TRANSFORMING MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS INTO CONFIDENT COMMUNICATORS AND LEADERS

I remember what I think you said
Published 14 June 2019
On our best days we are really careful about what we say.

We carefully plan, articulate and deliver our messages to best meet our intention, objectives and aspirations.

On my worst days words just tumble out of my mouth, sometimes not even in any specific order!

Yet most of the time we feel like people understand what we are trying to communicate.

We assume that people remember what we have said. We often criticise, pass judgement, or take action based on an assumption that what we have said has been absorbed, processed, remembered and therefore “should” have been acted on.

There’s a massive flaw in this assumption that as leaders it is very valuable to remember. People don’t remember what we tell them, that’s not how brains work.

People remember what they think about what we tell them.

Very few people will remember the exact words we say, mostly they will remember what they think those words were, or what they think about those words.

Even when people are paying attention, they tune out of listening to us and tune in to their own thoughts every 12-18 seconds! This isn’t people being slack listeners or ineffective workers, this is just how the brain works –

Even when our team is right in front of us, looking at us and appearing to be absorbing information, the reality is so much more complex than out of my mouth and in to their heads!

  • stimuli in,
  • process the information,
  • then come back to the world.

Sometimes our attention stays with the stimuli, often and regularly it follows the processing. In order to remember anything, we need to make connections with that which we already know, so it’s not as simple as we’re easily distracted, it’s an important part of the way our brains work.

Holding this reality in mind as leaders helps us to more consistently check in that people have heard what we are saying.

  • It reminds us to ask more questions so that we encourage processing of information and we can listen to how the people we work with are processing that information.
  • It reminds us to let go of needing to be right and focus on communicating in ways that connect with people’s understanding of the world so that they can make their own connections and truly hear what we have to say.
As you step in to leadership conversations and presentations, think about what you are doing to check that your message has been understood and the actions you are asking for have actually landed.
I remember what I think you said
Published 14 June 2019
On our best days we are really careful about what we say.

We carefully plan, articulate and deliver our messages to best meet our intention, objectives and aspirations.

On my worst days words just tumble out of my mouth, sometimes not even in any specific order!

Yet most of the time we feel like people understand what we are trying to communicate.

We assume that people remember what we have said. We often criticise, pass judgement, or take action based on an assumption that what we have said has been absorbed, processed, remembered and therefore “should” have been acted on.

There’s a massive flaw in this assumption that as leaders it is very valuable to remember. People don’t remember what we tell them, that’s not how brains work.

People remember what they think about what we tell them.

Very few people will remember the exact words we say, mostly they will remember what they think those words were, or what they think about those words.

Even when people are paying attention, they tune out of listening to us and tune in to their own thoughts every 12-18 seconds! This isn’t people being slack listeners or ineffective workers, this is just how the brain works –

Even when our team is right in front of us, looking at us and appearing to be absorbing information, the reality is so much more complex than out of my mouth and in to their heads!

  • stimuli in,
  • process the information,
  • then come back to the world.

Sometimes our attention stays with the stimuli, often and regularly it follows the processing. In order to remember anything, we need to make connections with that which we already know, so it’s not as simple as we’re easily distracted, it’s an important part of the way our brains work.

Holding this reality in mind as leaders helps us to more consistently check in that people have heard what we are saying.

  • It reminds us to ask more questions so that we encourage processing of information and we can listen to how the people we work with are processing that information.
  • It reminds us to let go of needing to be right and focus on communicating in ways that connect with people’s understanding of the world so that they can make their own connections and truly hear what we have to say.
As you step in to leadership conversations and presentations, think about what you are doing to check that your message has been understood and the actions you are asking for have actually landed.