If you broke into your team’s houses in the middle of the night and shook each of them awake and screamed “WHAT ARE WE DOING?”, would they be able to answer you in their stupor state? If the answer is no, or even maybe, then you have not transferred the vision to your team effectively.
We communicate all day, every day. Either on purpose or by default. In your organization, one of the most impactful aspects of your communication is transferability.
According to the Radicati Group, 281 billion emails are sent worldwide daily. With 3.8 billion users, that’s 74 emails per person. Similarly, the Wall Street Journal reported that the average person finds themselves distracted at work once every 3 minutes – which means an upward of 40 percent of an employee’s actual workday is spent on non-productive efforts.
If you want to be heard, you have to help people cut through the noise and focus on what’s important. That requires additional signals that indicate that your message is relevant and worthy of people’s limited time, to cause them to take notice.
These few tips will help you transfer the most important information to your team effectively:
Know exactly what you are communicating, why you are communicating it, and what you want you team to take away from it. It is very common for leaders to forget that part of their job is to translate what they are communicating into action steps for their team. A couple simple questions to ask yourself are: “how does this affect them?”, and “what do I want them to do as soon as I am done talking?”
Act out your message. We know that only 7% of our communication is verbal. Which means we need to be intentional and perceptive with the remaining 93%. Anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell estimated we can make and recognize around 250,000 facial expressions. The reality is that your team will remember how you made them feel much more than what you said. The better you can relate the two, the more of your communication will transfer.
Repeat yourself, and then repeat some more. The philosopher Plato wrote that there is no harm in repeating a good thing. Repeat for clarity, repeat for certainty, and repeat for poetry. Can you imagine Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech if he only said it once? A practical way to repeat yourself is to verbally communicate the information, then follow up with the same information in an email.
We all want our teams to know what we are doing, and these tips will help us transfer the communication effectively to them.