Think telegraphing is outdated? Think again.
When's the last time you got a telegraph? Well, if you've interacted with anyone in the last ten minutes - a coworker, friend, boss or even your kids, you definitely got one. And I bet that you sent a couple in the process.
I'm a big John Madden fan. He's the kind of authentic communicator that makes you want to buy him a beer, sit back, and listen to his stories. So I do (minus the beer) - usually right about the time I take the Fremont exit during my commute into the city - on The Daily Madden, his 8.5 minute gig on KCBS at 8:15am. Today he and the great Tony LaRussa were talking about the typical random and rambling banter of this segment when they turned to the topic of telegraphs. (Listen to the segment here.)
This is pretty amazing. It means that the batter, who is standing 60 feet away, can look at how the pitcher raises his arm, grabs the ball and holds the glove and then that batter can figure out exactly how to hit the ball. They read telegraphs to their advantage, and to literally hit it out
LaRussa continues, "Some guys are great at seeing it - it can be really just a glimpse of something...and some can't, unless it's really obvious." And it's becoming more important. "There's a legitimate study going on in every big league team more every year at reading pitchers' little quirks and tips."
Sounds like business communications to me. Telegraphing is happening in nearly every interaction that you have, and you'd better get good at sending and reading those messages.
And if you can learn to read the telegraphs, you've got a game changer on your hands. Whether it's selling a customer, delivering a performance appraisal, hiring a new team member, or talking with a friend - you'll be well served to pick up on their telegraphs and respond appropriately. Here's are a few ways to learn:
- Read Blink. Malcolm Gladwell's great best seller on how and why we make judgments in the blink of an eye.
- Watch/Listen to your kids: They can't help but wear their heart on their sleeve. Even though it's obvious (and pretty funny) it's a great way to get tuned into telegraphing in general.
- For fun...watch a game of No Limit Texas Hold 'Em. These guys and gals are good at reading "tells", and really good at hiding them. At least watch (or re-watch for the umpteenth time) the movie Rounders and learn how even an Oreo cookie can be a downfall.