(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

This is an essential Distinction to master to become an effective leader.

Some people feel the need to paint a full-motion, vivid-color, emotion-rich story when they want to communicate an idea, thought, or principle. To them the journey through the story is important. Sometimes they don’t even know the exact point they’re making, but by telling you their wonderful story they assume (or hope) you’ll figure one out! Storytellers are in love with their stories. And yes, the delivery of a story has its place. Stories engage people. Stories educate and entertain. But pale as a leadership tool when it’s time to get into action.

If your objective is to inform people into action, use a message.

The previous two paragraphs are examples of a story and a message.

An effective message will have a dozen or so words, be easily heard, readily understood. If the receiver wants or has a need for detail, they’ll ask!

Stories ramble. Messages motivate. (Oh look! A two-sentence message.)

Coaching Point: Which is your normal style?

Copyright 2022 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.