Change Communication Tips for Leaders

Here’s some tips for leaders on communicating during turbulent times:

Act as if it Matters· Make communications important to you personally
· Measure yourself on how well you communicate (up, down, around)
· Work on continuously improving your communication processes (written, oral, contextual, intuitive, interpersonal)

Trust in your Informal Channels· Use Open Doors to gather information on what’s actually happening (or not happening)
· “Shop Talk” is really quite accurate

More is ALWAYS Better
· Particularly true in times of crisis rumors will abound anyway, why not make them the right rumors?
· Believe in the notion that people will never say you’re overdoing it
· In Real Estate, “Location, Location, Location,” is what sells properties; in industry, “Communications, Communications, Communications,” is what sells management initiatives
· In an information rich climate, employees are more forgiving of the occasional error; the cost of not communicating is disaffection, anger and loss of trust
· If “they’re not getting it,” don’t just “tell them harder”… use asking as part of communications

Conversations make a Difference

· Face-to-Face communications play a crucial role during times of uncertainty and change
· Listen generously and speak straight
· Display a willingness to address challenging questions, listen carefully, and respond quickly to sensitive topics

Be an Investigative Reporter Yourself
· Get out there and find out what’s being said, heard, forwarded
· Give people an opportunity to be listened to
· Be seen as a person who understands what’s happening, who is cognizant of feelings, who doesn’t have all the answers, but who is willing to listen and learn

Facilitate the Flow

· Your job is to ensure the optimum flow of information (up, down, around)…not to control the flow valve… and it’s not a “check” valve with a one-way flow either
· Communicate what you know, when you know it…don’t wait until every detail is resolved
· Communication is a shared responsibility…help others to do more rather than communicating for them
· Tell the truth…when bad news is candidly reported, and environment is created in which good news is more believable