Your vision for what is possible isn’t something to keep to yourself. Let others see what you see. Share with them what you really care about. Bring them into your heart and show them the possibilities. If you are taking a stand on something controversial, make that crystal clear, so others can join you and give legs to your vision.
If you communicate your vision with both passion and skill, it will probably create some ripples. This is a good thing! It paves the way for change. But like any change, it will no doubt be reassuring to some people and challenging to others. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to inspire more enthusiasm and minimize any disruptive resistance.
Prepare with some reflection
Before you verbalize or broadcast your vision or position, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my vision authentic and inspiring?
- Is what I have to say true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it relevant and necessary?
- Am I using the best vehicle for delivery?
Inspire with authenticity
When others see and feel what you are truly passionate about, it can ring true and be inspiring. Sometimes this means sharing a specific experience or a story that establishes your humanness in some significant way. Sometimes it means touching the hearts of your listeners. It always means connecting with something important to them. An uninspired group is very slow to move and respond. But if you offer inspiration, others can more easily move forward and happily join you.
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There will always be an upside and a downside to taking a stand and telling the truth. This does not always mean giving full disclosure. It does mean having high integrity and being smart about your audience. Get to know what they need and try to anticipate the kind of impact you’ll have. If you are concerned about negative consequences as a result of what you have to say, make sure you acknowledge the cost of not speaking up. High integrity requires careful assessment of potential for benefit and harm to both you and your audience.
Being kind is most important when your vision has potentially difficult consequences for someone. Think about how your message will effect the other person(s) and acknowledge this with some care. For example, if you need to announce a reduction in staff as part of a bigger vision of success for your organization, your message should show respect and concern for those who will be affected. This doesn’t mean you have to water down your message. Just show some sensitivity. It can go a long way in mitigating potential harm.
Make it Relevant
To engage your audience, craft your communication so it’s clear, relevant and appropriate. Make sure that each thing you say has meaning and that you aren’t getting lost in words. Being too diplomatic can work against you if it dilutes what you have to say. If others don’t know why it’s important to them, they will lose interest. Providing a clear context for your message may also be necessary, especially if the relevance of your vision is not obvious. Make a case for why your vision is worth considering.
Choose your communication channel
You can communicate through a variety of channels, such as email, voice mail, texting, speaking to a group, one-to-one conversation, etc. Selecting an appropriate communication channel will support the impact of your message. For instance, email should never be used to deliver highly charged emotional content. Face-to-face delivery for a highly charged message is optimal. You’ll have greater influence and be able to assess the impact of your message if you stay in visible contact with the people you are communicating with. This allows you to pick up on non-verbal cues from your audience, or the person you’re talking to. It also allows for more interaction, and for more energy to be exchanged.
Remember, your own excitement about your vision can be contagious if you give it full expression.
Do you have a vision for something that you hesitate to fully communicate? Is there anything that keeps you from bringing this to people who could join you in bringing it about?