"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it happened" This is one of my favourite quotes from George Bernard Shaw, and also one is the top 5 issues I see in organisations.

Some of the other common phrases I hear a lot are:
"It boiled down to a breakdown in communication"
"We keep getting mixed messages"
"I came away more confused than when I went in!"
"I don't understand why this is a priority right now?"
and my favourite is "I've told them a thousand times, but they still don't get it".

Whenever you need to get buy-in or galvanise people around a new initiative, new project, new piece of work, or simply have something important that you want people to hear, there are 3 fundamental things you need to make sure you have covered before you start talking:

1. CLARITY: Have a clear message. Just one. Not a whole heap of things that you want them to do/hear/think about. Just one. We often try to cram too many messages into our communication, and the most important can get lost. So, get clear on your message. And secondly, be clear on your audience. WHO is this message for? Who needs to hear this the most? Tailor your message for them. This helps you think and craft a clearer message.

2. CONTEXT: Give them context - this includes the WHY behind your message. Why this? Why now? What things were like in the past, what's happened that meant we are talking about this now, and what will things look and feel like in the future when we do this?

3. PRESCRIPTION: What do you need them to do? What are the actions that you need them to take? Be clear on this. Concise. Short and simple language. Easy to understand. Direct and to the point, so that they leave with no doubt about what you are asking from them.

When leaders get this right, the impact is almost instant. It takes practice, and it takes time to be intentional and craft a message that is going to engage and galvanize people. If you begin with the lens of Clarity, Context and Prescription, it's a good start to delivering more meaningful communication.

"Words that are carefully framed and spoken are the most powerful communication there is"
Nancy Duarte

1 Learning: Just because you said something, doesn't mean people heard you.
1 Opportunity: Identify 1 person in your organisation that you think communicates well, and one that is not so engaging. Notice what they say, how they say it, and how you feel when they are speaking. Identify the differences in communication styles and what worked and what didn't when they were speaking.
1 Action: The next time you have something that you need to communicate to your team, your peers, your organisation, apply the clarity, context and prescription method. Then, with genuine interest, after the session, check in with a couple of the attendees and ask for feedback.

Ask them:

What was the message that you took away from what I said?
Was it clear what I was asking for?
Did you understand the importance and relevance of what I was talking about?
Listen and take on board their feedback, and thank them for their honesty.

You'll know you've got it right when you start to see the impact and change you were seeking.

Go forth and communicate more meaningful messages!

If you would like some help with crafting more meaningful messages, building engagement and increasing buy-in, I'd love to help. Check out the the featured program section below and get in touch.