Connect!

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to Connect with your environment.

connectnetwerk

Image courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Connecting is communicating in such a way that you test if the message that you are sending has been received at the other end. I’m tired of people who start listing all the activities they have performed to get a message out to their audience but forget to tell me what measure they had to see if the message was received.

For some of my projects I use mailchimp, the mailing program, but it works with all major communication applications; you can create a message, send it and then track how many people open it and click on something. Well maybe I write boring stuff but it is very rare or actually non existent that I get 100% of the audience to read my message. This simple example tells you that you can’t just send an email and think that you have adequately communicated. Likewise with sending a phone message, it is not seldom that I come home and then suddenly receive messages that my son has sent hours before. Again unreliable communication and only one way, no connection.

Many presentations that I sit through are also one way traffic but at least you can see who pays attention and who is not playing with their smartphone. In the meeting room you have a captive audience but still you may not connect if you do not take advantage of the proximity of the target group.

Even all the social media won’t help you enough to connect; Twitter messages are like leaves floating in the river that passes by, when you are not there, chances are you won’t see it. Facebook is hardly better as you need to compete with the LOL cats and other distractions. Webinars don’t show you who is attending and mailing information the classic way does not give you guarantees that it has been received or has not been tossed with the massive amount of spam mail and advertisements. Forget RoBoCalls (that should be illegal!).

So how do you connect? How do you ensure there is Goal Clarity in your organization? Yes you need to do all of the above and yes you need to tell them three times in three different ways what the information is, but you need to take the extra step and Connect! Personal communication is my favorite. Talk to a group of  well connected leaders in your organization. Ask them to be your sounding board when developing the communication and then go on and arm them with all the information they need to, in turn, go out and bring your message to the larger audience.

Realize you are NOT in a vacuum and your audience gets many pieces of information about other things in life that are important for them, pace your communication and bear in mind the obvious hurdles like vacation time, or holidays and even Super Bowl Sunday. Make sure as you send information out through this process to also follow up and have your immediate audience circle back with feedback they got through their communication.

This process may look to be lengthy and cumbersome but you would only use it for important messages, like the Goals!

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