In a previous post, we talked about why you need a communication role model. In this post, we will discuss how to choose and effectively learn from one.
The best way to find a role model is to create a list of people who have the communication characteristics you want to have. Look at famous speakers as well as the people in the cubicles next to you at work.
Next, watch these people speak (in person or online). Read what they have written and what others have written about them. At this point, you can probably shorten your list to one or two people who really communicate in the way you want to communicate.
Finally, create a list of skills you are looking to emulate. You might also create a list of traits you don’t like. It is a healthy practice to keep things in perspective. No one is perfect.
Here are some specific skills you might choose to copy:
Maintaining strong eye-contact
Using good posture while standing, sitting, and walking
Avoiding the use of um or other filler words while speaking
Remaining calm after being criticized
Allowing others to complete their thoughts before you reply
Making your point one time and then stopping
Using a wide variety of vocabulary words
Speaking in full sentences
After choosing a few role models and making a list of things you want to achieve, you should create reminders (sticky notes, phone notifications) that will help remind and encourage you to work on these skills.
If you want to monitor what your role models are doing and saying in public, you can create a Google Alert. Whenever your role model is in the news, you’ll be sent an update by email.
Let us know who your communication role models are in the comments below!