Be Self-Contained And Communicate Excellently!

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As Cameron Johnson said: to succeed you need to “put yourself out there” or in rough language ‘get yourself exposed’.



As I learned from my experience, one of the best ways to put yourself out there and possibility to grow both personally and professionally is through the internship experience, preferably abroad.

I remember almost 4 years ago, I landed an internship in Florida where I was coordinating a fundraising project for the construction of water supply systems for the villages of Tajikistan. Yes, some rural areas in Tajikistan do not have access to safe and drinking water. You can read more about the project here .

Basically, my objective was to manage a promotional marketing campaign for the international water project run in the villages of Central Asia, particularly in Tajikistan. The project was targeted at Florida Rotary Clubs, who would donate their money to the construction of water supply systems in Tajikistan. Some of the places that I visited are: Tampa, West Palm Beach, Senibel-Captiva, Cape Coral, Dade City, LakeLand North, Miami (North Dade), Anna Maria Island, Fort Pierce Sunrise and etc.

All in all I visited more than 12 clubs and raised around $12.000, which would be converted in $48.000 once it reaches the Rotary International level. Now, think of what impact the funds of $48.000 can make for the people in Tajikistan, who do not have access to safe and drinking water. This was one of the most rewarding and truly unforgettable experience in my life.

Upon completion of my internship, my management called me “the most valuable member of the team in the summer of 2005“. Now, I am not trying to impress you but impress upon you. By sharing this experience I want you to have excellent results and impression on your management too.

Here are some skills you need to develop to ensure your success in anything you do.

1. Learn how to be ’self-contained’
When I arrived at the office on the first day, I was told by my director that I need to learn to be ’self-contained’. Now, honestly, as being a foreigner I did not know the word, which made me go ahead and look it up in a dictionary. The first thing I saw was this:

[1. Having self-control; 2...] … “What a heck?!” - I said back in time. “I just started my internship and now I am being told to have a self-control?”. Well, a desperate as I may have sounded but I learned the lesson. All I needed to take away from this experience is to learn how to be proactive and take initiative on my own in almost anything I do. For example, if I needed some information, instead of bugging and asking questions of my director, I would give my best shot in attempt of finding this piece on my own first.

2. Learn how to communicate well
Anthony Robbins once said at the UPW seminar I went to in 2007, if there is only one skill you need to learn to be successful it will be an ability to communicate excellently. And this means that you have to learn how to communicate well not only with others but first with yourself.

Communication is a skill that you can master with proper preparation.

It is funny to see that so many people discount the value of preparation. Louis Pasteur says “Luck favors the mind that is prepared.” For example, this is one the mistakes you should not make when you make a presentation and communicate your thoughts to others. Watch below.

Do you think if you watched this particular piece of the Microsoft’s presentation you would be a fan of it? Hmm, really doubt it.

So, the bottomline is this: you need to develop a sharp attitude towards being self-contained and able to communicate your thoughts clearly.

Here is a nice resource on effective communication: http://www.mindtools.com/page8.html and write me your comments about my experience or about the video above. What mistakes do you think this guy makes during his presentation?

Vladimir Chen

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5 Responses to “Be Self-Contained And Communicate Excellently!”

  1. Xinyan YiNo Gravatar says:

    October 10th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Vla, Thanks for sharing. It was a memoriable time in LaBelle, Florida. I like your idea of “get yourself exposed.” So, we can see our growth little by little. That’s a helpful strategy I am using. You advice of “Communication is a skill that you can master with proper preparation” is great. Frankly, I learned it in the hard way. When I did my interview for B-schools, I was using a strategy of “learning by doing.” So, the first interivews were not impressive (positive saying), and especially I missed my dream school - Darden B-school at U of Virginia because of its case teaching method. Now, I am happy with my current school, because I have seen my growth where I lost the battle.

  2. MufiedNo Gravatar says:

    October 11th, 2008 at 5:20 am

    wow! …i really think it is cool,thanks for sharing ur knowledge..thankful..^^

  3. VladimirChenNo Gravatar says:

    October 11th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Hey guys, thanks a lot for your comments. I’m glad you like the sharing. I hope you can use this knowledge to your advantage ;) cheers!

  4. Venilla@Vennila Rajaguru PushpanathanNo Gravatar says:

    October 11th, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Hey Networkers, it’s very useful to know how one new recruit’s experience of being “Self-Contained” turned out to be a productive management tenet. Not to bug the boss, but take initiative to find out required details, and take action on what needs to be done is a self-starter’s way. Good to know “Self contained” is akin to “self control” & “self mastery” in a professional/business environment.

  5. VladimirChenNo Gravatar says:

    October 14th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Hey Venilla, thanks for the recup. I am glad you are taking something that may apply to what you do. Vladimir

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