Our Balance Beams

Right brain/Left brain ... Logical/Emotional ... Quick/Considered ... Forest/Trees ...

Ever notice how approaches to decision-making are typically framed as dichotomous?

But it’s not either/or … it’s more of a continuum. Granted, most of us have a tendency toward one end or the other: to make snap decisions or to mull over various angles, for example; to focus on the end result or develop a carefully constructed process.

Eventually (willingly or less so!) we grow beyond that. It’s a balancing act. Our ability to make good decisions depends on (1) how in touch we are with our own tendencies and (2) how successful we are at pushing ourselves toward the other end of the continuum (beyond our comfort level, especially when the situation demands).

So, what does that have to do with messaging?

It’s a balancing act as well.

If you’re going to persuade someone to action, you need to address both sides of their continuum: emotion, to gain attention, logic to build your case; big picture to frame the issue, specific steps to move in that direction; urgency of the immediate situation, longer term consequences of action (or inaction).

It’s a bit ironic, really. The more clearly you can see the dichotomy, the more likely you'll be able to present a balanced argument. The more likely you’ll be heard. Understood. Believed.

Try it with your own decisions, first. Then see if it can help improve the effectiveness of your communications, too!