The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy, without much time for an online life. But — shh! don’t tell! — I still allowed myself the guilty pleasure of watching Dancing With The Stars on Monday and Tuesday nights. And yes, I even had dibs on the TV with NHL playoffs going on.

Although in general I despise so-called “reality” shows, I am a sucker for this one. Maybe it’s because I can’t dance, and I enjoy watching others with two left feet turn into elegant partners, especially during those lovely and graceful waltzes.

While I was enjoying my guilty pleasure, I decided that DWTS can actually impart some lessons about communications:

  • Just like a piece of corporate writing or a stirring speech, dance isn’t just a technical performance. Sure, the mechanical steps have to be there, but if it doesn’t tell a story and reach people’s emotions, it won’t inspire action.
  • You may be upset about your performance, but pick yourself up and carry on. Whining is unattractive, and while it might win you some sympathy at first, people eventually tire of your “poor me” attitude and want you to suck it up.
  • Whether it’s dancing, or writing, or giving a dynamite speech, skills don’t come naturally to all of us. Having said that, however, you can always improve. Just don’t bill yourself as an expert when we can clearly see your flaws!
  • Only one person wins a competition like this, whether it’s a Mirrorball Trophy or Communicator of the Year, but that doesn’t mean others won’t benefit. Look at how many celebrities have lost weight, gained dancing skills, made friends. The process of trying something new and making progress, however slight, has value, even if a judge gives you a 5 out of 10 along the way.

What other communications or life lessons do you see in shows like Dancing With The Stars? What’s your guilty TV pleasure?