In a few short weeks, a day I’ve long known was coming will be upon me. My youngest – my baby – the beloved daughter we call Sweet Pea – will leave to start the next chapter of her life.
Rest assured I am as proud as a daddy can be. She has excelled at what life has put before her, accepting challenge after challenge and showing a work ethic and drive not normal for her station in life. She has ordered her world and done the little things right which give her a future bright with options. She has put forth a rigid due diligence to study her choices and made a grown-up decision in a grown-up way. My little girl is a smart, beautiful, creative, forceful, and mature woman. I am blessed (and sometimes surprised!) to call her mine. My mind says she’ll be more than fine. I can logically say with confidence she is facing her true calling and will do so with a grace and power that few possess.
Just as quickly, allow me to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the other side of a dad dropping his baby girl off on the dormitory steps. I know what can happen. I’ve read the fine print (past performance is not indicative of future gains). She’s at the top of her game now; that may not be the case next month, year, or decade. Life is full of surprises, disappointments, and plot twists. Teenagers — even exceptional ones like my baby — aren’t always the best equipped to handle the challenges of life. I am living in wonder if I covered it all, modeled it well, and prepared her for everything. I know I didn’t.
I’m guessing you don’t tune in to my newsletter to hear the ramblings of a middle-aged (old?) man and his emotional crises. So let me relate this to communication.
- The true test of communication success is after you’re gone. When others can repeat and act on your message – even in your absence – then your communication was a success. Of course, there are no guarantees they’ll act the way you want even if they have your message. But all we can control is the message.
- You can’t cover everything. Nor should you try. It’s far more important to cover the big things well and make sure those are transmitted clearly. Extra details and information are not likely to change any outcome, especially as the decision gets close.
- While we try to persuade people with facts, more often than not it is our emotions that give sway to a final decision. The tension between these is hard to navigate, but excluding either is likely to come across as disingenuous and miss a large part of what will motivate your audience. Don’t neglect either in your argument.
And dads, just like those speakers on stage, may look a lot more put together than what is going on inside. When you see a parent who’s just sent a kid away, they’ll love to tell you how their child is doing. But maybe, just maybe, you should ask how the parent is doing, too.
May God protect and guide your every step, Allyson. I love you.
P.S. One day you’ll realize my jokes were all funny.
My keyboard has been smoking of late. My third book, The Virtual Presenter, is in round two with the editor. Expect to see it ready for the public by next month! And I’ve started two other books, both in a little different vein than my normal writings. Intermission: Readying for the Final Period is a metaphorical look at how we should rest and prepare for big decisions and new periods of life (guess you don’t have to wonder where I got the idea for that). And I’ve gotten a big jump on The 3Dimensional Leader, a look at how to drive success and significance as leaders in the business world. This is a book in conjunction with our latest alliance/project with 3D Institute and The Joseph Company in St. Joseph, MO.
Of course, my two business books Presentation Sin and Silver Goldfish are always good for review and instruction on how to craft and deliver your message with power and persuasion. And for the man in your life, 6 Steps Forward: Every Man Matters is a parable about how to face life’s transitions gracefully. I just entered Step 4.
Our live, virtual workshops are a perfect place to learn our method for content development. They are best fit into two two-hour sessions, or they are included in our ten-part online master communicator series. Call us to schedule a program for your team.
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This article was published in the August edition of our monthly speaking tips email newsletter, Communication Matters. Have speaking tips like these delivered straight to your inbox every month. Sign up today to receive our newsletter and receive our FREE eBook, “Twelve Tips that will Save You from Making a Bad Presentation.” You can unsubscribe at any time.
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