Habit 2: Convey
Definition: Use portion control to get your points across with clarity, not confusion
Biggest mistake: Overloading
79% of survey respondents said overloading others with too much information is the biggest reason why people do not properly convey their messages.
Let’s start with this premise: smart conveying is radically different in today’s information-laden society than it was just a few years ago. Social scientists say we’re buried beneath an avalanche of information ten thousand times bigger than what an earlier generation had to deal with.
We live and do business in a world of information overload. If you confuse, you lose. Navigating today's information jumble requires a new, more concise approach.
Our world is full of communiclutter® which you must conquer in order to convey successfully. What’s that? Communiclutter is my term for communication overload—when you’re bombarded with endless streams of communication 24/7, making it difficult to focus and process all of the short-burst, incoming information. You need shortcuts to process and understand it all.
In our new world, communiclutter is inescapable. What we can’t prevent, we must embrace—and manage. Just as you manage your incoming communications, you should also manage your outgoing communications. That’s information management.
I learned many conveying secrets during my two decades as a television broadcaster. The key to ensuring that your message is clearly understood is to use portion control. Sprinkle in more visuals, present information in triplets, and tell stories instead of dumping data on people. These portion control tactics create better shelf life for your information than mere words.
Habit 3: Convince
Definition: Create commitment to influence decisions, actions, and beliefs
Biggest mistake: Lack of reasoning
According to 60% of respondents, not explaining why you want others to commit to a cause is the biggest reason why people fail to take action.
When I ask leaders for their secret weapons to convince resistant people to act, most say they simply back up and explain why they want people to do things in the first place. That’s how they enlist an army to become part of the solution. It’s easier to support something when you understand what you’re trying to solve and why.
When people don’t hear the real reason behind a decision, many people will assign it the worst possible reasoning. It’s human nature. Office gossips assume the worst and spread their poison, leading to grudges, resistance, and poor execution.
Revealing your reasoning, along with transferring ownership of your ideas to others, are the keys to persuading others to join the movement. They’ll help you gain long-term commitment, not short-term compliance.
The ability to convince others is not a genetic gift like singing ability. It can be learned. Most convincers don’t captivate crowds as successfully as Apple CEO Steve Jobs , a seasoned presenter who takes the stage with the rock-star status of Mick Jagger. They’re more like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who’s not exactly known for his dazzling presentation skills.
Both men know the secret: convincing is not a thunderbolt event. It’s not an isolated, once-and-done occurrence. It’s a process of earning trust and respect. If you’ve connected and conveyed properly, convincing people to take a specific action should be the easiest step.
21st century influence is a process that unfolds incrementally—Connect-Convey-Convince®—to change hearts and minds and compel others to action. Miss a step and you’ll likely fail to be influential.
Communication is the single greatest challenge in business today. It takes just 3 habits to conquer it. Apply these habits and you'll become the powerful, influential communicator our impatient, attention-deficit world demands.