It is a topic that is getting tremendous press. People are talking about it in conferences.
It is a really tough time for leaders right now.
Why? Because leaders need to be taking their organizations/teams forward as well as appeal to an audience which knows it has many choices in the marketplace. Leaders are frankly between a rock and a hard place. Put too much pressure on goals, and audiences might get upset; pamper the audiences too much, and goals might suffer.
Is there a middle ground?
In my experience and course of study, three communication techniques that copywriters use for their writing success also work well with motivating teams as well. And the best thing is that these communication tips do not compromise a leader’s effectiveness in achieving goals. They really are quite effective.
Mention the YOU–alot
Leaders who talk only about themselves, risk alienating others. People are mostly interested in themselves and how something will benefit them. Pick up a sales copy or pitch and see how many times the writer of that pitch has mentioned the word YOU.
So when writing and speaking, leaders should aim for a conversational style and mention the word YOU quite a bit.
Caveat: The only time YOU should be dropped is when giving negative feedback. Instead of saying, “YOU did this incorrectly”, it is better to say something to this effect, ” I feel this thing could have been done this way”.
Use active, crisp verbs
Copywriters can propel people to action because they use active verbs considerably in their writing. Copywriters are all about generating results and leaders also have similar reasons for communicating.
Words such as achieve, develop, inspire, are visually more appealing to the mind’s eye and resonate more with people compared to dull verbs such as “be done”.
So instead of saying, “This can be achieved in x manner”, a better way would be “You/ We can achieve targets in x manner and get x results”. The words ” You/ We can achieve” help people conceptualize what is required of them and motivate them to take the desired action.
Appeal to the emotions
Probably the one most common thing that leaders gloss over is appealing to the emotions of their teams. The law is often laid down without consulting others. Those who must implement a decision need to be stakeholders in the planning process in order to get buy-in.
Copywriters appeal to emotions by adding empathy, stories, spelling out benefits, addressing the pain points, answering objections, and using captivating words to draw attention.
Leaders need to build their communication kits with similar techniques to connect with their audiences.
Motivating people is an art form and by borrowing communication techniques from trades where communication is center stage, leaders can achieve this goal more effectively to move their organizations forward.