Over the years I have discovered there are many reasons our communications do not impact our intended receivers. High speed innovation and collaboration require a different set of communication strategies than you may have used in the past. I thought it might be helpful to review them today and then Thursday I give you several ideas on how to create a message with impact. By changing the way you communicate, you can change the trajectory of your career. All great leaders know how to communicate effectively. Interestingly, they don’t all communicate in the same way. To become a stronger leader you must master your own communication style.
In the past, organizations invested significant resources to help you become a better leader as you advanced throughout your career. Today, leaders are being asked to do more with less and provide support to a wider range of stakeholders than ever before. Multigenerational, multinational businesses in competitive markets working under tight deadlines all have increased the possibility of communications breakdowns. Today, I talk about the potential reasons you aren’t connecting and being heard. On Thursday this week, we begin sharing several ideas that can take your ability to motivate, manage, and inspire to a different level. As you read through the list; consider how many of these might be impacting the ability you have to influence others.
The first reason your communication fails is you are not seen as authentic. The people you are talking to do not think you are real. They don’t trust who they think you are. When given a choice, people do more for people they feel are real. Do people feel you’re real?
The second reason your communication fails is people don’t believe they are being told the truth. They think you might be lying to them. They don’t believe what you have to say. What you’re saying doesn’t match what they believe.
The third reason your communication fails is people aren’t sure you’re competent to provide advice. They question your credibility in the areas you’re talking about. They want more proof than you have provided. They want to know your experience.
The fourth reason your communications fails is that the responder isn’t certain your message is for them. Your message is delivered on a larger scale with no intended target. The receiver is not certain what you are asking them to do. There is nothing in it for them to take action on.
The fifth reason your communication fails is you have not grabbed and retained the attention of the intended listener. Your message is being delivered in a style your listener is not used to hearing it. Are you using old stories and examples that your audience is not familiar with?
The sixth reason your communications fail is you haven’t connected the dots for your listener. With so many priorities, people are given more choices to how things go together. Your communication has to provide context, as well as information.
The seventh reason your communications fail is that you fail to provide your listener with what’s in it for them. They are unmoved and unmotivated because there is no benefit for them to take action. Does your message inspire them to take action for their own benefit?
The final reason your communications fail is you have not convinced them that your option is the best choice for them to take action on. You have failed to show them why your option is the best choice of all the options they have. People are incredibly busy today, you must help them understand why your option provides them the best results for time invested.
Now we have several reasons why you message is not being acted on. There is nothing you’ve done wrong, but many of the communication strategies that have worked in the past no longer work in today’s workplace. Your team is receiving thousands of different messages throughout their day and their attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Their trust in authority is decreasing at an alarming rate. Finally, they have many other options today to get and maintain their attention. So what do you do?
The good news is all these things can be changed quickly and easily if you have the keys to building a message with impact. Thursday we begin sharing these keys to more effective communications.
Judging by my email, people are very interested in how to create a more collaborative work environment. How can you be brought up to speed on the many aspects of an innovative organization? I’m participating in a program in March featuring many of the world’s best leaders on innovation delivered through a webinar series in a cost effective way. You should check out the Delivering High Performance Collaboration Conference .
See you Thursday.