August 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
Pitchers in baseball spend years perfecting their delivery. The smallest tweak in the delivery can make a huge impact, both positive and negative, in the pitcher’s success. Most changes are intentional. For example, Ryan Dempster, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, developed a “tell” in his delivery. Something that he was doing in his delivery told the batter the pitch he was going to throw. In 2008 he changed his delivery to eliminate the tell. That season, he went on to have the best record and ERA of his career.
The same inverse impact (small tweak makes a huge impact) can happen in business on any given day. The reaction and response from whom you communicate with can be drastically altered depending on the delivery of your communication.
I experience this at least on a weekly basis. Someone will talk to me venting about something someone else said. When I hear the story, it is usually not the words that peaked the ire of the person on the receiving end of the communication, but the tone, body language, enthusiasm (or lack of) or even the word or words that were emphasized in the communication that seem to have caused the problems. In other words, the delivery.
It is hard to do, but we must think about how our communications will be received or interpreted before they are delivered. Email communication is a bit easier to proof-read and revise if need be. Verbal conversation is much more difficult and yet much more important. I am not saying you need to be nice all the time. Instead, be intentional. Be intentional in your tone, in your word choice, in your strength and your choice of method (email, verbal or something else). Be in control and never out of control of your communication delivery. If you intend to be nice in your communication, great. But if the situation calls for stern, hard or aggressive, the delivery of the communication needs to intentionally reflect that.
Think before you speak. Proof-read before you send. Using these two simple ideas will help you get the intended reactions from those with whom you communicate.
Keep your eyes open. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
Inspiration for this writing came from many of my associates at Group Delphi and others in the business community in Fort Wayne with whom I speak periodically about business management challenges.