Stick to the fundamentals when delivering key messages
Technology, egos, departmental agendas, and other issues can disrupt your message, and smart communicators know they can’t just hope for the best.
Effective communication starts with knowing what you want to say. But it gets more complicated after that. Technology, egos, departmental agendas, and other issues can disrupt your message, and smart communicators know they can’t just hope for the best.
Here are some basic tips for communicating with your workforce successfully:
• Start with face-to-face communication. Nothing builds credibility faster and better than a simple conversation, whether it’s one on one or in a group. Employees will want a chance to ask questions and follow up.
• But don’t neglect other vehicles. Print, video, and electronic communications can reinforce key messages and get your words and ideas out to a wider audience. Just use your medium carefully so it doesn’t overpower or distract from the message.
• Don’t cover too much information. Send only one or two key messages at a time. Trying to answer every possible question or address every single contingency will tax employees’ attention spans and create confusion.
• Know what employees want. Your message will resonate if employees see what’s in it for them. Get to know what their priorities are and tailor your words to fit their needs and goals.
• Measure your success. When you have an important message to deliver, decide how you’ll determine whether it’s gotten through. Then evaluate your effectiveness so you can improve your communication in the future.
• Reward good communication. Effective communication benefits the organization on all levels. Be on the lookout for employees who express themselves clearly and accurately. Praise them, and encourage everyone to think about their words so they can be understood without trouble.
—Adapted from the Learning Spaces website
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