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  • Writer's pictureLeverage Safety

Successful Communication is Sticky

Updated: Jul 11

The book's cover, adorned with duct tape, reminds me of a thought-provoking bumper sticker: "Silence is golden, duct tape is silver." The book "Made to Stick", written by brothers Chip and Dan Heath, provides valuable insights and techniques to enhance your messaging.

The book emphasizes the key to making messages memorable and impactful, summarized as the acronym "SUCCESS."

Firstly, the principle of simplicity is crucial. Information should be concise and easily digestible, avoiding overload.

Secondly, messages should be unexpected, capturing attention and generating intrigue. Concrete statements that are grounded in facts and make sense are more likely to be accepted and embraced.

Credibility is another vital factor; messages must align with the organization's values and gain trust. Lastly, incorporating an emotional appeal enhances stickiness, evoking a deeper connection with the audience.

Stories and analogies also play a significant role in making messages stick. We often remember hoaxes or viral emails due to their unexpected and engaging narratives. In contrast, corporate emails tend to be forgettable because they need the storytelling element.

To ensure messages are retained, it is essential to simplify and deliver them personally, making them relevant and meaningful to individuals. Just as racecar drivers focus on critical indicators while driving, we must identify and emphasize the most important aspects of personal safety.

When developing a communication plan, it is important to clarify the project's purpose, scope, and intent. Make sure to articulate the "why," "who," "what," "how," "when," and "by whom" aspects of the communication. To streamline the process, consider utilizing existing communication forms or templates, such as value stream mapping or action plan communication forms. Continuously evaluate and measure the plan's effectiveness and retention throughout the implementation.

Another critical aspect to consider is the natural decline in attention and retention after training initiatives. To combat this, it is crucial to establish reinforcement systems that sustain engagement and encourage ongoing remembrance of critical messages. A well-developed communication plan should align with the organizational objectives, ensure simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, and emotional appeal, and employ various media for delivery.

While delivering messages, be mindful of avoiding conflicting or confusing information. Maintain a clear focus on the transformational message or the commander's intent, analogous to the military's approach. Emphasize positivity and avoid solely highlighting what not to do. Setting expectations for retention and accountability is essential.

Additionally, lead by example, as your behavior greatly influences others. Regarding safety, share these strategies with colleagues, family, and friends, as their lives and well-being matter too. We can collectively strive for a safer and more secure environment by spreading these ideas and insights.

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