Oct 29 2014
What’s lurking behind your words?
Recently, I read an HBR Management Tip of the Day that focused on the importance of using the word “together” often if you want to motivate your team to engage and perform, as in “We’re all in this together.” This is a perfect example of alignment of content and intention. Similarly, if your intention is to be seen as collaborative, the use of the word “we” is very important, as is using opportunities to refer to others when talking about accomplishments, rather than just yourself (seems like a “duh,” right?).
You may have heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words,” but in truth, actions and words and intention are most powerful when they are brought into agreement with each other. To make sure that this is the case for you the next time you need to have some vocal impact, here are three steps to alignment:
1. Clarify your intention. Make sure you know what you want to get out of the conversation or meeting. Get honest about any ulterior motives. Even if you try to disguise them they will show.
2. Create a list of words that best reflect your intention, and use them in your message.
3. Practice delivering your message so that you also sound like you mean what you say.
For more on how to get it together, please see my post 5 Steps to Greater Influence in Meetings. And the next time you’re on Facebook, please like my Facebook page, or connect with me on Linked-In and follow me on Twitter. I will follow back.