Trends exist everywhere whether it’s your industry, economics or fashion. In fact the more aware we are of what’s trending the more our conversational pool expands. Agreeing or disagreeing with a trend is less important than being aware of existing trends. When we have this information we can be more effective in our interactions with prospects, clients and colleagues. Conversely, if we have more of a silo mentality we tend to be closed off and aren’t as current.

Here are several questions and ideas for your consideration when it comes to trends:

1. Do you blog or subscribe to blogs?
2. Do you participate in online discussion forums?
3. Do you receive industry publications?
4. Do you set aside time in your routine to research what’s developing both in your own field as well as those of your clients?
5. Do you attend conferences to stay on top of changes?
6. Do you sign up for and attend webinars?
7. Do you listen to a variety of podcasts?
8. Do you network with other professionals?
9. Do you ask questions of your internal and external customers to gain their perspective?
10. Do you have receptivity to exploring new ideas and trying a fresh approach?

How you answered these 10 questions isn’t about being right or wrong. Rather it’s a way to expand your thinking which is the first step toward being a stronger communicator—consider it a new trend!