What makes the biggest difference for bosses? Being more planful and purposeful in their communications.
It can take as little as 5 minutes to think through the following to communicate more effectively:
- Outcome – What do you want to accomplish at the highest-level? What’s the business outcome you seek? Define it as specifically as you can.
- Audience – Are you communicating to an individual or group? What is your relationship? What perspective might they have and what information do they need? The more you know the better you are able to influence the audience. In the end, what do you want them to do?
- Messages – Think about the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of what you are communicating. Adult learners want to know the “what” first and then the “why.” Be sure to explain your intention and be direct in a caring way, especially when addressing difficult issues.
- Tactics – Is the message best delivered face-to-face, one-on-one, through e-mail or in another way? Consider the limitations and possible impact of each option. Important topics deserve face-to-face communication, or at least voice-to-voice communication.
- Measurement – How will you evaluate how well your message is being received? Body language or verbal response? Other feedback mechanisms? One way is by analyzing questions employees ask—if they are looking forward and asking how a new situation might work, your message is getting through. If they are challenging your assumptions or want to take a step back, you could do a better job communicating.
Which of the steps—if you were to improve on—would have the greatest impact on how you communicate and lead?
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