Beware of “Poof” messaging. These are messages that when you examine them deeper there is no proof, no substance, no real data to synch your teeth in to. What is the worst is if you create a “poof” message, act like it is a substantial message and then it falls apart when people start to question it.
Sometimes as a leader you are creating more “poof” messages. These can be vision messages about where you want to go and it is substantially different then where you are.
“Poof” messages aren’t bad and are believable IF you do the following:
1. Present it in its unvarnished truth. “My hope is.” “what we are driving to” “we aren’t even close but we will be by… and here is why I believe that.” Phrases like this let people know you aren’t trying to sell them roses but are rather trying to drive to something.
2. Use key qualifiers. These explain to the listener or reader WHY to believe what you are saying even though you admit you don’t have solid proof. You might say something like, “so why believe this? Is there proof this will work? Actually there isn’t but here is why I believe it will work..”
3. Use analogies that are logical for the listener. “Ten years ago it wasn’t conceivable that every person would be ultimately carrying a computer inside a portable phone but with smart phones that is happening today. I believe part of what we need to do here is take a similar leap..”
What you do want to avoid at ALL COSTS with POOF messages is to try to “sell” as you will start to overstate things and move in to a completely unbelievable zone for the listener. This will cause you to lose all credibility.