It was great advice, “Next time be more inspirational and less informational.” One of my coworkers said this to me after a brief meeting for people interested in leading teen small groups. He noticed that I spent the majority of the time informing people of our programs, when I should have been motivating. He told me, “You had them because they came, now you just needed to seal the deal.”
He was more than right and there have been so many times that I’ve screwed up a meeting, message or email because I did not take one of these three steps to move people forward:
- Introduce The Dilemma – Many times we’ll ask people to do something without explaining, why they should do it. Not every ask has to be because of a problem, but it’s definitely about changing, fixing or improving something. If you don’t paint vision or hope you’ll have a tough time building compassion
- Brief and Clear Facts – Many times we feel that the facts will be so clear that everyone will see the situation from our perspective. If we aren’t intentional about which facts we use and how we use it the information will cancel itself out.
- Give Direction – Even if you have their heart strings and filled them with reason, you need a plan to set them forward. Many times we spend a meeting heavy with facts and story, but lack the answer to, “Now what?” Never conclude a meeting or a message without an action plan.
The main problem is assumption, never assume that anyone sees anything from your angle or perspective. Practice your delivery, gain feedback and know that it takes motivation, information and direction to move someone forward.
Of the three areas which do you struggle communicating?