Bolt, Battle, Mend or Stew –
What we communicate is our message. How we communicate is based upon our habits and predispositions. How well we communicate is dependent on how completely the audience receives and is able to digest our message.
Overview: Communication does not happen when a message is transmitted, it happens when it is received and digested. How information is digested is based upon the fear predispositions of the speaker and those of the audience. If how the message is delivered triggers a reaction, its ability to be assimilated is inhibited. Effective communication is easily absorbed. It flows. As it flows it gains momentum. Momentum sustains the effortless disbursement of the message and facilitates the change it intends.
Concept: The desire for change is at the heart of all communication. Effective, efficient and absorb-able communication leads to a culture of engaged change. People and organizations with a culture of engagement are fulfilled, successful and passionate.
When we understand our prejudices, fears and underlying demands we can learn to speak transparently. Transparency reduces fear and resistance. Self-knowing leads to the ability to speak in a way that will be heard, felt and digested. As we are able to reduce our defenses and override our habitual fears, we can meet our audience in a place that is comfortable for them. If they are comfortable, they feel safe. The safer they are, the less energy they spend to defend themselves and the more energy they have to be present and open to the change we intend.
Solution: Speak with the intention to communicate transparently. Transparency gives direction, insight and information in as few words as possible. Insights are the ways in which obstacles, drag and resistance can be reduced. Information is the facts without fear, demand, blame or prejudice. Be intimate, vulnerable, playful and supportive. Lead from the front and set an example. Make yourself available as a guide and mentor.
Dispositions and Predispositions: We all have fear and habitual ways we prepare to defend ourselves. The four defenses listed below are the primary ways we (and our audience) limit the effectiveness of communication.
Bolt – To flee, space out or make excuses. Distance.
Battle – To argue, contrast, or resist. Oppose.
Mend – To fix, mollify or mediate. Pacify.
Stew – To brood, worry or seethe. Suppress.
We all do one or more of the above to one degree or another. Transformational leadership and effective communication requires learning to create momentum by reducing the existing resistance to change, both of the speaker and the audience. Most resistance is habitual based upon personalities, bias’ and predispositions. To overcome these things, try following these eight steps.
Step 1 – Determine your personal predisposition(s).
Do you know which of the four is your habitual or primary reaction?
After the primary burns itself out, what is your secondary stress response?
Can you identify which one is queued up on your emotional playlist right now?
Step 2 – Examine your reaction matrix.
As the listener, how do you react when confronted with each of the four?
As the speaker, how do you react when confronted with each of the four?
What do you do after your initial reactions?
Do your reactions increase momentum and remove obstacles?
Step 3 – Gauge the disposition of your audience (person or group).
Can you list the existing predispositions and tendencies in your listeners?
How will your personality resonate with those traits?
Can you predict their initial response to your approach?
How do you physically, mentally and emotionally brace for that prediction?
What form will their secondary response take? And then?
Step 4 – Identify and evaluate obstacles and then remove or reduce.
What can be done to make forward progress easier?
What steps can be streamlined or eliminated?
What do you do to alleviate the fears that habitually quash momentum?
Step 5 – Tailor your message to minimize drag.
How can the message be given to reduce resistance?
Do you feel safe enough to be transparent?
Can you imagine speaking from an intimate and neutral place without fear?
Are you capable of listening more intently and earnestly than you speak?
Can you feel the transition from saturation to over-saturation?
Step 6 – Create vectors not goals. Provide detail to engage and enchant.
Have you defined your intentional vector with sufficient foundational information?
Do you let your audience know, before you begin, how much time you will need?
Have you ever asked permission to continue?
Can you provide enough detail to engage and enchant?
Will you be concise and stop talking when your core message is given?
Step 7 – Lead from the front with enthusiasm, curiosity and playfulness.
Are you able to make it fun?
Is playfulness a part of your personality that you are comfortable with?
Can you keep it interesting and foster curiosity?
Do you set an example by being an active listener?
How good are you at assimilating your environment?
Step 8 – Harvest momentum and allow team members to slingshot.
Do you monitor the group dynamic and provide support and encouragement?
Can you reduce resistance, remove obstacles and praise constantly?
Are you capable of breeding cheetahs and falcons, not sheep and pigeons?
Effortless and successful communication is achieved when obstacles are removed, resistance is overcome and drag is eliminated. I teach and speak about