What’s Your Game Plan for Communicating?
A) Carrier pigeon
B) Throw a message in a bottle
C) It’s a little chaotic – could use improvement
D) Right words, method, and audience
Achilles Group Tools and Approaches for Effective Leadership Communications
Over the course of human history, the art of communication has undergone a remarkable transformation, progressing from ancient methods reliant on physical presence and written messages to the advent of modern technologies that have interconnected the world in unprecedented ways.
In the realm of business, despite the availability of our advanced communication technologies, it is still imperative to maintain a sense of mindfulness in how messages from leadership are crafted and delivered so that the “why it matters” is interpreted and applied effectively to contribute to the overall success of the organization; in other words effective communication.
And, at one time or another, we have all thought that our leadership effectiveness with communication has had a challenge or issue. There are multiple ways to address that and it’s not just what you might think on the surface.
When it comes to effective communication, there are three key areas we focus on.
- First, we prioritize the clarity of the message itself. It’s important to not only understand what the message is, but also why it matters, and ensure that this understanding is effectively shared throughout the entire organization.
- The second area of emphasis is communication structure. We establish channels and frameworks that enable us to consistently deliver messages, ensuring they reach the executive room, management team, leadership, and frontline employees in a highly effective manner.
- The third aspect revolves around meticulous communication planning for significant events such as layoffs or mergers and acquisitions. In these situations, it’s crucial to approach things with precision, adhering to specific timelines, sequences, and assigning clear ownership rather than improvising or leaving things to chance.
Clarity of Message
In the first case of effective communication, the clarity of the message, we don’t want to leave people with their own stories. We want to be very specific. You want to take the time to clarify the message with talking points. Now, there may be different levels of talking points at the management level to the supervisors on the front line, but it’s still very important that those who are sharing the message have a point-by-point reference, a path, of what we’re trying to communicate, and then maybe even some anticipated questions that they need to be ready to answer. If not, the main point of the message may be left to the imagination of the listener.
The second case of effective communication, communication structure, involves an approach to choreographing meetings. We call it a meetings map. The point of this isn’t to have meetings for the sake of meetings. The point is that we take meetings seriously, and we think through not only the content, but the appropriate audience, timing, and channels for those meetings. We help organizations design step by step those meetings in a way that there is a core topic, a clarity of outcomes, and a reason to be in the room.
We encourage meetings to be mapped out according to
- Core topic
- Right participants
Significant Event Messaging
The third effective communication area is when we have a significant major event – e.g., a RIF, layoff, merger, acquisition, or a new leadership team coming in. And this becomes more complicated when there’s a board of directors, an equity group, or it’s a publicly traded company. We need to have a communication plan, a game plan, laid out to make sure that we have all the points covered and the information is cascaded very discreetly, very specifically, as it cannot be released ahead of its time. This requires organization, planning, and structure with accountability, so each step of that process is followed successfully.
Achilles Group equips you with a set of tools and approaches to ensure that your most vital aspect as a leader is effective. When performed precisely and routinely, the communication game plan becomes part of our DNA. If we don’t do these things, the organization experiences frustration on wasted time, energy, and effort. People miss the message, they don’t get on board.
After all, leadership is effective communication.
Houston business owners and executives come to Achilles Group to equip their leadership teams with the philosophies, principles and disciplines they need to be effective and profitable. If you want to find out more about us and how we can help you, feel free to touch base with us at 281-469-1800 or through our website at www.achillesgroup.com. We would love to hear from you.