A testimonial came to me this week in email. Soon, hard copy evidence of my contribution as a business communication instructor for new entrepreneurs of all ages at this university will arrive. I believe commendation or consolation received in ‘real’ copy still rocks the soul. Don’t you?
The business writing seminar facilitation contract – essentially one noun for each hour of the seminar’s length – came to an end. I opted not to renew.
Two messages to share resulted from my thinking on this:
1. Malcolm Gladwell would have approved of the level of dedication it took to create the course material. I reshaped it from what I inherited when I took over the course 3 clicks of the calendar ago and it drew on my 30 years of hard won field experience. It took hundreds of hours to assemble, refine and deliver and it has surely given10,000 hours of value.
Still finding challenge and satisfaction, I also knew it was time to shape-shift myself and the experience to another level of expression. As the maxims of stage and screen go – Timing is everything. Always leave them wanting more.
In this case, I needed more and the natural end of a contract was more than any procrastinator could hope for in timeliness.
2. While I have guided many to ask for testimonials as part of the requisite ‘social proof’ of competence or success in delivering results, I had not asked academic or corporate institution for one, personally. We often teach, what me must ourselves learn. I did both.
It was a generous letter, delivered without dithering or delay.
There were comments on my team work, availability to students, punctuality, sustained accolades from program clients, dedication to continuous development of myself and my curriculum. It noted how I met the challenge of delivering an engaging program that managed to address the many personalities that showed up in seminars of 14-30 participants.
What more could I ask for?
I wanted what most creatives want. Recognition of the intangible. You know. Praise for our unique creative signature. The essence that bubbles up as brilliance, commitment and more. Notice of how invested we are in quality and the desire to relay our craft in such a way that it makes a difference to…. someone, one communication at a time.
The writer did me a great service. The positive input and conventionality gave an assurance to the next institution, organizational team or individual client that they could have in me that most critical commodity-trust.
Reassurance as to my mission on the blue planet and motivation to help mankind creatively would have to come from mini me-inside. Ways now exist to allow others to experience our bits of brilliance outside of direct employment.
Social media has reduced the wait for validation. With all the attention getting options however, still comes the responsibility to deliver value.
Demonstrate your passion or your professional competence via blogs, ezines, Tweets, Facebook entries, LinkedIn and a stunningly diverse myriad of other communication communities and venue choices.
Find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN as HelenaKaufman and shame me into posting more regularly. We all have great things to say and good writing to craft.
If I can help you to create or to clarify your message so that you deliver it in such a way that your ideas, products or services are understood, drop me a line via the contact form on that tab in the main menu!