How Communication is like Football

With the Super Bowl 50 coming up this weekend, I thought I would explore how throwing a football (sorry American football to soccer fans outside of North America), is like the communication process. Enjoy.

You may be the smartest salesperson in your industry. You may have a great product, and your product knowledge may be outstanding, but if you can’t communicate this to your customers in an easily digestible manner, you won’t be very successful.

“The thinking human being, not able to express himself, stands at the same level as those who cannot think.” Pericles

Communication is vital!

Denver Broncos vs Carolina+Panthers

One way to think about the process of effectively communicating with someone, is to think about Football.

So how are Football and Communications alike?

  • The quarterback is the sender of the message
  • The football is the message
  • The pass is the medium (or delivery mechanism) of the message
  • The defence, the crowd noise, the cute cheerleaders,  the sun (or stadium lights) in the receiver’s eyes are the barriers that get in the way of the message being delivered
  • The Wide Receiver receives the message.
  • What the Wide Receiver does after catching the ball provides feedback

In football, you can have a quarterback (Peyton Manning / Cam Newton) who can throw the ball 60 yards down the field, but if the receiver doesn’t catch the ball, the team doesn’t advance.

While communicating, if the message is delivered, but not received as intended, communication breaks down and the relationship doesn’t advance.

“The only way he could have said less would have been to talk longer.” Charles Jarvis

Seven key ways to improve your communication with your customers are:

  1. Reduce technical jargon
  2. Unless you are 100% sure they know what the acronyms mean, use the long forms (i.e. C.P.S.A – Canadian Professional Sales Association , N.S.A -National Speakers Association or N.F.L – National Football League)
  3. Get to the point quicker
  4. Tell a (short) story that makes your point
  5. Try to reduce distractions (i.e. noise in a crowded room)
  6. Check for understanding
  7. Use analogies that they are likely to understand (i.e. Communication is like Football)

So next time you are want to communicate think of football because it can help you score with your customers or anyone you want to connect with.

 

 

This will be the toughest sale you will ever make!!!

 “The toughest sale you will ever make is to sell yourself on how good you really are.– Richard Elmes

Not believing in yourself, your skills and your talents will effect your career more than any other factor. And many people fall victim to the “Justa Syndrome,” where they feel that they are justa technician, justa clerk, justa manager etc. By discounting the value we bring to our organizations we are not only doing ourselves a disservice, but we are cheating our company as well.

So how can you raise our self-esteem and avoid this affliction?

1. Discover where you fit:

Every position makes a difference to the success of the organization. If it didn’t the position wouldn’t exist. Discovering who relies on you, whether it is your clients or other employees, will help you realize that what you do matters.

2. Determine what your Distinctive Values are: What are the distinctive skills, talents and attributes? What do you do better than other people? Find out what that those are so you can focus on your strengths rather than on your growth points. Enhancing your strengths and minimizing you weaknesses, will not only help you stand out, but it will also help you feel better about yourself.

3. Define your personal Values:

Defining what you believe and what you are willing to do or not do in order to get what you want and still be able to look yourself in the mirror and like who you see is a key factor to your self-esteem. Because if you cross that line and go against your values a small piece of yourself deep within your soul dies. And you can’t ever get that back. And unfortunately sometimes you may be asked to do something that violates your personal values and if you know what they are with crystal clarity, you can stand your ground and say, ‘no’. Because you know the repercussions of crossing that line, are far worse than the repercussions of saying no.

4. Practice continuous attitude maintenance

Just like the food we take into our body effects our physical health, what we take into our mind effects our mental health. Be careful to take in more positive messages than negative messages. One of biggest contributors to this negative ingestion is your own self-talk. The person you will listen to the most in your life is you. So be gentle with yourself and realize that we are all flawed in one way or another. You don’t have to be perfect. I know many people who have the perception that everyone else has it all figured out. This simply is not true. Keeping a record of your successes in a journal is another good way to give your esteem a much needed boost when you are down.

5. Build your Network

The key to networking success is not to ask what your network can do for you, instead ask what you can do for your network. Taking the attitude of helping others without the thought of what you will get in return will also separate you from the crowd, impress others and help you feel good in the process. The rewards of taking this approach far outweigh the I’ll scratch your back only if you scratch mine approach.

6. Discover your bosses Love Language:

Connecting is the key to effective communication. By discovering your bosses Love Language or preferred communication style, you will connect more often. The rewards will be fewer misunderstandings and a better relationship.

7. Discover the critical 20% of your job:

20 % of your efforts will drive 80% of your results. Discovering which 4 or 5 critical tasks are that 20%, and then delivering on those tasks will not only help you succeed in your job, but it will also get noticed by your peers and your superiors.

By using these tips you will not only be helping you sell yourself on how good you are, but you will be selling other on that fact as well.

Motivational Quote: Conversation

“Next time you are having a conversation ask yourself if you are really communicating or are you just taking turns talking.” – Richard Elmes

How Leaders Strengthen Relationships

It hit me straight between the eyes, and I was blurry-eyed to begin with.

One of my morning rituals is to read for a few minutes before I get ready to the day. I do this in order to jump-start my brain. One of the books that I am reading right now is titled: Leadership Promises for Every Day by John C. Maxwell. http://www.johnmaxwell.com/

It is a daily devotional on Leadership. Here is a brief section of today’s message:

A leader can’t connect with people only when he/she is communicating among groups; he/she must connect with individuals.

The stronger the relationship and connection between individuals, the more likely the follower will help the leader.

Successful leaders always initiate; they take the first step and make the effort to continue building relationships.

Connecting with people isn’t complicated, but it takes effort.

Your people are more willing to take action when you first move them with emotion. When you give first, your people will give in return. When you connect with individuals, you gain the attention of crowds. When you reach out to your people, they will reach back toward you.

Whether you have just taken over a leadership position or are well established, you must connect with your people if you are to succeed.

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Well said, just one more thought on this subject:

“Remember we do business people to people, not business to business.” – Richard Elmes