Last month, I wrote a short post on LinkedIn.
If you could communicate one thing to one person that would profoundly change their life, but would not benefit you…
Would you tell them?
What would you tell them?
How would you tell them?
Why would you tell them?
Answering these questions could change your life for the better… Be honest and dig deep!
It got me thinking. How many of us understand what we are trying to communicate and why? Are we able to communicate it to the right people, utilizing the right medium, in language that compels them to listen, understand the value to them, and engage?
We need to understand why we do what we do, and if we are to have goals that matter, they must be aligned with our personal purpose and the purpose of our organization.
Too many of us focus on what and how. Those are tactical thoughts. They do not motivate; they do not align people with tasks, and they do not enable people to understand why what they do matters.
Conversely, if we enable people within our sphere of influence to understand why something is important to us, and hopefully why it should be important to them, they will have reason to rally behind the objective, and be motivated to see it achieved.
A simple case in point is a numerical sales goal. If the goal is to achieve $20 million in sales in a month (or a quarter, or a year), that goal is measurable, and people can be held accountable if goals are not achieved…or can they?
It can be argued that if there is not a larger purpose, rather than pure arbitrary numerical goals, then whether that number is hit or missed becomes unachievable. There must be explanations regarding why that number is important, and individual expectations for departments, divisions, and people for that number to be achieved.
If, in the end, everyone is not aligned to why that number is important to all, all you will get is a blame game and finger pointing when the goal is not achieved.
However, if everyone understands that we want to hit the $20 million mark because it will set us up for our IPO, and individually you will all be able to vest your shares, that is a completely different thing. Now you have alignment and purpose. Reaching that goal becomes personal and motivates individuals to work within their team, and within the greater organization to bring this to fruition.
Being able to communicate your why effectively can be the difference between being a profitable company with a strong culture, purpose, and loyal clients – or not.
So, how do you do this?
First, by understanding motivations both inside and outside the company. What is important to those you wish to influence and how can you align your objectives with their wants, needs, and desires?
Second, by utilizing mediums and language that align with those you wish to influence, and not just language and mediums that are comfortable for you. It is not as important that you understand what you are trying to say and achieve as it is for those you communicate with to be able to internalize, understand, recall, and retell your message effectively.
Third, do not be afraid to clarify, adjust, and implement differently. If what you say is not being understood or does not resonate, it is not the fault of those you communicate with, it is yours. You are not being clear. You are not motivating people effectively. You are not enabling them to engage. Ego has no part in this process, and being able to listen to your audience, to understand why they are misinterpreting and misunderstanding you and adjusting, is vital to moving forward successfully.
No one method works for everyone. You will find that different groups respond differently, and it is your responsibility to develop content, using different mediums that resonate with them, and not expect them to conform to a medium they are unfamiliar with and uncomfortable interacting with.
Communication is hard to do effectively. It is as much about listening and understanding others as it is about getting your point of view understood. To communicate your why, you need to be a chameleon, being responsive to the landscape that surrounds you.
Wishing you success.
Connect with Ben HERE to discuss how to provide your people with the skills and mindset they need to communicate effectively within the new normal and beyond to differentiate your brand in the eyes of your clientele.