Using communication to achieve goals — strategic planning and leadership effort of a 6-year old
Honey is a 6-year old girl that wants to spend more time with everyone that she loves. Her aunt is one of the top targets. The way she approached her aunt consisted of using an on-demand strategy — can we do this? Would you go to my place today? Sometimes it would work, but the reality was that it was frustrating for her because her aunt was quite busy.
But this girl learned her way out because of her ability to understand the dynamics of her environment. She used her creativity to make a plan that involved leadership and communication. She didn’t only solve her specific problem; she understood the importance of communication in preventing outcomes from being left to chance.
In this story, as I have observed, I believe that she went through an inflection point, one that helped her understand the power of planning and communication. The learning event came before an expected outcome, a picnic experience in the park. Honey was invited in advance by her aunt. She accepted, of course, but she had to wait for the event to happen on the weekend. The weekend came, and everything was perfect. Although the picnic occurred inside the car, due to unexpected rain, Honey had lots of fun.
She was exposed to the power of planning — a proposal was planned and presented. And they had an agreement. After that, the plan became a reality. As the day arrived, it was clear that no excuses prevented the event — not even the rain.
It should be noted that both of them were not used to planning for what’s next. The only thing consistent was themselves using energy in attempts. Eventually, outcomes would happen.
Although no one can say how precisely Honey learned from that specific event, it became clear that the communication ahead of time brought alignment to them and the right amount of support from the family network. That is all folks, the end.
A couple of weeks later, Honey approached her aunt with a different style of communication. The proposal consisted of having her aunt come to her house. It included details such as bringing pajamas to stay the whole night. The new model also displayed a schedule component. She told her aunt that the event was to happen the following Sunday. The result? she got buy-in from her aunt.
As Saturday approached, she reminded her aunt that the event would start “tomorrow before the day goes dark.” She also gave specific instructions asking her aunt to take necessary action that would otherwise jeopardize the event on Sunday:
- Tell Spacious (aunt’s partner name preserved) that we are doing this party tomorrow. Otherwise, he can show up out of a sudden and take you to do something else.
Sunday arrived. As the big moment was approaching, her aunt started to receive updates on the mobile phone. Honey was informing the progress with her room’s decoration. The rest of the experience was smooth — they had a great time together and spent long hours until the next day with no interruptions. Everything happened as planned, no excuses.
Honey made an effort to bring her goal closer to reality as she knew that the environment was consistently a chaotic setting of unplanned requests around her aunt.
Perhaps that picnic event gave her ideas about planning. But beyond that, she understood how the communication effort was powerful to bring her goal closer. She did great because she helped her aunt communicate with the other adults around — she secured support from an otherwise competing environment. She internalized the notion that time and attention were scarce resources.
As I have observed this story develop, I felt that it was a good lesson about the power of planning and communication in a team. Honey successfully communicated ahead of time, defining and providing intermediate instructions to the peers competing for the scarce resource (her lovely aunt in this case). When she asked her aunt to inform the boyfriend, it was a strategic communication step. In addition, the sharing of photos seemed to resonate with the idea of sharing feedback about key measurable actions ensuring focus on the upcoming goal.
Thanks, Honey — you have helped me understand more about how communication is critical in achieving objectives and key results.
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