The power of Intentional Daily Practice explained
“I found that every day I had an opportunity to make a small difference. I could have coached someone better, I could have listened better, I could have been more positive to people, I could have said ‘thank you’ more often, I could have . . . the list just went on. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed with the discovery of how many opportunities I had in a single day to act as a better leader. But as I have gotten to put these ideas into practice I have been pleasantly surprised by how much improvement I have been able to make by being more conscientious and intentional about acting as a leader.” (Sergey Nikoforov, of Stack 3 Inc. as quoted in the book, The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes and Posner).
Intentional Daily Practice (IDP) is a major element of developing great sales presentation and speech communication skills. It’s the crux of what Nikoforov shared in the above quotation. You can learn a technique (for example how to inject energy in your voice) but unless you Intentionally Daily Practice, you’ll find it difficult to make the technique a habit.
As Nikoforov discovered, there are plentiful opportunities to practice. I coach my clients that all they need do, is make one, intentional practice per day. And it might only take them a few seconds. But there is immense power in that daily, intentional practice. For example, every day one of my clients intentionally injects energy into his voice when he greets the security men outside his office building. His IDP is then done for that day (of course he can also IDP at other times in the day).
The Intentional bit, as well as the Daily bit, is important. It cements the skill in your behaviour. Your self-talk just prior to a practice event might be ‘ok I’m going to inject voice energy as I greet this guy’.
You can think of IDP as making daily deposits in your sales presentation and speech communication ‘bank account’. And your ability to draw on those deposits can serve you at unexpected times in unforseen ways. In the next post I’ll relay Captain Sully Sullenberger’s (of ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ fame) explanation about the worth of making daily deposits.
The ‘how to’ for this post – is when you have identified a key skill/technique you need to develop – IDP it.