Let’s be honest… we all have something to say. If you are a small business owner or an emerging leader, you want to generate a result from your communication. Often you watch what happens after your communication and ask, “did they not understand me?”
The answer is no. Because you did not take into account what they already have/had on their mind. They already have an opinion, a stance, a point of view on the topic. If you don’t acknowledge that or deal with it, it remains a gigantic distraction.
I’ll give you an example from my own experience. I have signed up and am paying for a new CRM/marketing platform. And for two weeks, I have expressed my inability to follow their video instructions to integrate my calendar.
I was told to hop on the implementation call and all would be revealed. Over the course of the next hour, the instructor went through all sorts of gyrations and never addressed the calendar integration. Thirty minutes into the call all I could think of was, “is this yahoo even going to try”? And I missed quite a bit so I will have to try again if I want to use this CRM.
What happens to your team when you have a toxic manager who is spreading havoc and mayhem through employees and clients? I have seen this countless times, in organizations I worked with. A leader wants to talk about and inspire the team on a new initiative, a new direction, and to production. And they are laying out the vision and the values of the new culture. They are expecting the team to be inspired.
Meanwhile, this toxic manager is spewing throughout the organization. People in your audience have been injured by this manager. I can promise you they are not hearing your new vision. They are wondering how that “jerk” fits into your plans.
It doesn’t have to be a toxic manager. It could be worrying about a re-organization or coming back into the office after a pandemic. Until you address their concerns, they can’t hear or process your new vision.
If you are the leader, it is incumbent on you to get your message across. You need to own it if it falls on deaf ears. This isn’t very hard. It requires you to slow down just a bit and to think through:
- What are their fears, concerns, frustrations around this topic?
- What do they think they know that is correct?
- What do they think they know that is incorrect?
- What do they need to hear to get on board?
Just showing up and sharing your point of view…well that’s just sharing your point of view. An influential leader considers the audience (of one or many).
If you would like help with this, consider the white paper, “The Three Conversations of Managerial and Leadership Success.” You can get it here.