​”I can’t get people to reply to my emails,” Priyanka told her manager, Kara. “I put so much effort into them, and I get crickets in response!”

She wasn’t the only one on the team having this problem, either.

When Kara and I met to discuss how I could help her team of researchers have more impact and influence across the organization, this email issue was one of several specific items that came up, all related to communication.


It’s a common issue, actually, and not isolated to researchers.

The problem is, when you’re smart and talented, and you have important insights to share, it feels so important to share everything.

After all (and perhaps especially for researchers), you put so much work into putting together your data and your arguments, why wouldn’t you share all of it?

Except that the recipient doesn’t actually need everything.

In fact, if you give them everything, they’re likely to feel on the receiving end of a firehose: blasted and overwhelmed.


No wonder Priyanka wasn’t getting a response — people would open the email, see a mass of text, and glaze over!

So what’s the solution?

Savvy communicators distill their message down to a headline.


“But that won’t have all the important information in it!”


You’re right. It won’t.

But the goal here is not to communicate everything (which we’ve already discovered is not effective).

Instead, our goal is to communicate just enough to hook our audience, so they want to learn more. 

What’s the right length? And how do you distill your message down?

That’s exactly what I work with folks to determine in one of the modules in my Influential Leader program.

I lead an experiential exercise to help participants see — both as presenters and as listeners — what length is most effective, because this is something you need to experience for yourself in order to figure out what works best.

Once you’ve experienced the difference between your original message, and your distilled message, it’s likely you’ll never go back.

And that is the power of experiential, play-based learning.

Priyanka, who went through my program when I was developing it at Facebook, no longer has the problem with crickets in response to her emails. And the same is true for her teammates.

This is just one of many long-term behavior changes they made as a result of my program, which have helped them become more effective communicators and more influential leaders.

Not only was Kara thrilled with the results, but others in the company commented on the changes they saw.

Kara’s team was becoming the role model for leadership communication for other teams to follow.

That’s when you know the program goals are working! 🤩

Are you a senior tech leader ready to boost your team’s performance and engagement? Book a complimentary Team Performance Assessment Call here: https://bit.ly/TeamAssessmentCall

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