an article about it on the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) website. It was titled – hard case for the soft skills.
In the world of engineering research and products development, hard skills were the knowledge and application of the technology ideas. The article emphasized effective interpersonal skills – ability to relate to people and communicate effectively.
It created awareness in me about developing my communication skills. It was beginning of a journey. Little did I know then that it would be a journey filled with interesting stories and fun experiences. It expanded my horizons beyond any stretch of imagination.
In this blog, I am going to write about my ideas, share my experiences.
How have I used communication in my life and career?
- Every day – with family and friends and colleagues and customers.
- Teamwork as part of teams that developed range of products – manufacturing machines, telecommunications backbone systems, wireless phone systems, web technologies.
- Project and program management while working with teams from different disciplines and also countries.
- Marketing collateral development, customer presentations and training – I enjoy articulating ideas, and explaining them to others. Positioning and packaging content so that it resonates with the audience is a fun experience. I enjoy it so much. I get to combine my understanding of psychology, emotional intelligence, human relationships with the core value prop of the offering on the table. I learn from it every day – about myself and others.
- Sales training and support – engaging with customers and prospects has opened up a whole new perspective to communication for me. The journey of sales has developed my personality more than anything else.
- My eight years with the toastmasters – Preparing for the speeches, practicing and giving them, thinking on my feet for table topics, giving/receiving constructive feedback with evaluations, planning and running meetings, mentoring others has taught me to think in a different way. It showed me how to balance perspectives, and how to lead smoothly.
- Presentation workshops, seminars that I do regularly.
- Running Youth Leadership Program and coaching 11 to 19 year olds in public speaking, communication and leadership. This has given me a balance that I never had. This has become an amazing creative outlet for me. He sharpens my saw, and refreshes perspective on communication that I don’t even know how else I would get.
What does it mean to me? What can I say about it? I will bring it all in this blog.
For starters – I would say these three things:
- Communication is matter of action – learn it by trying it, doing it.
- It is the realm of emotions. I have learned that being aware of emotions about myself, and then controlling, channeling them helps. I look for the cues as to how my message is received, and adjust conversation, presentation or speech to make that personal emotional contact. I strive to be a better listener every day of my life.
- It’s worth my time and drive. It has had a huge, positive impact in every possible way that I could ever imagine. There are so many intangibles to it.
I think of communication as a journey of developing my personal brand.