It’s easy to be sceptical about vision statements. All too often they can be so general as to be meaningless and come across as mindless slogans. ‘We aim to be the world’s best’, naturally provokes a predictable response. ‘Why would you be in business if you didn’t strive to be the best in your field?’
In fact well-crafted vision can mobilise and inspire. It can free people to work for some higher purpose. Research tells us the articulation and communication of attractive, exciting vision is what followers are looking for in their leaders. People want to be inspired by a vision that opens the way to the future. A vision that provides a graphic sense of an exciting new future possibility they can 'live in to'.
But creating a powerful new vision is not merely a paper-based art. A vision needs to be spoken and often.
Without the emotional connection created by the human voice it is easy to dismiss or limit the potential of vision. Words on paper, even the most heart-felt, have difficulty generating the momentum necessary to forge the future.
The written word may stimulate debate and fire up people’s imaginations, however it is the skill with which the message is communicated verbally that has the real power to bring your vision statement to life.
The dynamics of the way your vision is communicated verbally are really important. For example, let’s just consider one variable, vocal tone. The vocal tone of the speaker literally colours the way the speaker is perceived by his or her audience. Vocal tone conveys a sense of the speaker’s trustworthiness and authority, yet its technical characteristics are almost totally unrecognised in the world of business, except at a subconscious level. Poor vocal tone and lack-lustre vocal delivery can make a great vision sound dull. It won't resonate. It may not get off the ground.
It is possible to work with people to modify their vocal tone. Everyone has a different range of vocal possibilities into which to grow, and the truth is that most people only use a fraction of their vocal potential.
To improve your vocal tone and overall vocal performance requires persistence and relies on practical exercises designed to suit the needs of the individual.
People find the process of working on vocal tone and vocal flexibility empowering. The reality is that business often seems to favour a rather bland style of delivery; a style that is restricted in range and therefore largely monotonous, flat, lacking individuality and unmemorable. This style can often accompanied by a deluge of facts presented on overheads. (Interestingly Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, banned the use of overheads when people briefed him).
As performance professionals we work with clients focusing on vocal tone, vocal range and variety and other key interpersonal communication skills. The results: Improved self-confidence, the ability to self-monitor and adjust depending on the situation, as well as finding enjoyment and satisfaction in an area of business and personal expression that was in the past often anxiety provoking. Such leaders and communicators reap the benefit of putting language to work for them. They are better able to engage others and win their respect and commitment.
With strong interpersonal performance skills the vision can jump off the page and come to life.
If you want to explore how we can help you re-vitalise how vision is expressed in your business or team, call us on 03 9699 6444 anytime. We'd love to explore this with you.