As I began writing this first blog post for 2016, I wondered how the first six weeks of the year had flown by so quickly. My Mum always used to tell me the years get faster as you get older, and as a young(er) person, I used to think it was rubbish. However, it wouldn’t be long before I realised she was right. Not surprisingly of course—she always is! (Hi Mum, and thanks!)
So far this year, I’ve been working with some of my coaching clients from RTO-land on their goals to ensure 2016 is their year of personal greatness, along with plans to ensure 2016 is everything they want it to be.
Most people make New Year’s resolutions for themselves in one way or another. However, as I chat to people about this idea of setting goals for the New Year, or the next phase of their life, I’m finding many have similar themes. They want to ensure the year is not wasted, that they maximise their opportunities and actually achieve their goals, not just set them.
So why is this becoming more challenging for us? When we investigate a little further why goals aren’t achieved, many people cite ‘distraction’ as the culprit.
These distractions are equally as likely to be from the external world (media, friends, colleagues, workplaces) as they are from the internal world (our thoughts, feeling, ideas and inspirations).
Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I’m a big fan of cutting out the noise in your life—the non-essential stuff. I’ve written a lot about disengaging from it and ignoring it, and certainly not contributing to it.
It struck me that, like most things in life, it’s much easier to stop doing something if you know what you should be doing instead. So, I’ll be outlining some ways to do that in coming blog posts.
Sadly, at least in the world of social media and particularly LinkedIn, for our sector, there is still a huge amount of noise being made that is absolutely unhelpful. The sadder part of this is that, most times, the way information is delivered, and not necessarily the content itself, is biggest problem.
In other words, the noisy way we communicate gets in the way of our message, or our positive intention.
A recent example springs to mind. A member of a LinkedIn forum recently posted a message entitled: “MORE RED TAPE COMING YOUR WAY!!!”. The content of the post went on to talk about the introduction of a new regulatory requirement, which she didn’t see the value in.
Whilst the discussion around the content (the new requirement) was quite valuable, I can’t help but think that the ALL CAPITALS and MANY EXCLAMATION MARKS (!!!!) would have discouraged some readers from engaging at all.
The post content was also quite critical of, and perhaps even sarcastic about, the new requirement. What followed in the comments was also mostly critical and negative and sarcastic. There was very little discussion about the ‘actual’ content until someone challenged the nature of the previous comments.
In this example, I think the noisy bit was the ALL CAPITALS (online version of yelling at someone) headline, and the tone of the content of the original post.
A better way may have been to articulate succinctly the poster’s opinion of the new regulation, and invite comment. Perhaps that way, the commentary might have been more balanced.
For the record, I’m glad the commentary was posted because the conversation was valuable. I just have this belief that it could have been done in a way that didn’t stir so many negative emotions in what is an already emotional and stressful industry.
When there’s noise to navigate through before you get to the content, by the time you’ve reached it, you’re already exhausted. Imagine how much easier it would be if you could just get straight to the content. It’d be amazing, and you’d have more energy to contribute constructively.
Now if you are writing content, and you want people to engage, imagine how great people will think your content is, and how much they will engage, if they don’t have to fight through a noisy layer first.
We already have so much noise from simply existing in this sector—let’s look out for each another and change the way we engage, so that we aren’t creating more noise from the inside out.
SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!
Until next time…
As always, I welcome your feedback and comments. Tweet me @nickmc or email firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0410 582 747
Nick is a business coach and VET consultant. He works with the VET community to build leadership capacity and provide elegantly simple yet robust solutions to the complex challenges RTOs face. A regular speaker at key VET events, Nick is passionate about enabling people to be their best. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter @nickmc or email him – email@example.com.