Travis Streb works with senior leaders as a coach, facilitator and speaker across North America. He is known for his disarming, yet practical style which he uses to both engage his audience and inspire them to take action. We hope you enjoy our last Monthly Dinner of the year, and please take moment to learn about this likable speaker.
Travis is a born and raised Vancouverite that now calls Deep Cove his home, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. When he’s not inspiring his clients, you’ll find Travis climbing the North Shore mountains on his bike, on foot or on skis.
Q&A with Travis Streb
As Project Managers we spend 90% of our workday communicating, what is the most common part of communication that you see being left behind?
It's impossible to pick just one! There are three common things I see missing and I believe they're critical to any effective project communication.
First, upfront context is often missing that help orient the audience or reader to the subject matter.
Second, the message is often not there. The message helps bring clarity to a topic and helps the audience or reader understand the central idea or point.
Lastly, action is often missing. A project manager may deliver a compelling presentation or have a brilliant email, but the next steps are either missing or too vague to drive any real action.
Within a project team what do you see as a common communication pitfall, and how do you suggest to overcome it?
Under communication of vision. I've worked with many project managers and they often rely on the project kickoff meeting to talk about their vision. Then they stop talking about it as the project gets underway.
It's important to tie people’s individual tasks or work packages back to the vision on a regular basis. Frequency is the really issue here.
What key communication takeaway have you gained from your experiences in cycling race teams?
Skills break down under pressure! No matter how good your presentation sounds in your own head, it's important to practice first to get a sense of how it will all come together. Practice is needed in cycling and speaking!
How do you feel team bonding experiences contribute to communication? Any particular exercises that you recommend for team development?
Talk to each other.
People on a project team want to feel connected to the project, and to each other. Sometimes the best way to do this is to get out of the office and have a traditional team building event. The most important part is that people get to know each other as people. This can help people build healthy, professional relationships which allows them connect more effectively as project professionals.
What candid advice do you give for optimizing communication with clients and stakeholders?
Assume positive intent. We make a lot of assumptions about people based on what they say or write. This is especially true in email. If you make it a habit to assume that the person on the other end of the phone, table or computer has a positive intent, it can fundamentally change what you hear as a listener.
What books have inspired you or ones that you have recommended most?
This one is easy. Speaking as a Leader, by Judith Humphrey. It's the reason I joined The Humphrey Group.
Speaking As a Leader, Judith Humphrey.
Do you have any particular morning routines?
Absolutely, I've got two and I got them from my grandfather.
1) Oatmeal for breakfast. I travel a lot so this keeps me away from the usual croissant/danish vortex at most hotels.
2) Yoga. 20 minutes every morning no matter which city/hotel I'm in. It helps me clear my head and wake up in the morning. It's also a great way for me to start the day off with a strong foundation so I'm ready for whatever comes at me.
Thank you Travis for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to get to know you better. We are looking forward to your presentation on speaking as a leader.
For anyone that is interested in learning more about the event Speaking as a Leader - How To Influence and Inspire Every Time You Communicate or to register please click below.