me kay cooke

Communicating Simplicity

The briefing of managers had been brisk apparently, and communication had been minimal, or so it seemed. My client reflected that the message to the team was simple; the economy was unsupportive, the market place was dire, that the industry was struggling.

The boss had used a sports teamwork analogy during the briefing.

“Misplaced analogy,” my client judged.

“How so?” I asked.

“Didn’t really work,” he replied despondently.

“What do you think was your boss’s intention in providing the analogy?” I enquired.

“That we should rally the troops and work together, he tried to give us belief” came the reply.

“Do you think the intention behind the analogy might have been to communicate his belief that things could turn around?” I asked.

“Yes, I guess so”. He reflected.

“And you trust and admire the beliefs of your boss?” I asked.

“Yes,” came a reply of certainty.

“How motivated do you feel when you believe that your boss believes a turnaround is possible?” I enquired.

“Very.” He concluded.

“So the analogy served its purpose at a deeper level than perhaps, until now, you were aware of? I suggested.

“Well I can see that now, yes.” He smiled.

“What was the immediate response of the team?” I wondered.

“Reorganising and refocused …” He realised.

Multi level communication where the component parts included:


Overt communication process

Conscious perceptual filters

Covert (unconscious) message



New behaviour

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