Passion & Heart Better Than Tools & Technique

I get daily email updates from several news sources – in the absence of TV, they help me keep my finger on the pulse of at least some of the things tha are happening in the world.

I don’t know about you, but I find the amount of information and the number of channels available for exchanging it (including this blog and website LOL), a bit overwhelming to say the least!

I could spend 20 hours a day twittering, following facebook feeds and Googling.

logo.jpg (Is that a word now lol? I’ve just Skyped my grammar advisor this very minute and yes! Googling is the present participle of the verb to Google, which is, as we all know, the ONLY way to get information these days….)

twitter_logo_header.jpg Anyway, with all this twittering, Googling and feeding my faceboook, there’s hardly a moment to reflect, meditate and do the things in life that really matter, such as, well…. LIVING!

Posthumous Profiles Worth Reading

Oops. Let me see. Where was I? Oh yeah. News sources. The Economist is one of my favourites. Love the easy-to-read headline summaries they send. No nonsense, no frills, no cumbersome pictures and/or graphics that take time to download.

And when you click on a link, you normally get something well-written, informative and worth reading.

Ah, the merits of professional journalism. I especially enjoy The Economist obituaries, which they call “posthumous profiles,” and to which I’ve been introduced by my best newshound Mark Barker (thanks Mark!)

These aren’t boring reviews of accolades, accomplishments and ancestry.Uh huh.They’re colourful celebrations of lives lived: anecdotal, dramatic, fascinating…

I’ve used them as the basis for AWR articles on bullfighter Conchita Cintron and human rights activist Helen Suzman.

Disengagement Party

Today, as I scanned The Economist’s email of latest news items, one in particular caught my eye: Disengagement Party: staff motivation schemes may not be so recession-proof.

The article discusses issues such as the relative importance of extrinsic versus intrinsic rewards in an environment where people are struggling to pay their bills.

It also talks a lot about motivation and engagement.

As the self-employed leader of a one-woman consultancy I don’t have to motivate anyone but myself – and that’s an easy job because I feel passionate about what I do. Lucky me!

As you already know (if you follow my blog), I’m a communications consultant who specializes in powerful public speaking and business presentations. (If you don’t follow my blog, you know now!)

What Makes Audiences Sit Up And Listen?

audience_asleep.jpgIn my capacity as a presentation skills coach, I must understand what gets audiences to sit up, listen and then take action based on what they hear. My ability to do so is critical to my success, as well as to that of my clients.

I’ve observed, during 25 years in this business, that capturing the imagination of listeners normally has little to do with what you say, and everything to do with how you say it. Passion and heart always triumph over tools and technique.

I’m certainly not an expert in internal communications or organisational development (OD), but I think employers would be more successful in engaging their employees in the business of doing business if they focused less on “motivating” them, and more on helping them unleash their passion.

Tap Into Passion To Stay on Top

It seems to me that passionate people, wherever they are and whatever they do, are happier, more productive, more positive and more successful regardless of whether times are good or bad.  One thing I know for sure is that passion is a key ingredient to being an effective speaker and communicator.

But what is passion exactly, and how does one tap into it? I know what sets me on fire; you know what makes your heart beat faster. Those things may be – in fact they are likely to be – totally different.

Interestingly, about 18 months ago I met someone who has written a book on passion in the workplace (based on seven years’ research into to the topic). I’ve read the book and experienced her workshops. Both are insightful and inspiring.

Coincidentally, she recently shared with me some recommendations regarding fostering passion in employees during tough times.

You might like to have a read, if you’re interested in getting through the credit crunch with your team intact. Passion might be a piece of the puzzle worth knowing more about in the midst of the information overload.