Clarity, like a clear blue sky, is something we can’t get enough of.
When we communicate a future vision, plan or changes, we forget how little context the greater team have. As a leader, you have had conversations about the topic, mulled it over, and digested it. You have been with the information for a while, and may even have been part of the planning, or the originator of the idea. Your audience, however, is seeing and hearing about it for the first time.
The audience’s lack of context highlights the need for clear and concise messaging that will need to be repeated many times. Patrick Lencioni has coined CEOs as Chief Reminding Officers, an apt job description for all leaders who want to keep their teams aligned.
Simple, straight forward messages are best. Crisp and clear communication is interpreted as the deliverer knows what they are talking about; rambling means they don’t.
Critical messaging elements include:
- Be straightforward & transparent
- Make sense from the listener’s point of view
- Monitor reactions for comprehension
- Know the “headline” of your message (eight words or less)
- Define the talking points that balance big picture and details
- Repeat and repeat
Following a structure for your communication helps you keep your listener’s perspective front and center, while ensuring your message flows well. You can find a variety of communication structures on-line. Here’s ours which is designed for Vision and Change communication.
In closing, remember that a short message takes much longer to craft than a long one, but its impact will be far greater than a rambling message.