What does it take to be a successful communicator?
There's no perfect recipe, but here's mine:
1. A cup of curiosity
2. A pound of learning
3. Add strong writing chops
4. Substitute ego with humility
5. A dash of creativity goes a long way
6. Add lessons learned—borrowed or your own
7. Measure ingredients carefully
8. Add a splash of humor
9. Mix in a strong work ethic and a lack of fear
10. Share the credit and results with others
A good communicator is driven to decode and re-code information to convey certain feelings or actions in others. This both an art and a science, much like cooking. Like with meals, most communications require patience, vision and persistence. Like a chef, a communicator needs to hone her or his skills. Over time, certain aspects become easier, while others remain challenging.
Some people are naturally gifted, yet most of us have to work hard to be good. Whether we communicate for ourselves, our loved ones, a group or an organization, we have to put in the same effort, just like musicians who derive just as much satisfaction from playing for a couple of people as for a large stadium.
Like scientists, we must be methodical, if we want to understand what works and how a certain result is achieved. There's a heavy dose of psychology involved, too as we need to anticipate people's wants and needs.
Much like in a kitchen, a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into this profession, but, like a good meal, the fruits of our labor are more enjoyable when we work together toward a shared outcome.
Do you have the right stuff? What's your recipe?