Not Communication but ‘Communi – Action’ – (Communicate with a Purpose)

Not Communication but ‘Communi – Action’ – (Communicate with a Purpose)

Let us look at a case study of how an incentive scheme was used by three different Zone Sales Managers. This particular Life Insurance Company had come up with a short-duration but rather generous incentive scheme for their sales team. The market conditions were tough and the scheme had the potential to be a game changer. The details of the scheme were mailed to the Zone Sales Managers and it was left to them on how would they like to communicate and leverage the scheme in their respective Zones. On receipt of the mail giving the details from the corporate office, the three Zone Sales Managers went about ‘communicating’ the scheme in this manner:

ZM 1: Took the prints of the scheme details and got them pasted everywhere the sales team was likely to be present… the reception, the notice boards, the canteen and even the washrooms. In other words he took great pains to provide a high ‘OTS’ (opportunity to see) to the scheme details for the ‘target audience’

ZM 2: Called all the Sales Managers to the conference room, distributed a copy each to the managers, got the managers to read some portion of the circular by rotation then finally ran a detailed Q&A session.

ZM 3: As soon as he received the circular, he went about planning the right ‘impact’. First he had some inspirational danglers and posters printed the previous evening giving details of the scheme. Then, he along with his support staff reached much earlier on the morning of the announcement had the entire conference hall decorated with the danglers and posters. He had inspirational high-energy music blaring, setting the tone of the announcement of the scheme.

Having created the ‘environment’ he went about creating suspense, drama and eventual announcement with exciting claps and cheers accompanying each parameter of the scheme. The session was finally concluded on a high note with every manager signing on a ‘joint commitment’ board.

Question: Which of the three Zone Mangers was most likely to leverage maximum benefit of the new scheme?

This brings us to the main point of this article… Communication is all about achieving the objective…. Not any objective but the desired objective!

I believe that communication should be spelt differently – communication or communi ‘action’   which is communi + action.

Isn’t communication all about action – does your communication ensure action in the desired direction or it’s just passing on the information

“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through”…..Sydney J. Harris

There could be many objectives of ‘communication’ such as (6’I’s)

  1. Information
  2. Inspiration
  3. Influence
  4. Invitation
  5. Inquiry
  6. Invigoration etc.

For all the other ‘information’ is probably the foundation block on which others could be built however many times we end up only at the ‘information’ due to lack of skills and punch in our communication.

What could you do to ensure that your communication is achieving it’s intended objectively effectively. I suggest that you start with the written communication as there you have the facility to a review, rehearse, course correct and even scrap and rehash the whole piece.

Be clear with your objective, not only a SMART what but also with how much intensity? What will get you a score of 10/10 in a self-assessment of the results that you obtain from the communication – both in tasks and relationship?

Have a scale of score for the results ready – a ‘0’ if this would happen and a ‘10’ if this would. The language, the grammar, the syntax and the clarity and concise nature of our language then become just the means to the end… the objective. Come to think of it, wasn’t the language was supposed to be just the medium… somewhere we have given it so much more importance that the focus has shifted to the messenger rather than the message.

Then, the skills of the communication become focused and the assessment of the communication becomes objective. So go ahead and change the definition of communication to communi ‘action’