Great Communicators Leave Nothing to Chance: They Always Connect the Dots

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You know, I love the old adage that goes something like this:

“Why lead a horse to water, when you can get the milk for free!”

Okay, old adages confuse me.

New ones too!

But, here’s the message of this newsletter: finish off your thoughts when you are trying to induce specific behavior in someone.

So many of the CEOs and managers I work with complain that they don’t feel they should have to exactly “spell it out for them.” I say they do (and you do as well) if the goal is more success influencing the actions of others.

“They” ( you know..”them”)can never be really sure of what you want of them, unless you go to the trouble of telling them.

Let’s go through several communication scenarios and see the difference in going some of the way, going most of the way and then actually finishing off each episode.

Communication #1

Telling an Employee to Come In Early for an Important Meeting

Weak effort:

The meeting starts tomorrow at 7:30, sharp!

(Wow! So many things to have with fun with here, but first things first: Is there 7:30, dull?)

Fair effort:

The meeting starts at 7:30 tomorrow. It’s important we’re all here on time.

Truly connecting the dots:

The meeting starts at 7:30 tomorrow. I need to hear from every single member of the team so that we can agree on the right decision before we go our separate ways at 8:30.

Please be on time so we can get a solid hour of weighing in from everyone.

Communication #2

Explaining the Features and Benefits of Your Product

Weak effort:

The new switch runs at 189 megahertz (or gigahertz, like I would really know the difference) which is triple the speed of your current switch.

Fair effort:

The new switch runs at 189 megahertz which is triple the speed of your current switch. Your staff will be able to access best practice information much faster from your wide variety of data bases.

Truly connecting the dots:

The new switch runs at 189 megahertz which is triple the speed of your current switch. That means when your project managers are meeting with your clients, they’ll be able to pull up information on best practice information from your data bases as quickly as they get driving directions from Google. Your clients will be impressed not only at how helpful your project managers are, but how much you’ve made it easy and quick for them to come up with solutions.

Communications #3

Asking Your Bank to Increase Your Line

Weak effort:

Our last 36 months show an upward lift in sales volume compounded at an annual rate of 14.6%. At the same time our profitability has increased at a compounded annual rate of 8.6%.

Fair effort:

Over the last three years, we’ve shown steady increases in sales and profitability. If we turn to the balance sheet we can see that we’ve been able to stock pile a significant amount of cash.

Truly connecting the dots:

Over the last three years, we’ve shown steady increases in sales and profitability. If we turn to the balance sheet we can see that we’ve been able to stock pile a significant amount of cash. We’d like to be able to take an additional discount from our suppliers, but we don’t want to use that rainy day cash in the process. This worksheet shows that with an increased line of credit we’ll be able to take the discounts, pay the interest fee to you easily and still be able to build more cash reserves in the process.

It’s worth the trouble!

Going from weak effort to truly connecting the dots requires more preparation and then more energy in your delivery during the meeting. But it’s a small price to pay for increased productivity from your staff, more sales from your customers, and greater access to capital from your bank.

Saucy Blog

My latest blog post details my bizarre communication fantasy.* Take a look: http://wiskup.blogspot.com/
*don’t worry. It’s a more mundane fantasy than anything outlined in the FIFTY SHADES triology.

Mark Wiskup Books

 

                                              

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