Leadership on Point

Words Matter.

September 30, 2016 Sara E. Miller

In this world that we live in, populated by digital media, has the written word become both more AND less important? We have become more sensitive to language than ever before.

 

Of all that was said in the 90 minutes of the first presidential debate, I was struck most by Secretary Hillary Clinton’s “words matter.”

“YES!” I thought to myself: “That’s what I’ve been trying to say!”

In this world that we live in, populated by digital media, I feel that the written word has become both more and less important. In some ways, it matters less if you type “exectuive coahcing richard levin,” because Google’s algorithms have become more adept at knowing what it thinks you really meant:

And yet, the written word has become more crucial than ever. At a time when I (and my peers) get the majority of our news from the internet, rather than the television, the ways in which stories are presented matter all the more—for an example, see the ways in which “winning the debate” was defined differently by different populations (pundits vs. candidates’ supporters, for example), setting both as winners and losers.

It is the reason people are decrying a lack of civil discourse – or decency, or whatever words you choose to call it – we have become more sensitive to language than ever before, while believing it is less important.  It’s the difference in a workplace of saying “Thank you” before asking someone to complete another task. It’s the way in which we demonstrate that we know the value of those who are close to us – or don’t. It’s also the way in which the value (and values!) of a company or organization are exhibited to its stakeholders and the world. In short, without the carefully-chosen written word, we would fail at communicating our values.

In the Jewish tradition, this is the time of year for consideration of the ways in which we have hurt others, whether intentionally or not. It is a time for reflection, reckoning, and reconciliation. Whether words were intended for harm or a careless typo, one is still held accountable.

I believe strongly that #WordsMatter. I believe that words are the building-blocks to networked communities and civil societies creating a #SharedPurpose. And even though some say that “actions speak louder,” I believe that words are the first steps on that path.

Sara E. Miller is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Richard Levin & Associates.

 

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Presentations Skills Training is not enough!

February 15, 2013 Bob Glover

Presentation Skills Training + Storytelling + Richard Levin & Associates + leadership development + executive coaching

We all accept the fact that the ability to communicate effectively is an important leadership skill.  We look to Presentation Skills training to help us become better communicators, but is presentation skills training enough?  The number of people who deliver bland, boring, and irrelevant presentations who say, “I’ve had presentation skills training.” is frightening.

In the standard presentation skills training, we learn how to create pictures with gestures and how to use space to bring our message to our audience.  We practice eye contact to engage our audience and begin to modulate our voice to convey our passion and commitment.  These techniques make us better presenters, not communicators.  What about the message?  Presentation Skills training is not an end in itself.

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So You Started A Blog … Now What?

July 18, 2011 Meghan Vincent

Storytelling is the key to social media and blogging success

I recently sat down with a client whose company had launched a social media campaign and, after just a few minutes into our conversation, two things became abundantly clear: he jumped on the social bandwagon because he believed that he had to and, secondly, he had no idea why he should have a social presence to begin with.

I am by no means singling him out, either.  This seems to be a trend among many of the business owners and CEOs that I have recently met with to discuss the importance of social media.  Each and every one of them knew that establishing a strong social presence was important, so they did what they thought they should do: set up Twitter account, made a Facebook page and (some) even created a blog.

Now what?

In my opinion, this is where the fun part begins.  Remember what it is that made you passionate about what you do – every vision has a story behind it and every company has a compelling journey that brought it to where it is today.  It is this storytelling that attracts people to your site (or to become a follower).  Sure, traditional advertising has its place but nothing can connect potential customers to your brand like a simple story that resonates with their particular need(s).

You (and your company) have always had a story – social media just gives you another vehicle for sharing it.  And therein lies the “why”.


Written by RLA Associate Meghan Vincent. For more information on social media, Meghan can be contacted at: mvincent@richardlevinassociates.com

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The Power of Story

October 1, 2010 Bob Glover

This is my mantra…

In the telling of stories we validate our experience and create the context that leads to better understanding.

Most of us don’t realize the power of our stories.

We organize our lives through stories.  They are the “Roots” story of your family that gives your life some sort of historical context and identity.  They are the intimate, personal stories you tell yourself when you look in the mirror every morning.  It is the story you represent in your interactions with business partners and loved ones.  This is big stuff!

When you close an important deal did you ever stop to ask yourself what did that investor, what did the customer, what did my child just “buy.”  You were good… you were clear on the features and benefits… you had all the statistics… the numbers were great… the plan was tight.  But what did they really buy?

I would suggest that all of those details are important, but your investor, your child, that customer didn’t buy the detail.  They bought the story behind those details and that includes you as the storyteller.

So, Who are we as storytellers?  How do we choose the stories we tell?  Where do we tell our stories?  How well do we tell those stories?

Can you feel yourself sliding down the slippery slope of executive presence, personal brand, effective communications?  I hope so.  Where do you want to go next?

Disclaimer:  Like a carpenter with a hammer who sees everything as a nail.  I am a storyteller…

Written by RLA Associate Bob Glover. You can contact Bob at: bob@buzzardsbay.tv
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