Good Habits Make Great Researchers And CommunicatorsAlex Angel
During halftime of game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told his team, “Your habits are so good right now, don’t lose that. For the rest of this season, it’s about habits.” They were up by 30 points, clearly in control of the game. And yet there he was, cautioning against losing the good habits that got them to that point in the season.
To Warriors fans, this talk about habits is nothing new. It’s what many attribute the team’s turnaround to – seemingly small things like locking in on defense, moving the ball on offense, making the simple play. All tried and true habits. When Steph Curry is shooting lights out from beyond the arc, it’s not luck. It’s the result of shooting hundreds of shots in practice every day, under every imaginable scenario. It’s muscle memory. It’s habit.
Becoming great researchers and communicators requires a similar attitude and approach – developing the right habits from the start and cultivating them throughout your career. Even after a decade in this business, I still go back to lessons I learned early on. Question everything, but then learn how to ask the next question after that. Acquire new skills, but constantly fine-tune them. Identify an angle, but then dig even deeper to find new ones. Stick to a checklist, but then push yourself to think more creatively. Even the ability to adapt to different situations and think quickly on your feet are developed over time.
At Definers Public Affairs, we are constantly working on fostering these good habits. Not only do we sharpen our skills through the day-to-day work, but we also hold regular training sessions that focus on mechanical skills, research approach, and best practices. We’re always on the look-out for new tools that can make our jobs more efficient. We invite experts to talk about different aspects of the research and communications world. And we glean from the wealth of experience we have in-house.
When it’s crunch time, great athletes rely on their good habits to carry them to victory. In an ever-changing political and business climate, relying on our good habits allows us to stay steps ahead, helping us deliver wins for our clients day in and day out.