How many times have you walked away from a discussion thinking, “Well, that didn’t go like I thought it would.”   We communicate all day, every day. But how well do we communicate?

Whether we’re speaking with a colleague, a direct report, a student, a friend, or a child, it’s important that we not only think about what we want to say, but think about the impact we will have.

We’ve all heard the saying; failing to plan is planning to fail. This is especially true when it comes to communication. Oftentimes, if we plan our communication at all, we focus on the words, what we want to say, and sometimes what we want them to do. That’s great, but it’s not enough.

To really up the game on your communication effectiveness, think KNOW/DO/FEEL.  What do we want them to know, what do we want them to do, and most important of all…how do we want them to feel.

During the discussion, if you want them to feel encouraged and supported, watch for indicators that say that’s what they are feeling. If you don’t think they are receiving your message the way you planned it to go, for instance they are behaving in ways that indicate they are getting defensive or some other emotion, you can adjust your message in the moment to bring it around.

Sounds intuitive, right? Believe me, it’s not. This simple tool has been my go-to for years. Now it can be yours.

For more information or to learn about more simple tools for effective leadership, give me a call at 714 473-8806 or send me an email at

And watch for more simple, pragmatic leadership effectiveness tools.