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A Leaders Guide to Better Communication

June 7, 2010

Over the years we have asked numerous leaders in well known organisations What could be better? In virtually every case they say: “we don’t communicate as effectively as we should”.

Fabio Capello Shouting

How will Fabio Capello communicate with the England team this world cup?

It seems as though weak internal communication is a virus that has infected most organisations, often the larger the business the worse the condition. Strangely high tech systems and gadgets, rather than help seem to make the problem worse, so put your Blackberry in your drawer and try some of these low tech approaches:

 – Encourage chatter: let the banter flow, this is where great ideas are born, not during email exchanges.
 – Be authentic: be yourself, lower your guard, bury the high flying corporate executive image, it’s not fooling anyone.
 – Listen more and tell less: use your ears and mouth in the proportion they were given, 2 to 1, listen twice as much as you speak.
 – Get about a bit: visit people, stop to talk in corridors, queue for lunch and talk to the person next to you, close the conversation gap.
 – Feedback is a gift: be generous with praise and recognition, people long to know how they are doing.
 – Keep the information flowing: just like the news channels keep reporting breaking news and events, especially successes no matter how small.
 – Speak up: when something isn’t right say so to the person it concerns without delay.
 – Meaningful one to ones: make dedicated time to give praise and encouragement, set targets and when necessary correct and reprimand.

There are a few exceptional organisations where people say ‘Communication here is really good’ Leaders in these businesses follow the points above and know that relationship is the answer not technology as Jim Brown wisely says:  “High tech communication is in danger of creating a society with relationships a mile wide and an inch deep”.

Our latest training resource Innocent Success is a short film about innocent drinks, exploring how they have managed to continually improve their internal communication despite achieving periods of rapid growth and change, call us to arrange a preview screening.

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