During recent conversation, I shared a phrase that my husband Eric and I have used a lot in our work with churches. Our idea of Creative Redundancy is that people need to hear the same information again and again — in different ways — before they truly understand it and apply it to their lives.
In planning church services around a theme, we included a Top 10 list, songs, a drama sketch, and a three minute talk by a church member, all on the same topic with one big picture idea. By the time Eric stood up to preach, people had already heard the main idea of his message, present in different ways through the various components of the church service.
If you are looking for ways to keep the people in your organization focused on your organization’s vision and values, creative redundancy is a good place to start. It is easy for people to get sidetracked at work. They may get so caught up in their own projects that they fail to make the important connection between their daily tasks and the overarching goals of the organization.
How do you do it?
Determine the big picture idea that you want your team to grasp and work toward. Until you know what it is, you can’t communicate it or expect anyone to align to it.
Think about your team’s current understanding of the idea. Start a conversation so you know and understand each person’s perspective. As leaders, it is easy to make the assumption that people are on board with us. When we ask the right questions, we may find out that our perceptions are misguided. Several years after we started our church, my my husband asked our friend, Chris, what he saw as the main purpose of our church. His answer showed us that even though we had been communicating the vision of the church for years, even some of our closest team mates didn’t quite get it. Lesson? Ask questions sooner, all along the way, to make sure people really understand.
Start communicating your idea. As you do, make sure you ask questions to gauge people’s understanding.
Think of different ways to get the same point across. Obviously, this is much easier in church, with a captive audience. Still, if you consider all the ways you communicate with your team, you will realize that you have many opportunities to communicate your big picture idea. You can reference your big idea in an email to your team. As you start a training meeting, you can invite a team member to tell a story about pprogress being made in accomplishing a team goal. Use that as a tie in and help people make the connection to the big picture idea.
Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself. Say the same thing, Say it again a different way. And then say it some more. In helping people understand the big picture idea of our organizations, we cannot communicate our message too frequently.
Use another spokesperson who understands your big picture idea. Often, people will see and connect to the message coming from another speaker.
Find another way to say the same thing. See what I mean?
This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.