I recently spent a pleasurable afternoon tasting wine and food pairings and since that took me from my usually weekly blog writing time my mind drifted to the communication lessons that could be extracted from the event. It actually wasn’t hard to find some great advice.
- There is no one reality. The people at my table all liked different things; the people you are communicating with are the same. You will need to serve up your messages in a variety of ways so that some variety will connect with your audience.
- Have an open mind. It amazes me how many people at a tasting event won’t even try some wines. Likewise, some people are not open to every message. We can combat this as communicators by being as open as we can be to everything people want to tell us. When you ask a question and don’t get a response, try asking the question, “what would you like to know/ask/talk about?”Start where your audience wants to start, even when that is not where you want to begin.
- Relationships are multifaceted. I enjoyed the stories around the table of each person’s experiences with the winery and the wines over time. Relationships start somewhere, but they are really a compilation of experiences over time. Communicate in a way that fosters positive, ongoing experiences with you and your brand.
Now your assignment is to get a nice glass of wine and reflect on your job as a communicator. Share your thoughts (as well as any wine recommendations) here!