I have worked with numerous organizations, (large and small, for profit or not for profit) and often observe issues concerning communication or more precisely the lack of communication. These issues occur both internally (vertically and horizontally) and externally (with key stakeholders such as suppliers and customers).
Communication represents a large sack filled to the brim with a range of issues and covers both how messages are packaged, delivered, received and interpreted. The richest form of communication remains in the face-to-face mode, but now due to the breadth of tools available, we have at our disposal many means of communicating to individuals, and groups, regardless of the physical location. Though a wide range of tools exists, we often neglect matching the right tool to the message (though I would argue that it should be the message to the right tool).
Communication is an art and science, that is often overlooked and frequently taken for granted. When it does not work, it becomes one directional. When it works, it is bi-directional and rich. It connects us emotionally allowing us to complete tasks with focus, operate as a team and deliver results. But this rich mode of communication takes both consideration and time, which we appear to be short off on a daily basis.
Communication is at the heart of everything we do and deliver, whether it is setting a vision, building and maintaining trust or shaping our personal brand. It influences everything that we represent and being an effective communicator is a key function that an Executive Leader must master. It is the way that we externalize (and therefore make available to others) what is going on internally for us. We need to create our own authentic and effective leadership ‘voice’.
In our Navigate – Executive Leadership Journey (2015), we address the following questions:
- What is effective communication and how do I maintain this effectiveness through the variety of communications tools at my disposal?
- Why do I need to communicate as an Executive Leader? Shaping communications at a high level ensures that good communication skills cascade through the organization. Otherwise it will erode the way it behaves and operates.
- How do we all communicate effectively and what tools can be utilized to maximize my personal effectiveness, and the effectiveness of my organization?
- What if we are unable to shape the communications within my organization? Poor communication can become the catalyst of many problems and issues impacting the organization and can we afford not to improve and optimize how we communicate?