Did you like the movie “Rudy”? The coach gets the team psyched by acknowledging challenges and sharing the plan to overcome them. In business, this works too. In fact, professors at Texas A&M studied motivational language theory (MLT).
In a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article they share “most winning formulas include three elements: direction giving, expressions of empathy, and meaning making.”
Here’s a succinct summary of the three elements: Direction giving – People want to know what’s expected of them. Empathetic language – You’re talking with a human… act like it. Meaning-making language – Answer why this is important.
Did you catch the Sci-Fi flick, Arrival, with Amy Adams? (If not, I promise not to spoil the ending.)
The movie, based on a short story, dramatically illustrates the importance of communication. In fact, just getting one word wrong can lead to dire consequences when you’re communicating with aliens.
Arrival is weird and fascinating, yet aside from the freaky appearance of the aliens, the story line is not all that different from many other stories: beings trying to understand each other and the dramatic consequences that follow when communication breaks down.
I’m not a linguist, but I have spent many years working with others to build a successful business. Effective communication is key to everything we do and accomplish together. Here’s a short list of what I’ve learned along the way.
Read the 5 tips for more-effective business communication on The Business Journal website.
What if you could increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, and outperform your competitive set by over 2X? Not only is it possible, it’s proven! In this session that I delivered at the Entrepreneur Organization’s Thrive event, I share practical, actionable ways to increase employee engagement from building trust with co-workers to helping employees feel valued and understand how they fit in the big picture.
If you need cooperation on something, ask for support before you go public. People want to follow thru on commitments.
In 1987, a social scientist named Anthony Greenwald asked voters on election-day eve if they’d vote.
100% said yes.
On election day, 86.7% of those asked went to the polls compared to 61.5% of those in the “control group” who were not asked.
When communicating good vs. bad news, use the following approach:
- Have good news? Share it has it happens. Research says we like winning. Winning $5 twice feels better than $10 once. In business, if you have good stuff to share, share it has it happens.
- Have bad news? Bunch it up. Research says we don’t like losing. Losing $10 once versus $5 twice isn’t as good. In working with others, if you have bad stuff to communicate, before you share it, ask, “What else should I know?” Have one conversation to cover all bad news.