financial pop, pop culture, communication skills, email, communication blog

Using Pop Culture to Improve Communication

I am always on the hunt to educate myself. Not only do I read as much as I can, I also listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts. In between all of this stuffy content, I also make time for TV and movies. I try to be a sponge for any valuable information that may help me improve my life and my interpersonal skills. I am never satisfied, but one issue that has been a bit of a sticking point for me, is how to share what I learn and give others the chance to take advantage of some of the information I take in. I have to admit, though, there is a selfish motive too. By sharing what I am learning, I also get to practice what I am learning, and solidify the lessons for myself.

Patrick Donohoe and I were discussing productivity and how to share what I have learned. We talked about the books I was reading and the shows I was watching, and found that I could share lessons I have learned about the financial world, but also about the world in general, through funny video clips. This inspired the creation of my vlog called Financial Pop.

In one of the early episodes, “Episode 3 – There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand,” we use Arrested Development to explore the dangers of bad communication. Stephen R. Covey said “seek first to understand, then to be understood,” which means that we give the other party a chance to express their point of view. Listen intently, trying to understand their side of things, without trying to formulate a response before they are complete. Once they have expressed their argument, and you understand what they are saying, then seek to have them understand your side of things.

5 tips for better communication in all of your interactions are:

  1. Always Know the “Why”
    Why are you having this discussion? What is the desired outcome of it? These are important questions to ask in a work environment where you are trying to be as effective and productive as possible, knowing the “why” for conversations, meetings, emails, and phone calls will help you be a much more effective communicator.
  2. Communicate Emotions in Person
    Emails and texts are not effective ways to communicate emotions. How many times have you been in hot water for responding sarcastically in a text only to have your response be taken literally? Because you can’t communicate nuances in emotions effectively through written text, it is always better to communicate emotional information in person or over the phone, when the sound of your voice can more effectively communicate those emotional nuances.
  3. Communicate Facts via Email
    Conversely to emotional information, you should always communicate facts in writing. This is because a written message is a good way for someone to have the information handy to refer back to. I know that if I don’t have a written message, or don’t take good notes in a factually heavy communication, I have a tendency to remember things differently. Having the written facts prevents many misunderstandings.
  4. Listen More than You Talk
    The philosopher Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” By following Covey’s tip of understanding before trying to be understood, you will listen more than you speak. Understanding someone, allowing them to feel understood, will allow them to listen to you more intently, and following the next tip will keep you listening much more than you speak.
  5. Simplify Your Messages
    KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. While practicing law, I always advised my clients before a hearing to answer only the question that is asked. If you can answer the question with one word, use only that one word. If they need more information, they will ask another question. With how many times I gave that advice, it’s funny how often I don’t apply that to myself. I like detail, and I like to know how things work. Not everyone wants all the detail I would want, and I need to remember that. You should too.

Financial Pop is a way for me to improve my communication skills while sharing the lessons I have learned through constant study of countless books, podcasts, TV shows, movies, and other media. I hope you will give it a chance, and help me evolve it over time. Subscribe to the channel and help to be a part of something that will grow with your feedback.

To reach out to me or any of our other qualified Wealth Strategists, find us at Paradigm Life or click the image below.

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