Communicating Effectively w/ Hannah Kulik

hannah-kulik

Hannah and I first connected as writers for Lake Show Life, a sports blog and have stayed in touch since. She’s a talented young writer who now contributes to Lakers Nation. It’s rare for someone her age to be a strong communicator, so I wanted her to share her journey with you. Hope you enjoy it!

When did you realize you had a love/passion for writing?

It is not so much that I have a passion for writing, it is more that I have a passion for the Lakers and basketball in general. However, I first realized I was a pretty good writer as a freshman in high school, when my English teacher would have me help him grade other students’ papers and work with them individually. My dad always stressed the importance of being a writer who is clear and concise, so that is definitely something that has stayed with me throughout my writing career.

What is your definition of communication and how do you improve yours?

To me, communication is the ability to express one’s thoughts and opinions in a clear and concise manner. In this age of expanding social media, I feel that the art of conversation is being lost and in particular the ability to talk to others face-­to-­face. There are times in life when communicating in writing is ineffective and you have to be able to speak to someone directly in order to get your point across. Whatever you do in life, and regardless of your job, in order to be successful you have to be an effective communicator and that takes practice.

What experiences so far have shaped your voice as a journalist?

For two seasons, I was a staff writer at Lake Show Life and wrote over 100 articles that were published. Some of my articles were also picked up by other outlets such as Bleacher Report and Chatsports. My writing improved dramatically during that time by virtue of the effort I put in to my articles and the careful way that I reviewed them before they were submitted. In the early stages, two of the editors, Jacob Rude and Valerie Morales took an interest in me and gave me helpful guidance to improve my writing. Recently, I started writing for Lakers Nation and have also been accepted to write for Dodger Blue. Working with different editors has been very valuable as it has enabled me to learn different styles and develop my own voice as a writer.

As a college student what skills do you expect to learn while in school vs. experience through a job/internship?

What I have learned from school so far is that every audience is different, and you need to be flexible in order to determine the most effective way to communicate with each person individually. Something I feel I am learning and expect to continue to keep learning both in school and through a job/internship is how to put myself in positions to meet and communicate with as many different people as possible. In my opinion, taking yourself out of your comfort zone and actively engaging in the large and diverse world that is “media” and “social media” will expose you to different styles and help mold what eventually will become your own way of communicating.

What advice do you have for people pursuing a career in communications?

My biggest piece of advice for anyone pursuing a career in communications is to develop relationships with as many diverse people as possible in environments that interest you. You never know who you may unexpectedly encounter, a person with influence who may take an interest in you and help shape your development. Also, always remember to stand tall, shake hands firmly, look people in the eye, and speak in a confident voice. It sounds simple but takes practice and experience until it becomes second nature.

When you are not writing, what are some activities that you like to do in your free time?

When I am not writing, I am either working out, listening to music (anything from hip hop to country), hosting makeup tutorials on YouTube, spending time with my family, reading, or cooking!

Scott Asai is a speaker/coach that has been developing leaders for 20+ years – athletes, companies and individuals. His focus is helping people develop leadership skills to advance in their careers. Scott tends to attract a large audience of Millennials and Introverts to his programs/events. His professional background consists of: B.A. in Psychology, M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Certified Professional Coach and Certified Strengths Coach.

The Introverted Networker

Shy

There’s a belief out there that you have to be an extrovert in order to be an effective networker.

That’s a myth.

While it’s true that extroverts can be great at networking, introverts have their advantages too. Take for instance: listening skills. You and I love to connect with others, but the only way that’s possible is if there’s a discussion. That means someone is talking, while the other one is listening. If you’re talking all the time, you’ll notice people avoid you like the plague. Listen well and people will be drawn to talk to you.

Quality over quantity is a huge factor too. As an introvert, you may not be able to shake 50 hands during an hour meeting, but the 5 or less people you do meet you’ll probably remember how to follow-up with them. Consider using network events as a way to meet people, then grab coffee or schedule a phone call with them afterwards. Networking is a numbers game. Extroverts are better at meeting a lot of people at once. Introverts are better at getting to know a small amount of people at a time.

Only 7% of communication is done through words. The other 93% is shared between tone and body language. Introverts tend to be more intuitive so they pick up on non-verbal cues and intonation. Since interpreting communication requires observation and reading beneath what’s said, people feel valued when they are “heard” correctly. Knowing this, if you’re an introvert and have avoided networking up to this point because you didn’t feel like you’re “talkative” enough, stop making excuses.

It’s about who you know, not what you know, so if you’re not meeting new and maintaining old relationships, you’re getting behind!