Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On Communicating Well

I generally think I'm a good communicator. In fact, it is something I pride myself in. I think there are two primary contributing factors to this. First, my father was both a teacher and a minister so he lead by example and made a life practice of getting a clear message across. Secondarily, I'm a musician and performer, so when one gets in front of an audience it would be a shame if one did not communicate well.

With this in mind, it seems like I am at a point in my life where all areas seem to point me in the direction of guiding others in how to get a message across. Actually, scratch that, this isn't just about others, but I'm attempting to do a better job of this on my own behalf as well. Let me explain both.

With regards to work, one of my primary duties is to communicate important information to students. If for some reason, I don't do a good job of this and they miss the message then the implications can be significant. As an academic advisor, students depend upon me to help them find out what they need to know. Therefore, my work life lately has been consumed with the question of what it means to communicate a clear message to 18 -24 year olds particularly in a world that incorporates new and social media. See, I'm 28. I'm not that far from this demographic, but the bottom line is that I didn't grow up with it and they did. It is what they know and we have to take that into account when crafting our message.

Further, I work in a music school. This makes me ask the question, how are we equipping music students to be musicians in the 21st century? How we communicate with them and how we teach them to communicate with others... I believe this is vital in education.

That is why I am making such strong push to evaluate best practices and really apply them to my own life. The truth is, a strong message will communicate for you, but how we choose to make it available is another story.

So of course these leads me quite selfishly to think of myself and how I am communicating my message of who I am as a musician, an artist and possibly as a person.

This is filling my thoughts. I will elaborate more later.

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