Does the word reviewing send you into a spin? Do visions of being hauled over the coals or worse…being let go, dance before your eyes?
Hang on a sec. Let me explain.
The word review is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as meaning a formal assessment of something with the intention of instituting change if necessary, a critical appraisal of a book, play, film.
When you look at something in a formal way, it means you take the time to really LOOK.
To be considered and measured.
You are focussed.
This means you can often see something that is in plain sight but has been missed in your day to day routine.
Taking time out to review where you’re heading and how you’re tracking tends to be something that is not always given the priority treatment it should be.
Let’s be honest, life gets pretty hectic – both in the personal and professional sense. We’re living in a fast-paced world.
I’ll fess up and say that reviewing my progress is not my favourite activity. BUT…I mean, how do you know where you are going if you are not measuring and reviewing?
I manage a pretty packed schedule; juggling business commitments, taking my turn looking after my Dad (he’s got Alzheimer’s so we can’t leave him alone for long), and making sure to spend quality time with the rest of my family, as well as plugging in some “Me Time.”
It’s one big juggle, BUT….the way business works has changed heaps since I started my career, so it’s actually easier to keep all the balls in the air.
Note I said easier, not easy!
Approaching our 10th Birthday (27th October) means time to do a deep review of Dragon Sisters. We’re looking at how we are working, who we work with, what tools we use and most important of all what results we are getting.
We began with looking at where we came from – I’ll be talking about that in another post.
When Yvonne (the other Dragon Sister) and I first started working…..
Telex machines – Shock! Horror!
Yes, we are “that” era! – ran hot, zapping messages to offices on the other side of the globe. If we needed to speak to someone, the phone costs were horrendous, but, hey, we worked for big corporates so finances were never an issue.
Tea ladies, doormen, receptionists, secretaries and typists (woe betide those who confuse the two!) were a part of our daily working environment.
Fast forward to 2017
Things we never even dreamed of …smart phones, tablets, laptops, Skype, WhatsApp, Trello, Dropbox, LinkedIn and…
…the Nespresso machine is part of our daily toolkit.
No doorman, no secretary anywhere in sight. Instead, we have virtual assistants and independent freelance experts.
One thing jumps out at me …
Despite all the changes and the new technologies at our fingertips, there is one thing that never changes.
One thing that never changes
The need for strong communication skills remains as vital today as it ever was BECAUSE this is the way to connect.
If you cannot make the connection then you cannot move forward, in life and in business.
As an example, you want something done – perhaps you want your kids to clean their room, or staff members to adopt new initiatives. How you connect them with your message, how you present the instruction is going to shape the results you get.
As I think back, I now realise all my successes were achieved because of my ability to connect. In other words, to communicate with my team, donors, my board, managers, and clients.
Communication methods have changed
Most things are electronic; hard copy letters or invitations are pretty rare.
The way we write has also changed.
Let me ask you…how many times do you just skim through correspondence?
I’m a fast reader. I need to be because of the nature of my work. When it comes to unsolicited mail, I am a skimmer, and so are most people I know.
There is just so much that makes it way into our inboxes that unless we skim, we’ll never get to the end.
The new way of writing means lots of white space replaces block paragraphs. It makes things easier to skim and scan through to pick out key parts of the content that are of interest to you.
I have had to learn how to write for this new era.
Everyone types these days, and not because of typing class. Technology has made us all typists – even if you are of the two finger or flying thumb variety!
And that has made me realise that although almost everyone can use electronic communication tools, not everyone has the ability to communicate well. And some are really uncomfortable with the new mediums.
So as the 10th Birthday review for Dragon Sisters is underway, we’ve come across some very interesting data. It’s informing the direction the business will head… and no one is being let go.
Services will be changing slightly, but the one thing that is standing out loud and clear is the need to once again be adding to the Wordsmith Wonders team, which has tripled in the last 12 months.
The first surprise for us is that our biggest client base is the young male, senior-level executives/entrepreneurs who are absolute stars when it comes to heading up their teams. Being thought leaders that are so self-aware, they recognise a little confidential support on the communications front goes a long way.
So how does a review boost your confidence?
In its very simplest form, a review gives you confidence by either demonstrating you are on track or off-roading!
Regardless of what the outcome is, you can then be confident that you are either on the right path for your career/business or you know 100% that you are not.
Knowledge is power. You have the information in your hands and this provides the confidence to make the decision on what your next steps will be.
A review gives me the confidence to keep going in the same direction or to cut my losses and change direction.
What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Fly like a dragon,
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