Time is important.
We all know this. We lead busy lives. Our days fly by. Time is valuable. Time is precious. Time is money. We bill hourly and count down minutes.
The premium on time is what makes it so powerful. Time is a gift. It is respect. It is consideration.
You need to give time to get it. While we are constantly on the hunt for time savers, often what we need to do is give more time to the communication process. This is true for speaking, for teaching, for explaining, for convincing. We don’t need to speed up and jam our content into less time, we need to slow down and give the message the time it needs to be delivered.
Give your words space. It takes time to gather our thoughts, to put them into words, to speak them, for the listener to hear them and process them. Breathe. Time is a blessing. It enhances the most important part of messages and demonstrates that you value the conversation you are having.
Taking time may be as simple as slowing down how quickly you speak (contrary to popular belief, making speedy, quick, snappy retorts often does not make you seem more intelligent; in many, many contexts or situations it can make you appear panicky and reactionary or worse). It may mean keeping your mouth shut and giving the other person time to speak. It might require filling the air with silence instead of words – one of the hardest things to do. It may even mean giving a long chunk of time for your message to be digested. Step outside the room, sleep on it, give yourself or the other person hours or days to think about the conversation and build a calm response instead of blurting a fast reaction.
Time is one of the most beautiful communication tools. Make the most of it.
Lately, I have been brushing up my LinkedIn profile. If you don’t use LinkedIn, I strongly recommend that you create a profile. It really is a great way to keep in touch with professional and business contacts and build your professional network.
LinkedIn has a couple of different tools you can use to vet the work, skills, and abilities of your contacts: Endorse and Recommend. Endorsements allow you to either click on skills that already appear in your contact’s profile or enter in new skills. This “endorses” the skills that appear on your contact’s profile; other people will see your name and photo beside that skills. It effectively states that you agree that the contact possesses those particular abilities.
Recommend is an even stronger tool. It lets you write a few sentences describing the work and abilities of your contact; you can describe what it is like to work with this person, how having them as a colleague or business associate has affected you, and how they will benefit other employers or clients. It is like a mini-referral. Recommendations appear under the relevant work title of the contact, which puts the recommendation into context. You can send messages through LinkedIn requesting recommendations from other people and post recommendations to anyone in your contacts list.
As you can tell, I’m a fan. The only problem is that LinkedIn’s current interface makes it tricky to find the Recommend function. I’ve had several people ask me how to do this, so I’ve created the following tutorial to guide you through the process. Enjoy!
Note: For best viewing quality, watch the tutorial on YouTube using the ‘Large Player’ setting.
Are you a LinkedIn user? If so, what are your favourite features?