I was struck by a thought this AM as I grabbed a mug for my morning coffee ritual. You see, I live in a COLD weather state (Minnesota) and in an old home. The insulation is thinner on the outside walls. The cabinet that houses my coffee mugs sits on an outside wall, so they are chilled come morning time.
Little is more disappointing than a tepid cup of coffee on a 12-degree morning. To prime the mug and ensure a Hot Cup o’ Joe, I fill the mug with hot water and let it warm up for a bit. (This is when I prep for the day, first by setting my intent, then my priority list. But that’s for another post 😊).
And this is where it struck me that priming my cup was so similar to what great leaders do. They prime their constituents with information before making any broad communications or announcements. They spend the time to socialize the desire, the change, the directive, the message, etc. and get feedback. They warm up the group to the notion so that a HOT IDEA doesn’t go into a COLD MUG, ultimately losing its effect.
If you are a leader and your messages are falling flat, think about how you prime your environment. Are you talking to the key stakeholders individually? Are you getting their input to improve your idea and leverage their unique perspectives? Are you really (really) listening to the response or just planning your sales pitch? If you answered No to these questions, I recommend you change your approach. Get out into the hallways, drop in on your team, and grab coffee with the supporting partners. Your chances of delivering a message that is on point, and received well, depends on it!
Pro Tip: Don’t “sell it”; Share it! Listen for feedback and adjust your approach to one that fits. Once you have the group warmed up and ready to maintain the heat you are serving up…pour away!