The “Mayo” Principle
Have you ever made your own mayonnaise? If not, then try it. You will find out something valuable that relates to communication skills. Something simple, straightforward and yet decisive.
If you don’t have fresh eggs nor the time to make mayonnaise right now, take three minutes to read the next few lines. I’ll explain what the “mayo principle” is all about…
Strategic projects, brand identity, mission statements, corporate values, etc. – time and again we focus on doing tasks over a longer period of time with the aim of creating a significant advantage over our colleagues. Of course, when it comes to communicating our results and resolutions, we try to communicate them in an exemplary manner by means of presentations, training sessions, info e-mails…you name it! Yet, despite all these efforts, people still don’t follow. Somehow, they don’t quite understand what you are trying to convey…
Now let’s come back to our mayonnaise recipe. For this, we will need 1 egg yolk, 1 dl of oil (US: 3.38 fl oz.), a pinch of salt, very little mustard and a dash of white wine vinegar. Combine the egg yolk (room temperature), salt, mustard and white wine in a bowl and blend all ingredients together with a hand blender. Then add the oil. Now here comes the tricky part: proceed slowly. First add the oil drop by drop, then add in a fine thread until it emulsifies with the mixture. Once you have achieved this you may add the rest of the oil quickly. Careful! The recipe will not work if you add too much oil or add it too quickly – you will end up with a broken and curdled texture.
Anyone who communicates information such as a new corporate strategy, brand values or corporate culture by overriding their listeners will most likely fail in their quest for kindred spirits. We cannot expect the numerous ideas we have reflected over for months to simply sink in the minds of our audience. We have a considerable head start, a very considerable one indeed, even though it may not seem so from our own perspective. In order to be successful, follow the recipe and begin communicating drop by drop, then in a slow thread until your ideas merge seamlessly with the minds of your listeners.
Trivial, isn’t it?
All the best!