When we’re learning a new skill or enhancing existing skill sets, one of the most important parts of that learning curve is feedback. Honest feedback helps individuals to learn and grow in a fashion that is supportive and appreciative. For many, feedback serves as an important motivator for growth and expansion, allowing the recipient to gain real-time constructive points to help improve their performance.
Understanding how we are perceived by others is paramount when learning a new skill, especially one in the field of communication.
The best feedback takes place when the provider is actively listening, analyzing and offering the best solutions for improved performance. Improved focus typically leads to improved results, making feedback an essential mechanism to effective public speaking.
At shiftED, we know that offering constructive and positive feedback is the cornerstone to...
I fondly recall one of my favourite childhood television series, The Littlest Hobo, a show starring a stray dog who befriended humans in need. That sharp-as-a-tack German Shephard would gallivant all over the country, meeting new people, solving problems, and then moseying along to the next town unwittingly seeking a canine hero.
Every episode ended with the affable pooch sauntering solo down an empty road in search of the next adventure and fresh companions.
How brave the beast!
I fell in love with the series. We moved around a bit when I was younger, so making new friends was a necessary part of fitting in.
"Every stop I make, I'll make a new friend
Can't stay for long, just turn around and I'm gone again"
If you grew up hearing that theme song, you’re welcome for the earworm.
If the show left the same impression on you, perhaps you also share in my reflections on the customs of that furry cur. Befriending new...
Something’s been bothering me, weighing heavy on my heart and mind. If you know me well, you likely already know that I cry at commercials and feel intense empathy when in conversation with another human. I’m instantly joyous with you, yet easily moved to tears…even during a presentation, which happened recently.
During my workshops, we often discuss presenters and their ability to connect with their audience. We talk about strategies for building relationships with our audience.
As presenters, some are quite naturally able to connect with audiences. They bring passion, they seek to understand, they aim to help. I’ve seen shiftED alum and some of you present to audiences, and I’ve witnessed time and again how you connect with your audiences of one or many, in person or online.
I observe and I learn. Always. Wanting to do better.
A perpetual student.
The participant who welled up my eyes this past week pointed to the one-on-one conversation we...
Subject matter experts or SMEs.
If you are one, you likely know others in your field who share your knowledge base. Your contemporaries might be well-known and respected superstars with tenure and a massive fan-base, or they may be junior staff with few connections who are thirsty for mentoring, or, perhaps, they are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. In any case, being a SME, in whatever your industry, can surface feelings of competition with those who play in your sandbox.
Whether we are competing for a cut of the annual allocated wage increase for our department, or vying for the same potential client, our fellow SMEs might induce us to step up our game and polish our natty ways. And that’s healthy. We should always try to be our best selves, right?
I appreciate that not everyone feels this way.
During a recent networking event, I suggested that I’d like to connect a SME with another in their area of expertise – I’ll call...
I’ve had the honour of facilitating professional development workshops and presenting education sessions and keynotes at conferences and other events many times over the past 20 years. This often affords me an opportunity to take in other speakers and to learn from the masters. After each event, I spend time reflecting on what went well, how I can improve, and general takeaways from the overall experience. I take notes while things are fresh for the purpose of revisiting them later, journaling about my personal and professional growth and making notes about adaptations for future speaking opportunities. Until now, these musing have been private. Until now.
What’s different? A lot. And in a very short period of time.
I started my own company earlier this year and have been nudged by people smarter than me toward blogging as a valuable tool in serving others. I love helping subject matter experts succeed and grow, so this got me thinking about a couple of...