Hold ’em, Fold ’em… Read it and…

Hold ‘em, fold ‘em…And the difference

So you delivered a great presentation that however didn’t end all that well. Your approach was on target. The presentation of it well tailored and delivered just short of masterfully. But still it fell short. Your honest review of it afterwards didn’t unearth a single change in strategy or delivery that would have altered the outcome in any meaningful way.

Truth is in life there are more failures than successes. Maybe the best evidence of that is Babe Ruth who holds the NBL strike out record. The Bambino had more at bats and reigned as the home run king – as well as its’ strike out leader.

So, what’s the deal? Simple answer: You can’t win them all.

Of course we also can’t risk accepting that our failures are always beyond our control. Doing so sets us up for the bad habit of walking away from too many failed attempts and attributing them to Karma. But that’s at least as harmful as banging our heads against a wall that we can’t break down.

Determining when to push on and when to walk away is an important judgment and one that we’re wise to recognize. Simply stated, there are situations where we can’t win and ones that deserve a second attempt. Knowing the difference is part of being a professional.

Read it and…Maybe revise it?

How often do you receive a text or an email that leaves you with more questions than answers? You read it twice and for the life of you it’s impossible to be sure just what it really meant.

These days with so much of our communication being on-line, regrettably it happens more often than we’d like. And while it’s kind of a PITA to have to reply with a request for clarification, it’s a lot worse when we’re the creator of that fuzzy communication.

The fix is pretty simple for heading off our being the guilty party: Before hitting send, read that message with your “dumb hat” on. That is, mentally erase your knowledge of what you intended to convey and decide if you were the recipient, you’d understand what you meant.

It’s kind of amazing just how often that one easy step will identify a less than clear communication before it’s sent. It might have been a simple typo that obfuscated your intended message, or perhaps it was a confusing sentence structure. Either way, that simple review can make life easier … or at least less repetitive.

Next up: Pronoun confusion.