To make our communications more effective, we need to shift our thinking from “What information do I need to convey?” to “What questions do I want my audience to ask?
Stephen Covey, in his book The 8th Habit, decribes a poll of 23,000 employees drawn from a number of companies and industries. He reports the poll’s findings: * Only 37 percent said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why * Only one in five was enthusiastic about their team’s and their organization’s goals * Only one in five said they had a clear “line of sight” between their tasks and their team’s and organization’s goals * Only 15 percent felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals * Only 20 percent fully trusted the organization they work forThen, Covey superimposes a very human metaphor over the statistics. He says, “If, say, a soccer team had these same scores, only 4 of the 11 players on the field would know which goal is theirs. Only 2 of the 11 would care. Only 2 of the 11 would know what position they play and know exactly what they are supposed to do. And all but 2 players would, in some way, be competing against their own team members rather than the opponent.