Most communicators expect their “target” to, literally or figuratively, listen to the message, TILT THEIR HEAD to one side, and then say, “You’re right!”
All of us are guilty of this approach.
People around the world are talking louder and louder in an escalating fight to “win the day” with their idea or story or pitch. But that kind of winning is elusive because it’s an illusion.
I call it the “HEAD TILT” myth.
Increasingly, communication rarely works that way. In fact, I can’t remember it ever happening on a big issue in my 25-year career as a CEO leader and strategist.
WHY DO WE KEEP TRYING?
It doesn’t take much digging to see at least a partial answer. We don’t want to believe that responses to persuasive communication are ALWAYS plural and receivers fight off going immediately from point A to point B.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
If communication messages and programs are developed with the “head tilt myth” top of mind, strategic and focused plans can be executed against more realistic persuasion goals.
This dynamic is firmly rooted in reality—whether we embrace it or not. That leaves communicators with two choices: 1) Abort the communication because persuasion is unlikely; or 2) Toss out a compelling—but reasonable–message to at least keep minds open if not mitigate active opposition.
Welcome to a world that is under attack from an information hurricane, but run by context and connection.
That’s only the beginning.
Increasingly, successful communications will need to transcend context and connection and community. They will require consensus and compromise, too.