My second piece for the Future Shapers is out – and this time I’m thinking about how you might unpack some of an audience’s reasons for resisting change, using two ways of thinking about their mindset: frames and practices.
These are both huge topics in their own right, so I feel a bit cheeky skimming over them in one article, but I’m going to justify it by hoping it might spark interest into how these approaches can help clarify and define how you communicate.
Years ago, I remember reading a short story in which a barrister (I think it was Rumpole of the Bailey) successfully defended a driver charged with dangerous driving by demonstrating that each of the witnesses to the crime was thinking about something else at the time, and therefore couldn’t possibly have observed it accurately.
While I’m not sure this defence would really stand up in court, it’s a story that often comes to mind when talking to people about communications, as it neatly demonstrates something that many people fail to consider: what state your audience is in when you are trying to communicate with them. Too often – and particularly in internal communications – we assume that what we have to say is just as important and relevant to others as it is to us, and fondly imagine people reading every single word carefully and thoughtfully before deciding to take the appropriate action at once.