What's the most valuable skill a person can have for their entire life?

About seven months ago, my wife and I found out we were going to be bringing a life into this world.

It made me scared, excited, nervous, and happy -- all at the same time.

As we started closing in on the due date, I began thinking about this question:

What's the ONE most important skill I want to teach my daughter in life?

I decided to teach her how to effectively communicate her ideas.

Why communication?

Because everything happens through communication.

Someone once told me that "the quality of your communication is the response that you get." This means that if people don't "get you", then it's not their fault; it's yours.

So, what IS communication anyway?

Communication = the ability to express your thoughts.

Communications are conveyed in a few different ways: spoken, written, emotional, behavioral (body language). These are all important in their own special way. 


Communicating your ideas through the spoken word comes in handy when you're addressing a large group of people in person. The most important part about speaking is listening.

No one's more annoying than someone who talks talks talks -- and never listens. Make your conversations like a tennis match - hitting the ball back and forth throughout. If you're trying to build rapport or get someone to like you - keep the ball in their court longer than you keep it in yours.

If you're addressing a group of people (speeches, presentations, small groups, etc.) know what you're going to say before you say it. Then say it. Then sit down, shut down, or shut up.


The written word is helpful when you're trying to express your ideas to large groups of people through text-based means, like articles, essays, books, or blogs,

Write like you speak. Be simple. Don't use big words or stupid acronyms when regular words will due.

You can't always do this, but write like you speak and stick to simplicity as often as possible and people will appreciate you for it.


Words backed with emotion are especially effective when we want to make a message matter.

For example: If you took a hair pin and threw it in my direction, it would bounce of my chest and fall to the ground. If you took that same hair pin and drove against my chest with a hammer, you'd pierce right through my heart.

That's the kind of impact emotions can have if you use them properly.


Sometimes your body language tells people everything they need to know before you ever open your mouth.

When you walk into a room, walk in like you mean it. When you're speaking with someone, give them your eyes, but don't linger longer than you need to or you'll send the wrong signal. When you shake someone's hand, grip firmly, but don't squeeze like you're compensating for something you don't have.

When you say something, say it with your body -- use gestures, use facial expressions, use your body language to help your ideas land like a pilot does with an airplane -- smooth, deliberate, and never phased by occasional bouts of turbulence.

Communication is everything

On July 3rd, 2015 at 10:18am, our beautiful daughter, Nora Bokhari was born.

I'm lookin' forward to helping her develop one of the most valuable skills she'll ever learn as she navigates through life and contributes her gifts to the world.


Live like you give a damn.
- Dean

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