Use Three-Part Lists to Communicate

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Lists of three are an old trick of effective persuasion. They distill any message into key takeaways. These lists work because most people can remember three things, and three of anything sufficiently provides proof of a pattern.

Next time you need to deliver an important message, divide it into three parts. You can openly announce your three-part list, as in “There are three things we need to do to get our bottom line back into the black,” or they can be more subtle, as in “We have the best product on the market. We have the best team. Yet we did not make the sales target.”

Adapted from “Learning Charisma” by John Antonakis, Marika Fenley, and Sue Liechti.

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