The NY Times ran a fascinating article recently: apparently, whales and dolphins use vocal fry! In humans, that particular behavior is the source of lots of reductive, overly general feedback. Let's unpack that.
As the old adage goes, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” In this instance, you are the communication artist stealing from the masters. What you will notice is that all of these great communicators have some similarities: mastery of vocal variety, incredible transparency, imagery, humor, and more.
Like everything else they touch in our modern lives, phones have changed our relationship to photos. And though I spend most of my time focused on helping people communicate more effectively with words, my phone pickpocket experience made me reflect on how we communicate with images. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words are they worth if no one ever looks at them?
Cameras and voice recorders are some of the most valuable tools you have in your arsenal when looking to improve your communication skills: they capture all the metrics you need to improve, they’re offer the most objective perspective, and they can provide a look-back to see how much growth has been achieved.
If you scan your newsfeed or social platforms for more than a moment, you’ll find story after story about frayed attention spans, exhausted work forces, and overwhelmed professionals. Newly invented terms like zoom fatigue and doom scrolling (along with seemingly evergreen ones like burn out) paint a picture of a society of stressed-out zombies who haven’t exercised or eaten well in ages, and who have the attention span of a goldfish.
Here we are, almost two years into a global pandemic, and we continue to operate in a limited and limiting space, fitting our personal and professional communication skills into small virtual spaces. We were already well on our way to communicating virtually pre-pandemic: a text or an email instead of a phone call; hopping on Microsoft Teams for a company check-in instead of an in-person meeting; unending conference calls.