Strip back your message


With the advent of Twitter and status updates on Facebook, we are being asked to exercise the skill of stripping back our message to the core (to 140 characters or less, in fact). We think that this is a good skill to learn, particularly if you are in a leadership role. Imagine if your manager or CEO came along to your next meeting and was able to clearly explain the vision, strategy and purpose of the organisation in 140 characters (or less), what would that be like? 

There is a saying that ‘the most important thing is to know the most important thing’. How many people in your team and your organisation know what the most important thing they need to do is? If you are a manager and a leader then you need to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What is the most important point I need to get across at the moment? 
  • What is the most important goal I need my staff to be striving towards?
  • What is the core intent behind our actions as a team? 

Dan Heath and Chip Heath, prolific writers and columnists for the magazine Fast Company, have written a brilliant book called Made to Stick. Their book talks about having a message, idea and a strategy that is a ‘sticky’ one that stays with people for a long time. 

Too often we feel like we have to add more to our message, idea or strategy so that it can be made clear to others. In fact stripping back your message to the core is more important. Take the time today to think about your core vision, goal, idea and strategy, and how can you communicate this to your staff and your customers in 140 characters (or less). And if you are stuck, then take the time to read Made to Stick.

This is an excerpt from our book Dealing with the Tough Stuff: How to achieve results from the key conversations. You can find out more and purchase a copy here.