The Breakdown of ‘Assume’

Hopefully I don’t need to break down the word as some will joke, however, we all assume too much. We assume people know what we mean, we assume people appreciate an effort or a message we share. We assume THEY know what WE are thinking. They don’t, so let’s be intentional about that.

I was reminded of it this morning as I drove to the airport and passed a commuter bus. They’re all over the Bay Area, and this one happened to be from Genentech—others are less public: Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. Normally, I ignore them or don’t even notice them go by. This time, I saw the sign on the back stating “Saving 120 cars on the road for you.” Immediately, I had a different appreciation for that company and even that bus! It was amazing the different thought process I had—an almost opposite view—because of one, short, listener-focused message.

How often do we create messages and forget to tell the audience what’s in it for THEM? As we at Decker do a good amount of message prep, we see it fairly often. Why? Because we assume that the audience or that person knows what’s in it for them. They usually don’t, so it can’t hurt to remind them. Get people excited, remind them of the ‘why’ – it’s simple and so effective. There are all-hands coming up, Sales Kickoffs, annual meetings and even reviews, be sure to get that benefit TO them in there. You will benefit and probably influence a little more than if you didn’t have it.

PS: There’s no way I would ever take a picture while driving, I’m sure a passenger did that for me.

From the Boardroom to the Living Room

In a recent Leadership Presence for Women program, we were discussing the Decker Grid™ when a participant raised her hand. “Can I use this on my husband?” she asked. This question comes up a lot, and the answer is a resounding yes! While Decker’s main objective is to teach communication … Continue reading

Tail That Wagged The Dog

“Why does a dog wags its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.” I remember in ’97, when the movie ‘Wag the Dog’ came out—it got me thinking about things or people that control things, who really shouldn’t. … Continue reading

Think Before You Link

You wouldn’t walk into a networking event with a bag on your head or hand out business cards that say, “Call to talk more about me.” Yet too many of us are generic or self-centered in our approach on LinkedIn. Influential communicators work to create a complete communications experience for … Continue reading

The 5 White Lies about Communication

All too often, business communication sucks. Why? We’re not willing to look ourselves in the mirror when we’re not cutting it. We tell ourselves little white lies to make us feel like, “Hey, it’s not so bad.” But if you really want to be a better communicator, then it’s time … Continue reading

We’re Exci-TED.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: TED Conference Time. As participants in #TED2013 Live, we’ve been privy to this year’s ideas worth spreading. With so many ideas (over 84 different talks in 4 days) – which ones do we remember most? Those that were well-communicated, of course. Fact: … Continue reading

Feedback in Threes: Keepers, Improvements (& video)

To criticize used to mean “to give counsel.” Now it too often means to tear down. In the age of instant communicating, we need to pause and think about what true “criticism” really means – feedback. Without question, praise is the most powerful motivator. I was amazed at the profound … Continue reading