How many times have you given a message without considering how it will be received? Do you often communicate thinking that you just need to get the information off your chest? Think about the last email you sent or received; did you write the email with yours or the reader’s feelings in mind? Did you receive the response you hoped for? Was the message clear in the email you received or was there some ambiguity?
When communicating, we are all guilty of putting our needs first; it’s easier and faster to share the message, and we think that because we understand our message others will too. Unfortunately, the meaning can get lost in translation.
Building a positive foundation
In one of our previous posts (the power of language in recognition and learning), we talked about effective and ineffective leadership exchanges and how they can influence relationships with workplace peers. In this post, we look at specific factors that make exchanges successful.
The art of the meaningful conversation suggests four foundations to ensure constructive exchanges:
If you’re honest about company situations – good or bad – people will feel that they are integral to company success and want to support the organization’s goals. However, the truth can be brutal so consider the feelings of the message receiver and speak the truth with good intentions.
Show your authenticity
Be true to yourself. When you are authentic, your actions are more consistent, and people are more likely to follow your lead. Remember, people follow leaders not strategies.
Act with integrity
Be genuine and follow through on your word. If you are insincere people will soon lose faith in you and your message.
Communicate with love
As Julian says in his talk, this is not meant as romantic love, but rather communicating with the receiver’s best interests in mind.
These factors will help you to communicate genuinely and will take you part of the way to getting positive reactions. However, you also need to ensure that the listener or reader acts on your message.
Communicating for results
Consider what you want your audience to ‘think,’ ‘feel’ and ‘do’ as a result of the message you’re sharing. These three actions are particularly important to building a culture of engagement. Initiating this sequence with every interaction in your social recognition solution has the potential to drive positive behaviors throughout your organization, and here’s how:
The goal is to ensure the receiver is thinking about the same topic as you. They may already know something about the topic or it may be new information. Consider exactly what you want them to contemplate before you communicate.
Once the topic is on their mind, we then want to evoke emotion about that subject. Perhaps you want the message receiver to feel appreciated, or maybe you want them to expend more effort. Perhaps you want to change someone’s opinion. Consider what you want the person or people to feel about the topic and communicate accordingly.
As a result of your communication, what are you hoping the person will do next? Share the information more widely? Keep it quiet? Respond in a particular way? Change their behavior? Consider the action you want the person to take and communicate to generate that action.
Being more thoughtful about the exchanges you have can make your organization more efficient and ensure you have happier and more engaged employees. Think before you interact and the reactions may surprise you!