What kind of communicator are you when the lights are bright and hot?
Obviously, humans are warm blooded as a matter of biology, so I’m really asking more about your nature as a strategic communicator. Some are warm-blooded creatures and some are cold-blooded creatures.
Warm-blooded communicators manage their metaphorical body temperature regardless of whether it’s hot or it’s calmly cool. They’re consistent, self-regulating – never too amped up and never too reserved.
Cold-blooded communicators are at their absolute best when the lights are hot and bright – like during a crisis. Cold-blooded communicators excel in the moment of a crisis. Then the lights go out, and they slow their metabolism down until the lights come back on.
Both are important kinds of strategic communicators – I’m not suggesting one is necessarily better than the other. What’s important is knowing how you show up when the fire is roaring and when it’s out.
Emotional Responses to a Crisis
I’ve often said that a crisis does not develop your leadership skills – it reveals them. It also reveals what type of creature you are.
When I think about myself, I need that critical moment. I need that crisis because I’m at my very best when I’m the calm in the storm, the center of the spinning wheel. That’s where I show up best. So how I show up best more closely mirrors the cold-blooded communicator.
It’s natural to have an emotional, almost visceral, reaction to a crisis as it unfolds around you. Awareness of how you best show up is a first step toward developing and reinforcing patterns of behavior that will make you even better as a communicator, whether during a crisis or during a cold spell.
The next step is deciding what you’re going to do about it. If I’m cold-blooded, how can I learn to regulate myself during the colder periods, instead of waiting for the next crisis before I show up? If I’m warm-blooded, how can I learn to lean harder into the occasion, to rise up and meet the moment?
As a strategic communicator, how you show up is determined by not only your emotional state but also your nature, which we’ve defined today in the context of warm- and cold-blooded creatures.
So how do you show up when the lights are bright? When they’re not? And what will you do to empower you to show up even better?
Bill will be providing more critical, in-depth insights on October 15th during the People Processes Digital Summit. We would love to see you there. You can register for free here!