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What does it take to be a leadercommunicator?

The Grossman Group CEO and communications expert David Grossman shares his insights on the importance of meaningful leadership communication in today’s business climate. With high level tips on engagement and connection, insights into employee motivations and behavior, and firsthand stories from the frontlines of America’s leading companies.

The leadercommunicator blog is instructive, entertaining, and a must-read for leaders, communicators, and leadercommunicators.

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The One Question You Need to Answer for Every Employee

  
  
  
  
  
  

wiifmKnow your audience and speak to them. Great leaders inspire employees to action by giving them feelings of significance, community, and excitement.

It’s your job as a leader to use communication to help your audience make the connection between business objectives and their role in helping you meet them. But it’s important to understand that before you can get to the business big picture, you’ll need to address employees’ personal needs first.

At the end of the day, every employee wants to know “What’s in it for me?” They might articulate that need in any number of ways:

  • “How does this affect my life/job?”
  • “What does this have to do with me?”
  • “What should I be doing?”
  • “Does anyone care about me?”

There’s real magic in addressing your audience’s needs first. When you do that, your audience is more likely to trust you, and, as a result, be more generous, more open and more receptive to big-picture; strategic communication.

And don’t forget to keep your audience in mind when you’re thinking about the big picture. All communication should always be tailored to the specific audience to make them aware of their role in the organizational whole. That’s what leads to engagement and the discretionary effort all of us want.

Specifically, a leader should:

  • Contextualize organizational information to ensure your team understands how it fits in.
  • Craft information so that it’s relevant to individual employees and teams.
  • Provide job-related information so that individuals and teams can do their jobs effectively.

Because when it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter what you say, it’s whether you can make it relevant to them (which is what they will hear).

How are you doing at answering the question, “What’s in it for me?”

-- David Grossman

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Comments

With all due respect, Whats in it for me sounds a tad greedy. I prefer to use ROTEI. What is my return on time and energy invested. 
 
Have your best day ever. Eve
Posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 4:52 AM by Eve Gelman
I agree David. People's primary concern is what it means to them - especially at times of change. 
 
We all do it. Just think of when people try to sell to you. I recently spoke to my mobile phone company who tried to sell me something I didn't want. I wanted a more basic package. They kept pushing. They failed because they didn't think about 'what's in it for me?' the customer. 
 
In any sales presentation you keep the mantra 'what's in it for me (potential customer)' to the forefront of your mind.  
 
The other thing to consider is interest and knowledge of the subject will vary across your target audiences. And often, the only thing people who work for you have in common is that. They happen to work for you. You pay their salary. There will be pockets of people with similar ideals and opinions - but it won't be across the business. 
 
I've enjoyed your blog and look forward to reading your next one. 
 
Best wishes 
Iona
Posted @ Saturday, September 22, 2012 3:45 AM by Iona MacDougall
Eve, your point about ROTEI is a another great example of how employees articulate their personal needs. Thanks for sharing.  
 
Glad you like the post, Iona. Thanks for sharing the conversation you had with your phone company; is a great example of not considering your audience when communicating. By not making the phone plan option relevant to you, they missed an opportunity to move you to a specific action—the same way that leaders can miss an opportunity with employees.  
Posted @ Monday, October 01, 2012 9:52 AM by David Grossman
What you've captured in your blog reflects how core leadership competencies are changing/must change in response to ongoing, fast-paced flux within global business. Essentially, if today's and tomorrow's leaders can't engage others, if they can't help associates make personal connections between how and why they connect to and drive successful change, then the same old behaviors and decision-making tactics will drive that organization into obsolescence while customers and competitors move on. When people feel like powerless objects of change, they push back, disconnect, and stonewall. Balanced application of business AND emotional intelligence is a non-negotiable for any results-oriented leader working through / with other people to accomplish said results!
Posted @ Monday, October 22, 2012 9:35 AM by Shawna Bennett
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