Many construction leaders struggle to deliver clear messages to their teams. Instead, they deliver messaging soup – throwing everything into their message without a filter, without prioritization, without planning, and it leaves their people feeling confused and uncertain about the way forward or what action to take.
So, how can you deliver a clear message your people will remember?
Here is a simple framework that I first shared in a video during the height of COVID-19. You can use it for any message you deliver – in a presentation to your team, a memo to all staff, or a challenging one-on-one conversation.
This framework is effective in any situation that requires clarity of content and easy receptivity from your audience.
It works like this:
Every clear message has three component parts: articulate, validate, activate.
Articulate: Articulate one main point in your message, just one.
Validate: Validate that main point with three proof points. Not more than three, probably not even less than three.
Activate: Activate that message with one call to action for your people to adopt and respond to.
Seems simple enough, right? Maybe too simple? Afraid you’re not going to do your message justice, given how important it is to your audience?
Here’s the thing. As a general rule, the human mind is incapable of retaining multiple complex thoughts at any one time. So even though every detail of your lengthy and complex message may have some value, it is rendered useless when it is ignored or forgotten by your audience.
The only message that has any value is the message that is remembered by your audience. So, take care to deliver a clear message that is easy to remember.
Here are a couple examples of how you might put this framework into practice.
First, a non-work example – imagine a big storm has hit your community and your parents are worried:
Articulate: “Hi dad I just wanted to let you know that I’m safe.”
Validate: I’m home. I’m not sick. I’ve got plenty of food.”
Activate: “So tell mom not to worry.”
Here is an example for construction leaders. A CEO wants to send a clear message of encouragement to his team amid a challenging project:
Articulate: “I have your back.”
Validate: “I believe in you. We have a plan. We’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done.”
Activate: “Let me know what resources you need for this project to be a success.”
Articulate. Validate. Activate.
If you structure your messages in this way, your people will remember them. They will have the clarity and the confidence to believe in you; that you have a plan to help them move through any challenging situation on the jobsite or in the office.
Try it out and see what a difference a little more clarity can make.