By Gordon McAlister, Communications Consultant
[For Part 1, see the Blog at www.oppintorev.com]
The GOAL of effective communication is NOT just effective communication. It’s RESULTS.
While so much of an athletes focus is on scoring, the ultimate goal is not just to score goals. The ultimate goal of scoring goals is winning. Keeping that focus is not as easy or obvious as it may seem. It’s easy to get distracted from the long term goal by what is happening here and now.
In communicating effectively the initial step is to define the immediate goal of the message. What do you want people to think, feel, and do as a result of your message?
The answer to this 3-part question can be used to evaluate the message. See how effectively it helps achieve the goals of what you want people to think, feel, and do. Then the message can be improved, adjusted, refined accordingly.
Truly effective communication is not just communicating effectively – the immediate goal is not the ultimate goal.
The next step in communication alignment is to create and evaluate your messages and the immediate goals in light of the ultimate goal, and see if they help your organization achieve it.
There are different names for the ultimate goal: Mission, Objective, or Purpose. Whichever you chose, along with the immediate goal it too needs to be clearly defined, expressed in one or two sentences, and written down.
Obviously your ultimate Goal Statement can be used with staff, employees, customers or clients. But just as important, it can be used to help design and align your messages and immediate goals to maximize their effectiveness in achieving your larger goal.
To be truly useful in designing messages and immediate goals, the ultimate goal needs to be more thoroughly defined than something like, “Be successful,” or “Make a good income for my family.” Those are too broad to help with the all-important strategic technique of “message and goal alignment.”
If The Goal Statement in your organization is not already clearly established, you can use the basic three questions to help express it. When people think of your organization, or company, what do you want them to think, feel, and do? Does The Goal Statement reflect the answers?
In the end, an effective message aligns with and achieves the immediate goals of what you want people to think, feel, and do. Effective messages and immediate goals need to align and support achieving the ultimate goal of what you want people to think, feel, and do, when it comes to your organization. That is powerful message alignment, a key to communicating effectively, scoring, and winning.