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February 16, 2011 / jasonpinto

Freestyling for Business

Microphone

One of my favorite things in the world of hip-hop involves freestyling. Despite being under pressure, artists are often able to deliver creative and memorable messages during a freestyle. To do this successfully, there are two key elements at play: knowledge and belief.

Those same elements are at play when an employee is asked to play a role that they may not have not been originally hired for: representing the company to the public.

    Sure, we cannot send every employee to school to be professionally “seasoned” on sales techniques and customer communications. However, companies can take steps to ensure that their employees are ready to deliver an effective performance when asked to speak about the brand.

    Knowledge

    Employees must have access to clear information that articulates what their products and services do for people. Those types of items must be shared openly in company meetings, in newsletters, across internal web portals, etc.

    Belief

    When they are discussing your company, you certainly don’t want your employees to “fake” it. Thus, you must ensure that all employees know exactly what a company stands for. How does that company treat its customers, vendors, and partners? Why does it do things that way? Share success stories (and failures) that help to instill why employees can believe that’s the right way to do things. Also, help them believe that they can do it successfully.

    In the world of hip-hop, even the most talented artist may deliver a poor freestyle from time-to-time. But more often than not, when they are armed with knowledge of the right subjects and a belief that they can truly deliver a memorable performance, they will succeed. The same can be true of every employee at your company too.

    P.S. One of my favorite TED talks touches on the subject of improv. If you have a few minutes, I think you’ll enjoy it.

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