What’s More Important, Message Or Method?

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” These words of George Bernard Shaw hits the nail right on the head.  We teach and train our team everything they need to know yet time and again they fail to deliver what we’ve taught.  What are we missing here?

Phil took Bev behind closed doors where he loudly voiced his disappointment.  Dale needed his sales team to up their numbers so he sent out another email.  Grace expressed her disapproval by again coming late to the meeting.  All three examples escalated problems that emphasize the question, what’s more important, the “message” or the “method”?

Phil was upset.  As a leader, it’s his responsibility to ensure his people deliver excellent customer service.  After the faux pas he witnessed, he wanted to impress so Bev would never repeat that neglecting behavior again.  So he yelled.  Loudly.  The effect on Bev was a combination of emotions, specifically embarrassment, shame and fear.

Now are these the optimal feelings for delivering customer service?  What about for sales?  Does a flood of email reminders stir the right attitudes or desired results?  Do behaviors like tardiness convey our intended message and ensure the change or improvements we seek?

When the information we want to share is important then we don’t want to sabotage retention by mixing the message or stirring conflicting emotions.  The thoughts of Sydney J. Harris ring true here.“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”

We might have the most valuable message.  One that will mean productivity and profits.  However, without a better method to ensure the message connects, expect miscommunications, lost opportunities and a failure to rally people toward goals.

Nitin Nohria, who was the 10th dean of Harvard Business School said,“Communication is the real work of leadership.”  The key word here is “work”.  Communication is more than just words, emails or attention seeking behaviors.  Consider what John Marshall emphasized when he said, “To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.” Combine that with the impact of emotional intelligence and now you know the depth of work that embodies real communication.


So, when your message isn’t getting through, change your method.  Communication without the right delivery role falls on deaf ears.




Book Cover5When you have direction and a destination toward better communication skills, change and improvement just takes practice.  Get on the MOVVE with Elite Motivation!

My book, Elite Motivation, can be found on Kindle and Amazon.  Follow this link to find out about it: goo.gl/OPZXsp

Movve Book coverMy Guidebook, which offers a graphic filled step-by-step format can also be found on Amazon and Kindle.  Here’s the link:  MOVVE – The Five Keys of Elite Motivation

Contact Jamie Cox M.Ed., (509) 396-4307, email: themovve@charter.net or at our website: themovve.com  Discover MOVVE™ our procedural application of Elite Motivation that walks the talk of messages, information and knowledge.





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