Four Keys to Effective Communications for Leaders

Are people listening to your leadership message? If not, try looking at your communications again. Whether you are trying to persuade, inform, educate or entertain, your message has to compete with dozens if not hundreds of other messages that the recipient receives every day.

By and large, we tend to remember those messages that impact us emotionally. But emotions are not the only factors involved. Here is a quick thumbnail of four factors to remember when communicating:

Emotionality: messages that evoke emotions (fear, sadness, happiness, joy, excitement, expectation, pleasure, etc.) tend to be remembered the most – what is the emotional impact of your message?

Primacy: provided it hits an emotional note, we tend to remember the first message more so than subsequent ones.

Frequency: some say that a message needs to be repeated often for it to stick – that’s what advertisers do to get their message across.

Recency: next to the first message, the latest message tends to be remembered also…just make sure that it is consistent with the other messages, especially the first one. Keynote speakers do this by “sandwiching” their content between a great opening and a great close.

Go back and examine your communications. What was the emotional impact of your first message? How often have you repeated it? If it didn’t have much emotional impact to begin with, repeating it may not be of much use. How long ago was your latest message?