No matter what organization I work with (large or small, for profit or not for profit), I am often brought in to fix some organizational issue. I often discover that the real problem is invariably communication or more precisely the lack of communication, but when asked to pinpoint the cause, it is often difficult to do so.
Communication represents a large sack filled to the brim with a range of issues and includes how messages are both delivered and received, the tools used to convey a message and the context in which it occurs.
Communication is an art and science, but we often overlook that. 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.
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’.
Communication exists in a number of guises: internally and externally, horizontally and vertically, formally and informally. Effective communication requires a proactive approach to addressing challenges that exist.
In this Chapter, we identify what constitutes effective communication and how the richness of face-to-face interactions is translated and filtered through a wide variety of communication tools that we use on a day-to-day basis. Communication in its broadest sense is providing the right information and knowledge to the right person at the right time in the right way.