Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why This Blog? My 28-Year Journey Critiquing and Dissecting Communications

The purpose of this blog is exactly what’s implied by the byline just under the title: To share with you, the reader, verbal and nonverbal communication tips that are worthwhile and readily applicable in most occupations and professions. And the principal animus for my starting this blog is to help stay connected with the thousands of men and women who have attended one or more of my workshops, seminars, speeches, and the like, as well as all those who have acquired my book The Articulate Professional (first published in 1993; the 3rd and most recent edition in 2008).

It’s been nearly 3 decades since I first began critiquing and dissecting communications--a pursuit far removed from my academic qualifications which are in engineering and financial management. The first time my “analyst’s mind” got oriented toward analyzing people’s utterances, with the objective of determining why a crucial communication had succeeded or failed, was in 1981, 2 years after my graduation from Northwestern’s Kellogg School. That occurrence involved a first-time visit to a remote Northwest Houston plant of Texas Instruments (TI) by the company’s then CEO, Fred Bucy. Mr. Bucy, who was justifiably revered throughout the company as a demigod, stumbled badly and failed to capitalize on a rare opportunity to speak to--and thus inspire and “connect” with--the hundreds of us employees who worked there. The Bucy incident, plus others (both within and outside of TI) that followed in quick succession, served as graphic illustrations of how even well-educated, highly trained, and exceptionally smart execs and managers could screw up big-time when it came to communicating a very simple message to employees, clients, and other stakeholders. But it took me another dozen or so years to gather enough cogent material (based on my observations and research) and courage before I was ready to present workshops and seminars, and conduct one-on-one coaching, all with the objective of helping others invigorate their important communications. Thus, in the fall of 1994, 3 years after resigning from Texas Instruments, I embarked on my new full-time career.

Often, while I am conducting a workshop or an executive coaching session, a client’s face will light up when I demonstrate or discuss a skill or technique that he or she feels is eminently applicable in an upcoming meeting or presentation. Well, if this blog succeeds in providing its readers at least one such valuable and “implementable” idea each month, it will have met its modest goals.

V.J. Singal
Communication Consultant, Coach, Trainer, and Speaker

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. This is also true for highly trained scientists and engineers that I see presenting at technical conferences. They may know their material better than anyone, but their lack of communication skills generally makes me cringe (of course, there are always exceptions).