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Hey, catch this!

Hey, catch this!

Mar 2017

Ping, another email arrives. Ping, ping. The unread notification count climbs. It feels like the internal comms machine is unloading buckets of tennis balls at you from a serving machine. You feel battered, bruised and bewildered. All the messages just start to sound like blah, blah, blah.

We have all felt like this.

Yet, as Leaders we have so many critically important things to communicate. We must cast vision, engage our teams, ensure action and correct processes. With this urgency and pressure, we are drawn to the efficiency of the nice shiny ‘comms serving machine’. It delivers messages with accuracy and speed. We even forget the personal pain that the machine has inflicted upon us.

Are there other ways of communicating? Do we always have to load the serving machine?

Leaders – yes, there are other ways to communicate. Ways which will greatly improve your leadership impact. But, we must first resist the temptation to load the serving machine. We must open our minds to alternative ways to communicate with our people in all the different situations, formats and mediums.

I have found the ‘Hey, catch this’ method very effective. This method works for emails, presentations, meetings (of any kind) and one on one. The approach doesn’t use a serving machine, but a thrower (Leader) who sends messages to a catcher (audience, usually internal teams). It’s simple, but does require a skilled operator who follows these four simple steps.

Step 1. Yell ‘Hey’. This is to grab the attention of the intended catcher(s). It also requires the thrower to be looking at who they are throwing to.
Step 2. Yell ‘catch this’. This prepares the catcher. It lets them know you are going to throw a tennis ball at them to catch.
Step 3. Throw. Underarm, or hard and flat – throw appropriate to the catcher’s ability. Be mindful of the distance the ball must travel and the prevailing conditions.
Step 4. Watch for the catch. Watch to see that the catcher has caught the tennis ball.

After completing all four steps, repeat. The frequency, timing and speed of the messages will depend upon your meeting, conversation or organisational needs (ensuring action or correcting process).

I can guarantee, if you improve your skill level in operating the ‘Hey, catch this’ method your leadership impact will greatly improve. You will be amazed at how effective your empowered teams will become.

At Joseph Consulting we are passionate about empowering leaders and would love to hear your stories and examples of the ‘Hey, catch this’ method. Please emails us any of your recent examples. If you would like to become a skilled operator in this method, please call us now. We would love to work with you.


Jason Gallagher
Joseph Consulting

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