In a largely forgotten 80’s action movie, Clint Eastwood learns that to use the missiles on the Soviet fighter plane he stole, he must think in Russian. He needs to use the native language of the plane.
The lesson here, and that I was reminded of in Seth Godin’s blog today, is that in order to be productive with others, you need to connect. To connect, you need to speak with people in a way they can understand. You need to meet them where they are.
That communication might be marketing, leadership, or simple office banter.
If you want to make sure your message connects and that you are being effective be sure to speak with people (not at or above them). A corollary is that you also need to be genuine. People can sniff out a fake a mile away.