December 4, 2012

Your Communication Challenge

Beyond job descriptions and organizational charts, strong leadership, communication, and presentation skills are critical for business success. In an era when there can be four generations within your company, the old model of corporate communications is changing and challenging.

In order for companies to tap into the knowledge and expertise of all stakeholders, it is imperative to provide training and experience for them to lead now and in the future.

Follow the Money

Every organization wants strong revenue and growth but it begins with your internal customer service between each person within the company. This is as important as ensuring there is a healthy sales funnel and strong external customer engagement.

Skip Weisman, a workplace communication manager, conducted a survey of 200 executives from large corporations to small business owners. They were asked specifically about their communications skills. Seventy percent believe they need to adjust their approach to how they communicate to improve motivation of their teams.

Inside and Out

Infrequent communication from leadership can have an adverse reaction to your customers as well. If employees are unclear about your company’s story, clients and partners can receive mixed messages which may negatively affect enterprise health. Some may think this is only necessary to sales, marketing, and public relations’ roles, but it’s imperative for everyone on your team.

Consistency can go a long way to improving leadership and communication within your culture. If you remain open to suggestions, make clear decisions, and speak in plain language, your internal customer service will thrive.

Check the Survey

Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind recently published an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “Changing the Conversation in Your Company” where they discussed the results of a survey they conducted with about thirty leaders of various sized companies ranging from manufacturing to health care to financial services.

Respondents outlined where they wanted to grow. One of the key areas is narrowing the gap between leadership and employees and rethinking the traditional top-down approach. Another element leaders outlined in the survey was promoting a two-way dialogue with everyone in the organization.

Boss Says

All too often, the manager will send an email which outlines a new initiative. This proposal may be beneficial to all involved but without that ongoing conversation, adoption may be less than optimal. Keep everyone in the loop as much as possible.

An additional opportunity to improve communication within your organization is delivering sharper and clearer presentations. As I often outline to teams, you’re not doing a slide show but rather presenting your ideas.

Slide Shows Begone

Think about how many meetings and presentations you attend on an annual basis and now earmark the memorable ones. When a great idea is presented to us well, we may make time for it. But if we present all of our ideas with the same tone and message, they will all be weighted the same and progress can suffer.

Strong communication and presentation skills help leaders serve internal and external customers more effectively, become better listeners, and provide exemplary service inside and outside of their organizations.

I can help, let's chat

Kneale Mann

© Kneale Mann people + priority = profit
leadership development business culture talent development human capital