One critical principle of communicating AND connecting is: Know with whom you are communicating and adjust your communications to your receivers and transmitters. This is true whether you are engaged in personal conversations such as talking to your spouse or speaking at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, or engaged in professional exchanges such as delivering a professional sales presentation or presenting a yearly performance assessment.
Posts Tagged ‘poker’
Adjusting to your context is an important aspect of more leisurely forms of communications as well. For example, many games require competitors to do battle through their communications skills. Adjusting to your context in sports and games translates into knowing your opponents.
Writing concise material that connects with an audience is an art and it takes a lot of practice to do it well. When I was young in my professional career, I was lucky enough to participate in writing proposals for defense contracts that were page-limited. It never occurred to me how instructive this was until later in life when people asked me how I honed my communications skills. Constraining written material through page limits is a great way to practice “communicating with clarity.”
I was a student of the game of poker throughout my teens, twenties, and thirties. I read every book I could find, wrote computer programs, and played in home games with friends. I also played in the card rooms of Gardena and San Jose, California, with both amateurs and pros. This was during the 1970s and 1980s, long before poker became the popular game it is today. Great poker players had not begun disclosing the secrets of the game, so there were few books with top-notch poker guidance. But the great players all knew that their skills in transmitting and receiving, both accurately and deceptively, were far more important than knowing the mathematical odds and logically deducing the other opponents’ cards from the sequence of playing and betting. They knew that poker is a game of communications skills more than anything else.