Mentors and clients both like to beat dead horses at times. I know I’ve done my share of that, and I know others who do the same thing. But I’d like to encourage everyone to stop beating dead horses.
I’m sure someone in the pack will ask how you beat a dead horse, when you don’t have a club, so I’m going to give that information away, right here in the frontal zone.
Beating dead horses happens when you capture a concept of your own, and instead of showing people how to apply it with use and action, you pound them over the head with the concept until they escape to freedom, or die from over exposure to YOUR concept.
Here’s the deal…
Not everyone needs the same darned concept.
Seriously. I don’t wear the same shirt as you every day. Why would I need to grasp the same concept? And why the heck would you keep jabbing it at me once I’ve got it?
Instead of Beating Dead Horses
Do what you’re telling me to do.
Show me with action. A key concept here, is my mentor raging and railing on me to “comment more” on other people’s blogs. He’d been on my blog three days earlier, I knew because he was reiterating what I’d said, but he left no comments. His words were making no sense, because he didn’t DO what he told me was most important.
Granted, I’ve learned that it is important to comment on other people’s blog posts, and read them, and share them, both in social media and also as excerpts on my own blog posts. But I wasn’t learning from him, because he didn’t do what he said to do.
Being a Political Leader Increases the Beatings
First off, before I get too far into this and someone backs me out, I want to remind you that here in America, our “leaders” are “representatives” and should behave as such.
Often political representatives, news reporters, and such get caught up in their own frufru and think what they say matters more than it really does. This puts them into the category of those beating dead horses.
And they must stop. We all know their behavior isn’t becoming of world leaders. And continuing with bad behavior isn’t acceptable to anyone. So they should stop it. Our founding fathers offered preventatives for this very event.
Our country’s founders looked back across history, and–being well-read, they understood all too well the rise and fall of the great civilizations that had gone before them. They wanted our government to be secure and stable. They understood that they needed to make the office of president strong enough to allow a president to fulfill his duties, but also balance it out with limitations on his power, and with powers granted to the other two branches and also to the states, to limit the ability of a president to become a tyrant or dictator, or even worse, an emperor. read more…
But what about teachers and trainers, mentors, and citizens who just get hung up on their message?
Do they need to repeat it until the horses are dead? No. You too, can learn to share your message, and then shut up and show your tribe how to make it happen.
Take Action Instead
Millions of mistakes are made every day with speakers, mentors, and clients… But there are a few solutions that might help you to move beyond the mistakes and into the realm of solution.
#1 Solution to Overwhelmingly Repetitive Obsessions with Messaging
Think about what you’re going to say about a given message. Often I find a message in the Bible, a scripture that is resoundingly accurate. And I think about how I want to share that message. A key component of sharing is knowing who to share with, and how much to share.
If I’m speaking to an audience and that is the foundation of my message, I may:
- Quote it.
- Explain it.
- Share a story of what makes it relevant.
- Share some profound experience of using it.
- Quote the reference scripture.
- Ask how Jesus might have used and applied that reference.
- Share the story of what makes it applicable in real life.
- Reveal the message that should be a take away from the meeting.
- Restate the quote, and reference point.
- Ask if anyone has questions.
These reiterations of my message make sense in a speaker environment, where I’m teaching others my message and inviting them to apply that message as they leave the event. They may even receive a brochure, a flier, or a directive board with the message on it, to help them remember the message, the quote, the reference, and some of the stories.
A slogan may be added to my website, or my materials, and I may even link to that article again, and again, as a reference. I’m not nearly as likely to reiterate the same stories, or to quote the same thing again, if it isn’t a life message.
Life messages may be quoted or tagged more often. But I won’t explain them beyond once or twice. EVER.
#2 Solution to Avoid Overwhelming My Friends with My Message
If they hear your message too often, they will shut it off.
Let me show you how this sounds to your friends. You’ve already shared with them your revelation, and they were impressed – even probably started applying your revelation to their life. If it resounded with their own lives. The purpose of sharing, was your excitement, your thrill of having found a new bit of value-driven information, and you were excited. You may have even repeated yourself a few times in the telling, because you’re still organizing your thoughts and getting them to jell. You’re really excited, so you told them more than once, how this is impacting your life. Now you’re asking them if it’s made an impact on them.
They agree that this message will make a difference and they may even thank you for sharing with them.
Next time you see this person, if you mention it and they say, “Yeah, we discussed that last time we talked.” Find a new topic. They already have your reveal, and the message. EVEN IF YOU HAVE NEW INFORMATION – don’t share it. If you really have a story to share and it doesn’t REPEAT the message, but shows your friend a way that you have used what you learned, you might share it in part, and if they ask for more, give a little more, but don’t make your whole conversation during this visit – YOUR MESSAGE.
Don’t push your message every time you see them. If you want to know if they’re benefiting, ASK. But stop at asking. Don’t push your message. They either got it, or they didn’t. They either want it, or they don’t. Don’t push. Stop beating dead horses.
#3 Solution to Remaining Relevant and Empowered
This is it. This is the big one. And this is where I share my message with you – one last time – and then if you don’t get it, I go away.
To be relevant and remain relevant and empowered your message has to impact your friends and family without them hearing the words over and over and over and over. If they can’t hear your message without you reiterating it, your message is without juice. Your message is dead. Your message has become a beating stick and you’re trying to force your listeners to submit to your all-knowing authority on the matter. They won’t. You’ve already killed the horse. You’ve beat it to death, and that horse won’t EVER hear your message.
Your Key Elevator Speech is Relevance
When Johnny showed up to speak, he brought in a cart filled with boxes, books, artifacts, and details that he planned to share with those who attended. He’d planned for this event for months, thinking he had to make a big impact, and share it all, because his attendees deserved to get everything he had for them.
The big day arrived and there he stood, books on a table, a power point presentation ready, and chairs all lined up just right. His people entered the room to see stacks of Johnny’s materials sitting in front of them, and they immediately began sorting through the massive numbers of pamphlets, books, and handouts, he provided. They’d missed the coffee and “getting to know people” time because they were looking through materials.
When Johnny started speaking, he droned on for three hours. Took a break and they returned to Johnny’s exuberant voice, regaling them with cause and effect. For four more hours, Johnny told them what he came to tell them, and at the end, he said, “Do you have any questions?”
A woman at the back stood up and said, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with all of this?”
She got up, took her materials and left.
The rest of the audience did the same thing. Everyone left pretty well confused, because they had listened to Johnny for nearly seven hours and still didn’t understand his message.
Yet, he reiterated it over and over and over. He was beating dead horses, and nobody understood his message.
Solutions are easy. How can I impact you? Can we make that happen now?
Your message has to have an immediate affect on the listener. Give them the details in quick format, then let them soak it in. Once they’ve had a moment to soak it in… Ask them if you can benefit them. They will tell you.