Join John Ullmen for an in-depth discussion in this video Determining the three elements of a strong purpose, part of Communication Foundations (2013).
- Take some advice from your successful future self. Imagine that your next important conversation, meeting, or presentation goes exceptionally well. If people were interviewed immediately afterward, what are the answers you'd most like to hear to these three questions? What will they say that they learned? What will they say was their dominant impression of you? And what will they do because of what you said? These questions point to the three elements of a strong purpose. Before any important discussion, meeting, or presentation, answer three questions.
One, what do you want your listeners to think? Two, what do you want them to feel? And three, what do you want them to do? Think, feel, do, thoughts, feelings, actions. Clarify the impact you want to have in all three areas and you'll have a much stronger, actionable, forward-thinking purpose. Having this fuller, more proactive purpose will help you sharpen both your message and your delivery, how you present your ideas and how you present yourself. Both are crucial. A strong purpose will also help you stay on track under pressure or when jarred by unexpected distractions.
To create your proactive purpose, here's what you do. Take out a paper or open a document to make notes. At the top, specify what kind of conversation, meeting, or presentation it is, and who will be there. Then go through your think, feel, do questions and generate a list of answers to each question. One, what do you want them to think? This is about what you want your listeners to learn or be aware of by the time they walk away. What's most important, do you want them to be informed about something, updated, persuaded, convinced, instructed? Decide what's most important for you to add to their existing perspective.
Second question, what do you want them to feel? This is about the kind of impression, attitude, or emotion you want them to have about you and your message. For example, if someone asks them right after the interaction, what's the number one impression they have about you, what would you want them to say? Maybe you want them to feel confident about your ability to lead or stand out as a top candidate for promotion. Maybe you want them to have noticed a particular personal quality you demonstrated such as poise under pressure or creativity or perseverance or something else.
Or maybe it's important for them to feel especially moved or motivated by your message. Whatever it is, you decide and write it down. Third question, what do you want them to do? This is about taking action. Do you want your listeners to do something about your request, recommendations, or action items? The key here is to be very specific about one, what do you want them to do, two, with whom, and three, by when? What, with whom, and by when. Next, choose your top purpose and priorities.
When you answer the think, feel, do questions, you're likely to generate more than one response to each question, and that's fine, but to ensure you focus on what matters most in the limited time you have, be sure to choose your number one response for each question. What's the most important thing you want to add to their thinking? What's the most important thing you want them to feel? And what's the most important thing you want them to do? Going forward, we'll use those three priorities directly to increase the positive impact of what you say and how you say it.
Follow these steps and sharpen your three part purpose proactively. You'll not only be taking good advice from your successful future self, you'll do your listeners and your future self the favor of making it easier to achieve what you really want to accomplish.
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- Managing the intent-impact gap
- Designing the content of your message
- Improving vocal delivery
- Adjusting your body language
- Being politically savvy
- Listening to what's said, what's unsaid, and how it's said
- Increasing empathy and trust
- Overcoming anxiety<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.