The “FILLA Framework”: How to Master the Art of Making Announcements and Get Buy-In From Your Team

Reading Time: 
4 min

Written by: Tobias Günther

“We’ll be using X as our new CRM tool.”
“I want you to update our documentation regularly.”
“From now on, we’re going to start our meetings like this.”

At first sight, these seem like perfectly fine statements that a leader might say to their team. But they might not be the most effective way to get your point across.

In these examples, it’s not about what is being said. It’s about how! As leaders, we need to find answers to the following questions:

  • How do you get buy-in for your ideas from your team?
  • How do you get your suggestions to be heard and welcomed?
  • How do you ensure your colleagues not only half-heartedly comply — but greet your ideas openly and with motivation?

Let me emphasize what’s at stake here: if you don’t have good answers to these questions, your team will meet your ideas with doubt, skepticism, and maybe even outright resistance!

You might have the best ideas in the world. But you also have to understand how to get them across so they land well!

In other words: you need to master the art of making announcements.

The Dangers of Making Suboptimal Announcements

Before we go into how to structure effective announcements, let’s be clear on why this matters so much: because even if you’re announcing the most wonderful and valuable things… they can still fall flat (or even backfire) if they’re not done right!

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Example #1: “I’d like us to work on our company culture.”

Here’s what might be going on in your colleagues’ heads…

  • “Um… is our current culture broken???”
  • “We don’t have time for this nonsense!!!”
  • “Will I have to ‘open up’ and talk about my feelings now???”

Example #2: “There’s a new sales strategy I’d like to implement.”

Here’s what might be going on in your colleagues’ heads…

  • “So the old strategy didn’t work? Are we in financial trouble???”
  • ”Would have been nice if we had discussed this before implementing it…"
  • ”What if this ‘new’ strategy is as ineffective as the old one???

For our Building Better Teams masterclass, we’ve developed a framework that helps leaders make better announcements.

Using the ”FILLA Framework” to Make Effective Announcements

We’re now well aware of the potential dangers of making bad announcements. So let’s look at how the “FILLA framework” can help prevent those problems — and help create great announcements!

F — Fears + Worries

Our goal: we want to reduce fears and worries our colleagues might have.
How we can achieve this:

  • Choose your words carefully, e.g. by using phrases like “no need to worry”, or “we don’t have a problem here”.
  • Explicitly and openly address your team’s biggest concerns: “Is there a conflict I don’t know about???”; “What exactly is this about???”

I — Involvement

Our goal: we want to involve and include our colleagues.
How we can achieve this:

  • Don’t just present people with new facts…
  • …instead, let them know that (a) what you offer is a “suggestion” and that (b) you’re interested in hearing their thoughts and opinions!

L — Light + Casual

Our goal: we want to keep it light and casual.
How we can achieve this:

  • Don’t make a big deal out of your announcement.
  • Because if you do, you might end up creating dangerous expectations. Taking the first example from above (“let’s work on our company culture”) this can happen in one of two flavors…
  • (a) 🤩 “Oh jolly! More confetti, games and cake! And no more difficulties!”
  • (b) 😱 “Oh god! We’ll have to sing and dance!”
  • It’s best to avoid creating too many and too high expectations. Announce things in a casual, relaxed way!

L — Language

Our goal: we want to speak our team’s language and avoid loaded terms.
How we can achieve this:

  • You know best what’s accepted in your team… and what raises people’s eyebrows.
  • Here’s an example: if you fear your team might be getting a rash when you mention a term like “culture”, then rephrase it as “the way we work together” or even “collaboration”.
  • Some teams are very open and eager to try out new things — and others will want to approach new topics more slowly. Adapt your wording accordingly!

A — Anticipation

Our goal: we want to build up anticipation.
How we can achieve this:

  • Help people understand what’s in it for them!
  • Show them the benefits of your suggestion.

An Example Announcement

Let’s take our simple announcement no. 1 from above — “I’d like us to work on our company culture” — and see what a better version could look like:

Folks, one more thing before we end this meeting: in the next couple of weeks, I’d like to try a few things. I’d like to see if we can work together even better.

Don’t worry: I don’t think we have a problem in this area! But I’d like to see if there are things we can improve. Looking at topics like communication, how we conduct meetings, how we collaborate... Nothing too fancy!

Let’s kick things off next week: a short meeting where we can take inventory. I’d like to hear your thoughts on what you like and don’t like about the way we work!

Let’s analyze this:

  • F — fears + worries --> “I don’t think we have a problem”, “don’t worry”
  • I — involvement --> “I’d like to hear your thoughts”, “I’d like to try a few things”
    L — light + casual --> “one more thing”, “try a few things”, “nothing too fancy”
  • L — language --> “work together” instead of “company culture” (assuming, for this example, that your team might react sensitively to this kind of wording)
  • A — anticipation --> “see if we can work together even better”, “things we can improve”

Don’t Let Your Great Ideas Die in Vain

Remember that it’s not only about what you communicate to your team — but also about how!

If you get this wrong, you’ll create resistance, anxiety, and resentment in your team.

But if you get it right, you’ll have a committed, motivated and engaged team in front of you.

It’s all about learning the “art of making an announcement”.

Take care,

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