Consider your role a privileged position. You are privy to lots of information. You have contact with your Executives, team members, customers, clients and suppliers.
Even with the current COVID restrictions in place limiting face to face contact, if you take a minute to think about all the people you have connected with today (good old Zoom and Teams and an ever increasing reliance on email!), that’s a pretty impressive list I’m sure. Consider that list over the course of a week – a month – a year – and you’ll realise what a vast “reach” you have to influence and persuade.
In this blog post I’m going to share the benefit of using “The Power of Three” in your persuasive communications. It’s one of my favourite learnings around communication as it’s so easy to apply – and yet so very impactful.
“The Power of Three” is a principle that implies that things that come in threes are more satisfying, effective and memorable.
It’s fun, thought-provoking and, more importantly can add real impact and persuasiveness to your communication.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Think about it. When you introduce three things, this is the smallest number you can use to produce a rhythm or pattern to your communication, whilst still remaining catchy, simple and memorable. That’s all good then (not Bad or Ugly).
You’ll notice the use of the Power of Three in storytelling, films and advertising.
At the time of writing (October 2020) even the UK’s new public information campaign employs the Power of Three with the “Hands, Face, Space” message urging us to continue to wash our hands, cover our faces and make space to control inflection rates and avoid a second peak of COVID. And our challenged Events industry are using the hashtag #WeMakeEvents to highlight the support that is so urgently needed from the Government for the live events industry. And of course we’re all so aware of #BlackLivesMatter.
Think back to your favourite childhood books – “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” or “The Three Little Pigs” (excuse me whilst I have a flashback to my Ladybird book collection!).
Cuddled up on the sofa watching a movie you might choose “The Three Stooges”, “Three Amigos” or “Three Men and a Baby.” Or, with the festive season on our doorstep, you might settle down to watch a Dickensian classic such as “A Christmas Carol” (not the Muppet version please!) where Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.
Traditionally sporting events (think back to our Olympics and Paralympics) award Gold, Silver and Bronze to worthy winners.
Famous advertising slogan examples are the UK’s “Stop, Look and Listen” campaign to promote safety when crossing our busy roads. How about “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play”?
Even hashtags are joining in the fun with one of my favourites being #ThisGirlCan, the Sport England campaign inspiring more women to be active.
For the more cultured of our readers, three priests and three boys appear in Mozart’s 1791 Opera “The Magic Flute.”
The Holy Trinity is the father, the son and the Holy Spirit.
On the witness stand your oath is to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
Some of the most famous and memorable speeches practice “The Power of Three.” In Martin Luther King Jr’s “Non-Violence and Racial Justice” speech he compares “insult, injustice and exploitation” with “justice, goodwill and brotherhood.” And an example of the attraction of “The Power of Three” is evident when we quote “blood, sweat and tears” – an amendment to Winston Churchill’s original “blood, toil, tears and sweat” (his verbatim message appears on a £5 note – have a look!).
By including the principles of The Power of Three in your own communication (whether written or verbal) your audience is more likely to remember what you have shared.