I wrote my first blog post on May 31, 2011.
The title of the post was “What Everyone Ought to Know About Communicating Successfully.” In it, I stated that my goal for the blog was for all of us to grow our communication skills and that I needed you, my readers, to help with that. After I’d published that first post, I was so excited when I woke up the next morning and saw that I had a COMMENT – someone had read my blog! Somebody was going to say, “Hey, this is a great idea. I’d love to be part of a community of people committed to improving our relationships, decreasing conflict, improving productivity, and better serving others through improved communication skills!”
However, when I opened the comment to read it, it said,
“I didn’t enjoy your blog post. It was too long and your advice about relationships sucks!”
I was crushed! Here I’d gotten up the guts to put my writing out there for everyone to see, and it SUCKED! It took me a few reads before it struck me, “Wait a minute, I didn’t write a thing about relationships and the post was pretty darn short!” Thus my introduction to SPAM comments and the fact that my readership wasn’t going to grow overnight. In fact, that first blog post, TO DATE, only has 11 reads.
Fast forward more than five years and I’m still going. The mailing list for my blog has doubled in this year alone and those of you who actually read the posts every week has doubled in the last two years. However, something is still missing. I haven’t achieved the goal I set in that first post — to create a community of people helping each other become better communicators. I know people are reading the blog, because you write to me and tell me so, and stop me in the store or after workshops to let me know that you liked that week’s post. Even though I’m getting feedback from some of you, I still sometimes feel like I’m writing and sending the blog out into space and have little idea if it’s having an impact and whether I’m meeting your needs. I don’t want to be on this journey alone.
This week I’ve been at the National Speakers Association conference, “Influence 2016.” Just about every session I attended talked about two things- The first was building a community. That people want to be a part of something and a participant, not just have information thrown at them. The second was, “You need to find the answer to the question, “What does your audience need and what is the job they need you to do?” When you find out, you need to provide the 100% solution to their need or problem.”
So I challenge you this week to look at your communication skills and ask yourself, “Do I have 100 percent of what I need?” If the answer is “no”, like it was for me, then let me know. Comment on this post, or send me an email Amy_Castro@ictstexas.com. Tell me what you need. What do you want to read about? Would you like to learn more via training opportunities, online learning, video blogs, a membership community, or a podcast? These are some of the things that I’d like to do to help us move forward, but I can only do it if you’re on board.
Are you with me?