How many new initiatives are you launching each month or even each week? I am not only referring to top level strategy here. They are happening on 3 levels:
Small changes can make a big impact, if introduced in an inspiring and collaborative way. If all the positive adjustments being made are embraced and actioned, business improvement works faster. I know this sounds very obvious, but it’s where some big wins can be had, with minimal additional effort. What we are talking about here is sharpening the ability to communicate in a way that creates real traction with your people. Communication has never been more important than it is today. The higher the levels of uncertainty the greater the need for regular, authentic and inspiring dialogue with leaders.
Leaders and managers have a tough job on their hands. Each presentation, each meeting indeed each email has within it a core message. But are your messages being heard? Are they being welcomed and actioned?
If we look at effective leadership communication throughout history, and note the style of many outstanding leaders who have instigated change and mobilised their people; we see a pattern of the following being present:
- They speak from a Personal perspective and are deeply invested in the message
- Imagery, Metaphor and Story are used to generate an experience of the message
- There is always a call to action
Think for a moment about the last 3 meetings you attended or led. How clear were the directives and the “why” they are so important? How personally connected to the message was the speaker? Was there a clear call to action for each person in the room? We all attend many meetings. There is a danger they merge into a haze of Teams or Zoom meetings and produce very little action.
Here is a wonderful example from Martin Luther King during his Lincoln Memorial Address in August 28, 1963., Washington, D.C.
« One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked « insufficient funds. » But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.«
His use of imagery and metaphor has always been a key component that enabled him to stir his followers to action.
Messages do not need to be long … A lot of powerful messages have been delivered in under 18 minutes. John F. Kennedy inspired a nation in 15 minutes and Martin Luther King shared his vision of racial equality in 17 minutes.
From the business world, Steve Jobs has given us inspiring examples of how personal stories can really drive a point home.
With a little help and some attention to this aspect of our day to day work lives we can tune up the performance capability. We can develop leaders and managers who are able to elegantly navigate their teams through the inevitable storms ahead, and come out stronger.
Finders is working with leaders and managers in Switzerland to craft their messages and improve the impact of their delivery.
It is increasingly clear that testing the soundness of ideas, and rehearsing the delivery, are essential to successful outcomes. Building the affiliation and trust needed for the message to be accepted and actioned is not automatic, it takes focus and connection to the reason WHY you are asking for this and a real understanding of the current thoughts and emotions governing your team or audience.
This forms an essential aspect of our OPTIMISE focus. Seeking to optimise the effectiveness of ideas and people, means messages require careful crafting and rehearsal. We therefore invite you to try out our Virtual Sounding Board which can be run as a small group of 6, with several ideas being formulated and rehearsed, or as a one to one session for crucial presentations or initiatives.
We will be holding our introductory Virtual Sounding Board on November 17th 2020 10am CET – 12.30pm. There is a one time offer for 6 people to attend at a reduced rate of CHF 100.- per seat. To book email: firstname.lastname@example.org