*Bottom line or flowery?
As communicators we have our biases. If you are a bottom-line person, you love communicating your point. This feels both right and satisfying to you, but the problem is you risk losing half your audience: the flowery people. If you are a flowery person, you paint pictures every time you speak and while you appeal to the other flowery people in the room, you probably drive bottom-line people insane!
To be master communicators, we have to make sure our communication appeals to both types of people: it needs a clear point and it must paint a picture. Not easy to do! This might sound counterintuitive, but the quickest and easiest way to win over your entire audience is through a short story.
Imagine you’re a leader. You’re talking to your team (made up of both bottom-line and flowery people) about seeing opportunities where others might see none. You could share this story.
Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market opportunities. The first salesman reported back, “There is no opportunity here – nobody wears shoes.” The second salesman reported back, “There is massive opportunity here – nobody wears shoes!” If we see opportunities where our competitors don’t, imagine the difference we could make.
A short, purposeful story paints a picture and, if done well, it also makes a point. It’s a slam-dunk for both flowery and bottom-line people.
What are your thoughts? Please comment, I love hearing from you.
* Thanks to my mentor Robi Mack for her use of these terms.