Watched a head honcho type address the troops today. Packed house indicated that there was interest in what the general had to say. There were some good things, and some not-so-good things. Coupled with last week’s classes, I’ve got blog material for the next month.If you’re in a position of leadership where you want people to join your cause (a sales position would qualify — you want them to buy your product), then you need to foster an environment of cooperation. The easiest way to sabotage this feeling is your use of pronouns. If you’re stating opinions, they need to be “I think…” or “I believe…” If you’re talking about your audience, then identify with them with the pronoun “we“, unless you are taking responsibility for things gone wrong, when it’s an “I“. Coaches know this well. When we win, it’s all of us winning. When there’s a loss, it was my fault for not having us ready. It’s the nature of the position. And it applies in the corporate world.Today’s address was a litany of the first-person address. I will. I have. I see. I’ll make. I’m going. A straw poll on exit indicates most folks didn’t feel joined, they felt talked to. It’s not easy to do — we’ve (see, WE) lived our whole lives living as ourselves. It’s hard to change that focus to include others. But Rule #1 says we must.
If you want your audience to join you, you must include them in your message.