The key to communicating and achieving performance, both personally or professionally (which are arguably the same), is repetition. That’s worth repeating — repetition is the key.
There’s a quote by George Bernard Shaw that says: “The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has happened.”
Think about that.
Just because we said something does not mean that the recipient heard, understood, or agreed, specifically. Therefore, we must communicate our messages many different times through numerous methods. This can be through different mediums, in different venues, or with different words.
This is where those creative leaders really get a chance to make a difference (by the way, you’re creative or you wouldn’t be a leader). Okay, for those of you who think I’m not talking to you, let me put this another way… there’s a problem here that needs to be solved. So problem solvers, get busy.
When you communicate your messages about your goals and results, be sure to be very specific, succinct, and simple. Something else that will really get your audiences’ attention is to sprinkle in a little bit of “what’s in it for them”. In other words, why should they care to or want to listen? Commonly, we tell people what we want. The fact is, people listen more and want to take more action when they know how they will benefit from it. This is not a selfish mindset; it’s just how we operate.
Get the buy-in up front.
When we communicate our goals and desired results, we’re just getting people to take the action we desire, and good marketing communicates the benefits to the buyer. For the people who are thinking — “that’s great, but I’m a manager” — this is where you initiate the buy-in. Let’s motivate our organizations to action producing the best results they’re capable of… by getting them to “want” to.
To summarize, repeat your message over and over and over again in words they understand and communicate to your audience, or that close partner, the benefits they will receive from taking action.
Beyond that, our biggest and best communication medium is our actions. So let’s act in congruence with our marketing messages (oops, I mean relationship and business communications). To modify a saying from Gandhi: “be the action you wish to see in the organization”. Your actions comprise your words, your appearance, your expressions, your mannerisms, and your behaviors… how you show up to any and every situation.
To repeat what I said here…
- Repeat your message over and over in different places, ways, and words.
- Repeat actions — stay consistent with the messages that you repeat over and over.
Let’s think of it this way — three simple words caused shampoo sales to skyrocket: “wash, rinse, repeat”. Do you think maybe we can cause performance to skyrocket if we “communicate, act, repeat”?