Had a speaker I’d worked with share a recording of his presentation with me today. He led off with the caveat and warning that he had committed a grievous delivery error at the beginning of his presentation: “…even as I said it during the speech, I felt this crushing weight bearing down on me knowing that you’d have something to say about that. 😉“But rather than dwelling on the “mistake” (it was a minor one, and probably only even noticeable by him, me, and a few devoted readers of this blog — thanks, mom!), I’m overjoyed at the awareness! In short order he has progressed in the four stages of competence from Level 1 (unconscious incompetent — doesn’t do and doesn’t know he doesn’t do) to Level 2 (doesn’t do, but knows he doesn’t do), and it’s a quick leap to Level 3 (does, but has to think hard about doing). Level 4 (does without thinking — habit) is something I’m not sure even exists to the mortal communicator.I had about a hundred awareness moments in my class today — times when only I was aware that things were not as they should be. Most were minor: gestures that failed me, feet that didn’t move, eye contact that wavered, pauses that moved way too fast, volume that overpowered the content — the list seems endless. It’s that awareness that drives me to be better and frustrates me to no end. It’s that frustration that drives my passion with communication and delivery — it’s something we can never completely conquer. It’s a constant battle with many victories and defeats, all rolled into a great progression aimed at getting better.The first step is learning and then being willing to be critical of one’s self. Self-awareness. After that, it’s just hard work and practice, leading to more awareness, and the need for more hard work. But man, is it ever fun!
If we aren’t getting constant reminders of how to get better, chances are we aren’t getting better.