How to use MICE to Make Your Message Memorable

In his book Primal Leadership Daniel Goleman talks about how much money businesses put into training their people. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year training employees in the areas of teamwork, communication, project management, leadership and more. Yet, when follow up studies have been done, the retention rate of the training has been miserably low. Because businesses do not want to waste money and because they want to improve their services which leads to increases in the bottom line, changes are being made.

Churches have found the same scenario to be true. Despite members attending services week after week, studies have shown only a small percentage of the message is being internalized. Churches have been shocked to see the studies that show most church goers views and practices do not vary much from the general population. Since churches are trying to help people follow the teachings of Jesus in the current culture, and Jesus’ teachings often emphasize values that are not TV mainstream, this is an eye-opener.

As a leader you want to internalize the key principles that can make the difference between success and failure. You also want the people you work with and lead to internalize those truths. The most powerful truth in the world will not help a person unless they receive it and internalize it. Just sitting through a seminar, a class, or a sermon rarely is enough to produce positive change. For principles to be most powerfully internalized there are 8 important requirements: 4 regarding content and 4 regarding behavior. To help you remember (see how I’m cleverly practicing what I’m preaching.)

We’ll use two acronyms: MICE and MAPS.

Content Requirements: (MICE: if you see a mouse running around the room it will get your attention).

Memorable. If you cannot remember it you cannot do it.

Interesting. If the message is shared in a boring manner or the information is irrelevant to the hearer, its chances of producing impact are almost zero. Messages are most received when they deal with alleviating pain and/or increasing pleasure or a benefit.

Clear. If the message is too complicated or fuzzy it will not make it through our brains filtering mechanism. The clearer and simpler it is the greater the chances of it getting through.

Enthusiastic. Some of us are more expressive than others, but no matter what your personality type if you want people to hear what you have to say, put the appropriate emotion into it. If you are not excited or convinced of what you have to say, the hearer will not be either. If you believe it’s important, say it that way.

Release the MICE when you are teaching people, especially regarding the topic of leadership.

Next time we’ll look at how to help them internalize and retain what they need to know.

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