I’m not talking potty traing. Although I could.Working with an executive on a message to the troops. The topic is all the high-level things about strategy and planning and future and such– pesky details aren’t that important at a time like this. The message is one that will be well-received, with one issue that has to be overcome–the use of “I”.Most college football coaches have canned speeches at the ready. When interviewed after a good game, it’s “the kids gave me everything I could ask for. This is their win tonite“. And after a loss: “I didn’t have them ready to play. The blame for this falls squarely on me.” And that’s the way it should be. That’s an element of leadership.So back to corporate messaging. If you’re leading a team, group, division, organization, or empire, when you address the folks and talk shop, it’s always “we”. Don’t say that “I’m going to …” or “I’m in charge of…” or “I plan to…”. It’s “we’ll fix…”, “we’re going to implement…” and “we will…”And it’s not limited to execs and leaders. If you’re giving a speech, it’s just good practice to address your audience with the inclusive “we” and not the exclusive “I”. Have them on board and identifying with your message, rather than trying to live it vicariously through you. It’s the difference between a motivational speech and an informative speech. One includes and involves; the other has the audience on the outside looking in.

Always include your audience with a “we” bit

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