Thursday, August 19, 2010

Keep Up with the News to Improve Your Communication

When coaching people I ask, “Do you keep up with the news?” A common reply is, “No, I do not like to hear all the negativity.” Hmmmm. These same people complain that they are bored, or they ask me how in the world I come up with such interesting functions to attend.

I still read the newspaper, for that is where I find little gems. We are used to skimming the large advertisements in newspapers; yet, it’s interesting how often the fine print announces an event the companies are sponsoring. These events are often free and open to the community. They help me keep up with developments in my own community by giving me an opportunity to interact with people from different disciplines.

The morning television news shows are a great way to catch up with happenings overnight. My recent trip to Europe, a nine-hour time change from my home, illustrated how much actually happens in the world while America sleeps. You can easily listen to these shows while you get ready for your day’s activities. Then, once you are out about, you will at least have a broad idea of what is going on in the world.

The Internet provides rich resources for up-to-date news. If there is breaking news during the day, at least a skeleton of information is available. By the way, I check the headlines on my homepage when I open my computer in the morning.

Social media is part of my world, too. I pay attention to LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter every day. Social media is not where I go for news, though. I go there to learn about new strategies and their application, and to share my expertise on improving communication.

You can easily see that I would never be able to read everything in detail—or I would never get anything done. As for those negative articles… Why do I want to read about the latest fire in Florida when I live in Vancouver, Washington? Sound cold? Maybe it does. But as my daughter, who is in public relations, pointed out, the reporters look for the worst areas to photograph and the most distraught people to interview.

Just give me the facts. I have places to go, things to learn, so that I can share.

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