Cracking communication? It’s personal
The failure to land messages as intended. The inability of one team to work with another seamlessly and effectively despite shared goals. The spread of ‘news’ that bears no relation to what is actually happening in the organisation or the decisions that have been made. These are just some of the issues laid at the door of poor communication.
It is striking that this persists as a thorny issue in an age where we are more connected than ever before and with so many more ways to communicate.
The root of the problem is often a question of ownership. Who owns communication in the organisation? Who is responsible? The communications team is a stock response to such enquiries.
As leaders though we have to be deeply involved and invested too, taking ownership of and responsibility for communication, becoming part of the communications team.
That means getting clear, not just about what we’re trying to say, but also why and how. Of course we must choose our words with precision and care, creating messages that are faithful to our aims, relevant to our audience and bring clarity and transparency to the situation.
But the heart of great communication – words that land, messages that stick and compel positive action – is the heart we bring to it. We must invest our communication with passion, belief and commitment, and with imagery that connects others at an emotional as well as rational level.
And, above all, we have to get personal – committing the time to talk to people. To share with them why the subject under discussion matters. To listen to and engage with their hopes and concerns. And to ensure the message has landed as intended and consistent meaning made.
It is only through this personal attention that we’ll truly crack the code for great communication. It’s an investment worth making.