Could your communication strategy do with an overhaul? Today, communication includes more than calls and meetings; there's new communication methods in project management software, video conferencing, and those dreaded emails to consider. We’ve taken notice of inclusiveness and cultural differences, overhauled our tech to include texting and instant messaging, and incorporated ways to talk to virtual teams spanning the globe but there always seems to be more to do.
Do you need to update those intricate internal communications policies so employees fully grasp the significance and how it meshes with the goals of the company? Do you need to master your mission, find a way to reach those who grew up in a more tech-friendly age, or be sure that all levels of staff know how to actively listen and engage in conscious communication? We’ve got you covered. Here are 5 steps you can take now to start punching up your communications strategy.
1. Celebrate your 'why'
Every company has a ‘why’, a ‘purpose’, a mission - why keep that secret? Share that passion with the team. Letting employees in on the reasoning behind the company strategy will permeate through the entire culture. Your whole team will better understand how the strategy merges with the ‘why’ and be able to utilize that as a core principal of process and communication. Sharing the vision helps to showcase it at the forefront of strategy and process. Challenge your team to embrace the vision as their mantra. Share it in a hands-on way, frame it in each and every practice and let them in on how this vision intersects with the realities of the markets. Knowing the ‘why’ will help to inspire the team, educate the masses, and reaffirm pride in their place of work.
2. Be authentic and inclusive
It’s hard to read tone in tweets and emails. Make it your business and that of your personnel to be as authentic as possible. Think like a ‘real person’: broader than generic messaging and replacing corporate jargon with real world speech. Knowing your audience matters, encouraging team leadership matters and being open to honest feedback keeps the pathways of information respectful and constant. By communicating with a low stress level, using positive language, and knowing that non-verbal communications are far more powerful than perhaps we thought - companies and C-suite professionals manage to create a culture of inclusiveness and authenticity.
3. Clear, concise, compromise and confidence
Albert Einstein told us, ‘if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough’. Vague policies and processes don’t do companies or employees any good. Clearly articulated, transparent policies aim to hear all voices, avoid unnecessary repetition, and welcome feedback. Effective leaders engage in effective communication strategies. They aim for harmonious communication, recognize the importance of tone, implement their strategy with confidence and provide a safe forum for both empathetic speech and active listening. Engaging leaders vary their visuals, keep up with technology, exude confidence, and know that compromise is often necessary to ensure success on all levels.
4. Show-don’t tell
Sure, communication is an exchange of ideas - but if you’ve ever sat in a lecture and tried to keep your eyelids from closing you know that there are ways to tell engaging stories and there are ways to bore your audience to tears. A positive and supportive culturally thriving environment is built with stories and people - involve them all. Cultural nuances are valid and 'honest, open and communications' that flow easily project a perception of positive leadership.
5. Empathize and energize
While products and marketing are geared towards numbers and metrics, most companies are made up of employees - people. These are real people with beliefs, cultures, identities and issues all their own. Know the behavior you want, put it at the core of your strategy, and then let that human behavior be the driver of that strategy. Communicating as an engaged and active listener makes the speaker feel heard, valued, and understood. Sure, we have at our fingertips heaps of various 21st century media - and should use it - but face to face communication can help to show interest, omit judgment, consciously consider body language, and encompass empathy. Use that tech friendly media where it counts: show up in engaging, technically appropriate ways and continue to energize those employees. If you can win over your employees first they’ll continue to excel and win over your consumers. Pump up your people - when they feel appreciated, motivated and listened to - they’ll perform at higher levels.
Effective communication is bigger than solely the exchange of ideas and information: it is how you interact with your employees, your customers, and your industry. A good strategy is more than being present on different mediums; it conveys your culture and your personality as a company. Including these techniques to present indicators of unity, empathy, and togetherness encourages others to reach out to you both internally and externally, and works to bring humanity back into a world of tech communications.