Do a quick search for “communication” jobs at any of the online job sites and you will see lots of public relations and marketing jobs. What you won’t see is what would make the biggest difference, communication directors. Most businesses focus on the “shiny” object of PR, yet have horrible internal communication and relationships. What would your team look like if you had a communication director on your team? I want to tell you 3 powerful secrets of amazing business communication.
I’ve talked with hundreds of employees over the years that tell a similar story. They heard about a major company announcement through the media. This does major damage inside of your business and erodes the trust of your employees. When outsiders are telling your people about the “news” and they say they didn’t know – you have a problem!
Your lowest level employees should all know EVERYTHING about the major decisions your company/institution is making. This doesn’t mean you let them decide, but I would bet that nearly 80% of major decisions are announced too late in most organizations.
The solutions are actually quite simple, but hard to implement in an established organization because knowledge is power. here are some secrets that will help you move your communication culture in the right direction.
3 powerful secrets of amazing business communication.
Powerful Secret #1 – Skip the middleman on inside information.
Ronald Reagan, the “great communicator”, had a way of going past the powerful controllers of the 80’s media. They were used to being in charge, and whether you love or hate his politics, his strategy will help you get your message through.
Don’t assume that because you told your immediate reports that they will share the plan with those below them. If you have ever played the game of “telephone”, you know that messages get garbled pretty quickly. The game works by starting a message by whispering in someone’s ear a phrase – like “Silver dollars don’t work in candy machines.” Then, each person whispers that phrase to the next person, one time. By the time it has gone through 10 or more people the message is garbled and changed. You might end of with “Silver spoons die by candied apples.” Not a clear message.
Action Step – Get the message out directly – to everyone – as close to the same time as possible.
Powerful Secret #2 – Negative news is more important to communicate quickly than positive news.
Most managers want to “wait” for bad news in hopes it will get better. Big mistake. If the news breaks in the media, or more likely in the break rooms of your company, it will invariably be full of exaggeration and fear. No one wants to take their “medicine”, but like a vaccine – the small hurt will avoid a big hurt.
If you have heard about the Abilene paradox, you should recognize it here. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news. I’ve seen leaders force people under them to share it and they only share the positive. While this might work in the short run, eventually it will undermine your leadership. People can only take so many bullets for you. Smart leaders learn to lead from the front, sharing the worst news in person, often inoculating them from negative consequences.
Action Step – Share negative news fully and directly with everyone before they hear it from someone else.
Powerful Secret #3 – Communicating too much is better than not communicating enough.
I have a friend that is a leader of an organization of almost 1000 employees. He is CONSTANTLY putting things on facebook about his organization. Good stuff, bad stuff, zany stuff. He doesn’t stop. Here’s the funny part. I don’t live anywhere near him, but I LOVE his posts! I skip a lot of them, but sometimes I need a good laugh. We need leaders that are real and human.
Studies show that leaders get more plastic as they rise to the top. Afraid of making the “BIG” mistake, they become calculated and machine-like. There is a LOT of data on these things. You can read about it here, here, and here.
When you are constantly communicating, you eliminate surprises and you appear more available. Many leaders make the mistake of withdrawing from communication because they think it will lead to being overwhelmed. Often the opposite is true. If you are keeping everyone in the organization engaged with great information from your office, they will leave you alone to do your thing! This powerful secret of amazing business communication is key to getting the results you want from the internal culture.
This powerful secret of amazing business communication is key to getting the results you want from the internal culture. Model the communication you love to get and you will find most of your employees will appreciate your ability to lay it all out there. Maybe even share your most embarrassing picture to help people see you as real.
Action Step – Ask yourself what information you like to keep to yourself and find someone to hold you accountable to release it to others.
So we’ve looked at 3 powerful secrets of amazing business communication:
- Powerful Secret #1 – Skip the middleman on inside information.
- Powerful Secret #2 – Negative news is more important to communicate quickly than positive news.
- Powerful Secret #3 – Communicating too much is better than not communicating enough.
What step do you need to take to put these secrets into action in your team? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! How can you use these powerful secrets of business communication?
and get out there and-
Make YOUR Relationships GREAT!
Want help connecting with implementing these powerful secrets? I can help with onsite training! Schedule a motivational speech or communication training here!