Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Five Years Of Insightful Blogging...In Memorable Quotes (PART 1)








I’ve been blogging for half a decade!


Now that feat might not seem like a herculean task to some but it has been both challenging and rewarding for me.


Challenging, because although I‘m passionate about communications and always striving to improve my skills and elevate my knowledge, there are times every month---and I’m not ashamed to admit it---when I face the blind panic about being unsure of what to write. I worry that I’ve run out of steam, or that I couldn’t possibly come up with something new and fresh. Or that whatever I write will be a regurgitated version of what I had already written in the previous years. I worry. I fret. But write I must because  not only have I committed to doing so, but also because despite my angst, I’ve found out that there’s always some new angle to every idea under the sun.


It’s also been rewarding because perseverance in blogging has opened doors for me professionally; it has also elevated my writing skills and heightened my cognitive abilities. As a result, I am fortunate to be able to churn out articles that provide value, and in the process, embark on continuous self-education.


I am sure other bloggers, content creators and business writers will agree that there are various steps involved in posting an article online that few realise - reading, researching, writing, then proofreading and (ruthlessly) editing. Sometimes, you may need to repeat a few of those steps before finally posting the article on the web. If blogging is a core function in your online business, then the process continues with marketing, promoting the content on social media, etc.



So the fact that I have survived five years of blogging is a big deal for me and that is why I wish to continue the tradition of celebrating this blog’s anniversary.  Therefore, in line with continuing to provide value to you, dear readers, below are quotes selected from the articles posted in the Rethinking Business Communications Blog’s fifth year in cyberspace.


For free.



And who doesn’t like freebies?



Memorable Quotes






1) “What if you need to address a crisis and respond in a timely manner, without recourse to your company's official communicators, or to that friend of yours who’s a wordsmith?



Post:

The Most Frustrating Question About Writing…Answered.



Date:

April 2016.



URL:





Description:

The most frustrating dilemma about business writing—improving your writing skills—is tackled in this post. Packed with a wealth of information, links and practical advice, professionals at different levels in their careers will find this article useful.





2) “Despite your qualifications...your communication skills will either get your feet through those coveted corridors of your dream employers, or will cost you opportunities.








Post:

Dear Graduates: Your Communication Skills Will Determine Your Worth.



Date:

May 2016.




URL:





Description:

Good communication skills are now highly demanded in graduates by prospective employers. Millennials and recent graduates: how do you measure up?





3) “There's also a predisposition to ‘nigerianise’ the English language”.


Post:

Solving The Crisis Of Poor Communication Skills In Nigeria.


Date:

June  2016.



URL:







Description:

Poor oral and written communication skills are a problem for Nigerian professionals. This post, which unapologetically tackles the national crisis and offers solutions, is dedicated to the large community of Nigerian professionals around the globe.





4) “…Are you aware of the communication mishaps which slowly undermine your career, or as an entrepreneur, limit your business growth?


Post:

Communication Pitfalls That Sabotage Your Career And Business. 


Date:

July  2016.



URL:






Description:

Don't sabotage your career or business with these two communication mishaps. Learn how to prioritise active listening and handle constructive feedback for greater effectiveness.





5) “Imagine that you were given the opportunity to become the chief executive officer in your dream company for one month, with full rein to executive powers”.


Post:

Discussion Forum #4 - If You Were CEO For One Month...









Date:

August  2016.




URL:




Description:

Now is the time to stop complaining behind closed doors and to get stuff done. Imagine yourself as the CEO of your dream company for one month. What will you do? Read interesting comments in this discussion forum. 






6) “When an employee perceives that he is unfairly treated…he will display negative attitudes or engage in destructive behaviours that will have dire effects on the organisation.


Post:


“That's Not Fair!" - Why Organisational Justice Impacts Everything At Work.



Date:

September  2016.



URL:




Description:

This long-form post tackles one of the most popular themes in organisational behavioural science and discusses it in practical terms. Fairness isn't a wishy-washy sentiment to be scoffed at. It influences attitudes and behaviours at the workplace. Get the facts and save your organisation from disaster. Bookmark this gem of an article and share widely.






Conclusion











Let's take a short break. You have my permission to relax a bit.


Thank you all for reading this blog over the last five years and for your comments and support. Your engagement has always been appreciated.




I’d love to hear your comments or suggestions about the posts listed above, so please post your comments below and remember to share the articles widely in your networks.


Note that the concluding segment to this blog's fifth anniversary will be posted later this month.






If you enjoyed this post, don't rush off just yet. Please remember to: 



    -Share this article in your social networks by clicking on the icons at the top or below.


  -Sign up for updates in the blog's right sidebar so that you are immediately notified via email when a new blog post is published. Don’t miss any more articles!






Need help with improving your communication skills?



Hire me for:


   -Communications training sessions for your executives;

   -Writing assignments (content creation, executive speeches, etc.);


   -Speeches and keynote presentations at your corporate events.





Let me help you get results. 


Contact me:


A) Send an email to: Lucilleossai@gmail.com.


B) Call for a free consultation: 


Nigeria:             0704 631 0592
International:   +234 704 631 0592  








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N.B -  First image courtesy of Cooldesign; via freedigitalphotos.net. Second image courtesy of Master Isolated Images; via freedigitalphotos.net. Third image courtesy of Bluebay; via freedigitalphotos.net. Fourth image courtesy of Sira Anamwong; via freedigitalphotos.net. Last image courtesy of Stuart Miles; via freedigitalphotos.net.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Career Advancement: Be The 'Purple Cow'




You may not have read the book Purple Cow by marketing expert, bestselling author, successful entrepreneur and renowned blogger, Seth Godin.




Or maybe you'd heard that you could transform your business by being remarkable, (that's actually the sub-title of the book that's sold half a million copies worldwide), but you haven't gotten around to reading the book yet.


Or perhaps you haven't even heard it mentioned in your business circles.




Whatever the case may be, the key message from the book is clear - you cannot expect to succeed in business if you become complacent (a.k.a. boring) by doing the same things over and over again, and expecting different results. Even Einstein is believed to have declared that as insanity.




Godin advocates putting a 'purple cow' into your business. This means differentiating your business by using specific actions to stand out in a herd of brown cows, (a metaphor for the playing filed), to become remarkable. This is necessary because being remarkable---and not 'good enough' or 'very good'---leads to success. The author's focus was on the advertising sector, so all you marketing, advertising and sales pundits might want to go read (or re-read) the book.




Why you should strive to become the 'purple cow'



What I found interesting about the 'purple cow' advocacy is that you can apply the key message in your career advancement.


Most of us have qualifications and experiences that could be matched by others. That's the harsh truth. Got a Ph.D. in applied mathematics? Join the club. Possess intimate knowledge of how to grow a tech business in Nigeria? Yes, there's a group of experts in that camp too. Have unique insights about space technology? Just hop onto Quora, ask the most intriguing questions and prepared to be amazed by the answers you receive...from people in the know.


Excluding those experts whose intellect and skills are unravelled by us normal folks, we're all required to compete in the corporate jungle to stay relevant.



One way you can become more effective in your career is to become the 'purple cow'. Below are some points to consider:



1) Become more knowledgeable in your role






Basically do everything within reason to become the subject matter expert, with or without the support of your employer. So enrol for that executive MBA; study for and get the necessary certification; and/or get advice from wise mentors. It may take some time to achieve this goal but cherish the journey and stay the course.



An inspiring story of African-American women employed by the U.S' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1960s, has been captured in the film Hidden Figures. The film, which was nominated for a 2017 Oscar, highlights the untold story of how  the work of three African-American women was instrumental to the U.S space mission at that time. The women had to overcome discrimination in the male-dominated industry to follow their passion in science-based professions. Despite the odds (being women and a racial minority), they made an impact.


I've heard it affirmed that excellence is hard to ignore.




Therefore, be phenomenal in what you do. Be that 'purple cow' in the herd of very-good-but-common brown cows.





2) Sharpen your communication skills



Without a good application of the three types of communication---oral, nonverbal and written---you will be unremarkable, and hence forgettable.


So practise those communication skills to strengthen your business relationships. Such skills will become valuable weapons in your arsenal when you're seeking to inform the Board, to persuade your audience, to refute claims or to confirm ideas.




Note that numerous resources abound to guide you in your goal of mastering communication.




A) For oral communication







To deliver strong pitches and nail public speaking, look no further than Kolarele Sonaike. As a Nigerian barrister practicing in London, the President of the 100 Black Men of London movement, and founder of the The Great Speech Consultancy, he gives practical advice that people at different levels in their careers could use. Evidently, a practicing barrister is someone who knows a few things about delivering compelling speeches.


I also recommend that you check out The Genard Method - specialised theatre-based public speaking training. Its founder, Dr. Gary Genard, a stage actor, speech coach and professor of communication, brings his wealth of experience on the stage to help professionals become more dynamic speakers for leadership positions. 


I regularly read blogs and articles from both professionals and must admit that they know their onions.




B) For nonverbal communication


It's important to become aware of nonverbal cues and to practise certain desired traits you admire in those of authority. By doing so, you too could have gravitas. You would also display 'executive presence', charisma or whatever fancy name that is given to the intangible thing you exude which epitomises confidence and influence.



I often advise participants in my coaching sessions to watch some TED talks for inspiration. Observe how the speakers use facial expressions, movements, gestures and pauses to strengthen their delivery.






C) For written communication



This is a legitimate challenge for most professionals. Anyone is capable of becoming an effective business writer. However, like anything worth doing well, it takes discipline. 



To begin, read tips on how to become a better writer. Then note how your six-component Communications Strategy will be invaluable when you plan/lead projects, launch initiatives or implement change programmes. Next, overcome your phobia of formal writing with the actionable tips given. Finally, become an expert in crafting powerful emails that guarantee results.


Don't settle for just being 'good enough'. Go all out to become memorable by elevating your communication skills. Practise them in season and out of season, and you will be amazed at how quickly you improve.



Be that 'purple cow' in the herd of good-enough-but-boring brown cows.




Conclusion


The quest to being remarkable should begin with the awareness that differentiation is necessary for career advancement.





So become more knowledgeable in your role and use your (hopefully) newly enhanced communication skills to boost your competence.


Become the 'purple cow' and strive to consistently improve by bringing unmatched and undisputed value to the organisation.



And don't forget to thank Seth Godin when you advance rapidly through the ranks.



Over to you:

In what other ways can you advance your career by being remarkable?



Kindly post your comments below.


P.S - I've added a new page to this blog: Clients. It can be accessed from the homepage. Kindly take a look. Remember that I provide customised communications coaching for individuals, groups and companies. Contact me for details if you need help.

If you enjoyed this post don't rush off just yet. Please remember to:

 
- Share this article in your social networks by clicking on the icons at the top or below.
- Sign up for updates in the blog's right sidebar so that you are immediately notified via email when a new blog post is published. Don’t miss any more articles!


Need help with improving your communication skills?

Hire me for:

v  Communication training sessions for  your staff and executives;
v   Writing assignments (content creation, executive speeches, etc.);
v   Speeches and keynote presentations at your corporate events.

Let me help you get results.


Contact me:

A) Send an email to: Lucilleossai@gmail.com.
B) Call for a free consultation: 
Nigeria:            0704 631 0592
International:  +234 704 631 0592  


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N.B:   First image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS; via freedigitalphotos.net. Second image courtesy of Stuart Miles; via freedigitalphotos.net. Third image courtesy of Iosphere; via freedigitalphotos.net. Fourth image courtesy of SurasakiStock; via freedigitalphotos.net. Last image courtesy of Master Isolated Images; via freedigitalphotos.net.