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The Fine Art of Communication

It’s time to hit the campaign trial!

I am not referring to Ferrell and Galifianakis in the movie “The Campaign” that was released last week, but rather the “other two” that are on their presidential campaign trail. I travel a fair amount (about 165,000 miles a year) but can’t even begin to fathom the millions of miles they must travel. (I do suppose it’s a tad different in Air Force One compared to Southwest Airlines, right?)

OK, so this is not a political post. My Weekly wisdom is strictly about the skills and abilities we all have and how we can improve our weaknesses and develop our strengths. The campaign trail this week spurred me to write about communication this week.

A good president should be a great communicator. He should be able to communicate coherently, understand the needs of the people and motivate a nation with Hollywood-like passion, a Steve Jobs-like confidence and a fatherly familiarity.

I don’t have the audacity to try and tell a current or future president of our beloved country how to communicate, but I do want to share a small extract from my Safari of Self Discovery Coaching Program in which we list ways to improve your communication. There are many, but I am going to list five bullets that I think would also help a political candidate on the campaign trial.

  • Sincerely listen before responding and don’t obviously focus on what you are going to say next.
  • Try to see all arguments from the other person’s point of view. This often requires you to often shut up, listen and “hear” what’s being communicated.
  • Avoid confusion and ambiguous language, by saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
  • Don’t generalize or be vague, be succinctly articulate and always provide the facts.
  • Keep your opinions simple, brief and to the point.

It is way easier said than done. Communication is indeed a fine art.

A Serengeti Wisdom that says:  “There is something in us that connects with someone who listens.” 

Stefan Swanepoel

Stefan Swanepoel - Stefan Swanepoel’s life has been a “Serengeti journey”—from his birth in Kenya to schooling in Hong Kong and South Africa eventually, running a New York-based global franchise network with 25,000 sales associates in 30 countries. In all he has served as president of seven companies and two non-profit organizations.

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