It’s how things are said and not what is said that’s the core principle of influence because positive communication isn’t about transmitting information it’s about inspiring people.
Part 2 of Manda Brookman’s Tourism Master Class was all about communicating sustainability issues and the essentials of positive communication.
What we learned upfront is that it’s much easier to turn people off (dis-engage them) than to turn them on (to engage them). Communication and inspiration go hand in hand.
There are many things that make a ‘Change Agent’; cultural sensitivity, entrepreneurship, having active learning abilities, being social responsible and identifying opportunities.
What are the errors we make when we communication important messages?
- Confusing people with too many mixed messages
- Telling people what to do – Everyone hates being told what not to do (!!) and we all respond much more positively to positive messaging. We need to give people better alternatives rather than telling them what not to do.
- Don’t make people feel guilty (for driving, not recycling, wasting water) instead congratulate them on their success.
- Being boring. We need to excite people!
People make the wrong decisions even when they have the right information, that’s human nature, so don’t say the same old thing and remember if might not make sense to them, even if it does make sense to you.
Manda gave us a great example of an exciting, fun and engaging tourism campaign. Instead of discouraging people from using their cars, they encouraged them to buy champagne and chocolates and stay in bed all day!
What are three brilliant things we can all do to communicate positively?
- Be passionate. It’s not ‘keep calm and carry on’ its ‘get excited and change things’…. Remember Martin Luther-King didn’t say “I’m having a nightmare” he said “I have a dream”
- Be personal. Tell stories not facts.
- Be humanistic. Make everything be something that someone else can imagine doing. Remember people don’t buy what you do they buy why you are doing it.
The best way to ‘turn people on’ is to make people excited about the dream; your dream and theirs, and to ignite the ideas in their mind.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”. Antoine de Saint-Exupery