I knew my communication skills needed freshening up, but… – SCN Encourager

The NSPRA 2016 team deserves a big shoutout.

NSPRA logoIt created a premier conference for nearly 1000 attendees featuring tremendous presenters covering an incredibly diverse range of topics.

I’ve learned a lot since rolling into steamy Chicago on Sunday.

One thing I learned is that I don’t think my wife even knew I was gone.

At least she didn’t act like it when we touched base on the phone Tuesday night.

Macie 2013-10-14 at 5.34.24 PMNow, if our dog Macie goes missing for more than three minutes Cindy is pained by the absence immediately, so I know a lack of situational awareness on her part is not the issue.

More likely, my inability to express emotion well is the problem.

I probably shouldn’t have started off our phone conversation by asking if she was watering the grass while I was gone.

As a school PR pro I should’ve known how messages without a strong emotional component fall flat.

Water – whether it’s in a glass or flowing from the garden hose – is just a thing.

I should’ve understood that talking about a “thing” often comes off as analytical and impersonal.

And this isn’t the best way to attract and engage with anyone, let alone your spouse.

A good marketer realizes the value of talking about more than just the thing itself; as you’re better served if you talk about the BENEFIT the thing provides instead, but still, I’m not sure this would’ve help me with Cindy.

As soon as I mentioned “the water” (the thing) I could tell she was in no mood to hear me yak about the importance of hydration, either (the benefit). 

The atmosphere had already been tainted.

Of course, had I been a great marketer, I would’ve started the phone call without talking about the THING or the BENEFIT at all.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 7.49.31 PMI would’ve made the effort to first express and share the person-to-person EMOTIONAL TUG behind the benefit.

Forget the discussion about water and hydration.

I should’ve talked about the beauty of our flower beds and how much I miss her and our home.

That would’ve been an honest emotional tug, for sure, but I flubbed it.

So I’ll need to remember to keep “emotional tugs” in the forefront of my mind from now on when I get back to Holland on Thursday.

They’re the keys to winning messages, you know.

I just hope Cindy hasn’t changed the locks on the doors to our house.

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