One of my mentors took me to lunch about 3 years ago and said something that has radically changed my approach to how I communicate. This is what he said:
“What you have to say is far too valuable for you to deliver it so terribly. The way you package it may invalidate your message before others have the chance to hear it. People around you could learn a lot from you if you’d just learn how to say it.”
That will hit you square between my eyes. The statement in and of itself was a model to follow. Here was a 50 year old man telling a 25 year old that he could learn from him. HA! Not much I have to offer, but with a stroke of the ego like that, he had my attention. He brought correction (aka redirection) to me in that moment and left much hope about what I could contribute.
Let me lay myself bare for a moment – my twoi greatest fears in life are:
1. to have been magnificently successful at the wrong thing.
2. to fail to bring value to people, business, ministries.
My mentor spoke directly to that fear and reset my path from “this is just me, deal with it,” to “how can I repackage the same message in a way that brings value and encouragement.”
One final analogy:
It’s like buying your wife a diamond ring and throwing it at her instead of wrapping it up and giving it to her. It’s all in the packaging.
I’ll share with you more later this week what this has to do with learning. For now, just know that principle has to drive your communications.