I’d been talking with a client about how she was going to break some difficult news to her team. She’d planned a meeting to go through the rationale, explain why it was happening, the wider context, the uncertainty.
The question, she asked me, is how do I ensure that everyone hears the same thing?
The idea we came up with was to split her group of fifteen people into threes and get them to replay to each other what she’d just said.
When they’ve all had 5 to 10 mins to talk about what she’d said, each group would play it back to the room, and we’d see how much consensus there was.
What we discovered is that within each group of three, they all heard different things.
Most people had been listening and had mostly got it, but three people had got it completely wrong.
What was interesting was that the group self-corrected.
Through the exercise, they all learned something about listening, and about how people perceive things differently.
This technique short-circuited the problems of people not hearing what you say.
At the end of the exercise, everyone was really clear, and they could all move forward knowing they were on the same page.
It’s simple to run this exercise yourself. If you’d like help devising ways to ways to improve your own leadership, please get in touch.
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