• October 19, 2017

Putting the Puck in the Right Net — Part 1

Putting the Puck in the Right Net — Part 1

by Gordon McAlister, Communications Consultant

A player breaks free, skates unopposed toward the net, shoots, and scores – a goal for the other team. Clearly, not a part of the game plan. Why does it happen?  The player has become disoriented, failed to re-orient, and focus on the right goal. (This happens in other sports as well, but I’m in Minnesota.)

In the world of communication failing to put the puck in the right net happens all too often.

In communicating we may not have a stick, a puck, and a net, but we do have a message with a goal. In sports, be it net, basket, or hole, the goal is clearly pre-determined.

In effective communication we determine the goal.  To be effective we need to make the goal as clear and distinct as a hockey net, basketball hoop, or golf hole, so that we can orient, just as important re-orient, and focus what we are saying and doing to achieve our goal.

A simple practical way to do that is create clear one sentence answers to three questions.

“As a result of my communication –

  1. What do I want the other person or people to think?
  2. What do I want them to feel?
  3. What do I want them to do?”

Clearly answer these three specific questions, continually orient, re-orient, and focus what you are saying to achieve those outcomes, and you’ll put the puck in the right net every time.

Wayne Gretsky’s famous comment is, “You miss every shot you don’t take.” I’d add, “and every shot that isn’t aimed at the right goal.”

Illustration using this post:

What do I want you to think? “Asking and answering these three questions sounds like a good idea, I’ll give it a try preparing for my next meeting.”

What do I want you to feel? Positive and hopeful about the outcome of using the three questions to create clear goals.

What do I want you to do?

Use the three questions when you are creating content for your next meeting.

Next time in Part 2 we’ll look at effective communication, goals and purpose.

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