The Battle for Believability (part 1 of 4)

By Tom Davidson

Just like fire, communication needs four factors to work. In the first of this series of 4 posts, I will look at why that is so!

Fire needs four factors to burn: heat, fuel, oxygen and a chemical reaction.  Take away any one, and you stop or prevent the fire. Similarly, communication needs four factors to work. 

     – Heat – Being first with the message
     – Fuel – Being honest in the content
     – Oxygen – Being personal in the delivery
     – Chemical Reaction – Being connected with your audience

If you take away any one, you prevent good communication. If you do all three on a consistent basis, then over time you will be the kind of leader that people believe, trust and follow. 

HeatBeing first with the message

Subconsciously, people tend to believe the first thing they hear. Everything else they take in about a subject is compared to that version of the message. 

So if you’re a late arrival with information, you already have an uphill battle for believability, no matter how true your tale might be. 

You know you’re late when you hear: 

     – “That’s not what I heard!”
     – “Yeah, I know. Bob already told us.”
     – “Tell us something we don’t know.”

As the leader, you need to be the trusted source of information about your team and your organization. If you don’t earn that credibility, then someone else will. 

One of the key factors determining your place in the communication line up is your ability to be first with the message. Tell people what you know as soon as you can, even if it’s the fact that you don’t know the complete picture but are working to get the facts.

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