leadercommunicator blog

David Grossman

Recent Posts

"Heart First" Wins Gold Quill Award of Excellence

Posted by David Grossman on Wed, Jun 29, 2022

I am incredibly honored that my latest book, Heart First: Lasting Leader Lessons from a Year that Changed Everything, has been recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) for worldwide Excellence in Communications in the publications category. This prestigious award is the fifth honor the book has received since its publication in August 2021 and serves as a testament to the power, relevance and timeliness of the principles of Heart First Leadership.

How to Lead with Heart

As many of you know, we believe the answer to many of the challenges facing the workplace today lies in Heart First Leadership, which is all about championing empathy, humanity and authenticity in the workplace to build stronger, more trusting relationships.

The lessons in this book have resonated with thousands of leaders who have sought out a new approach to leadership. Now more than ever, leaders play a pivotal role in connecting, engaging and inspiring their teams.

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Tags: Awards/ Articles/ Interviews, Heart First Leadership

Active Listening: 8 Steps to Become a Better Active Listener

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Jun 27, 2022


Leaders inspire their teams by showing they care. One of the most important ways leadercommunicators show they care is to listen—truly listen—to what people have to say. (There’s a reason we have two ears and one mouth.)

Active listening is a foundational skill of Heart First leadership that helps build authentic connection and understanding. With a shift to a hybrid work environment and fewer opportunities for in-person connection, making time—and space—to actively listen is critical. When managers make an effort to listen to employees, they see the benefits in terms of engagement and positive relationships, which moves an organization toward success.

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Tags: Leadership Effectiveness & Planning, Listening

How to Measure the Impact of Internal Communication

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Jun 06, 2022

It’s often said that what gets measured gets done. Although it may feel overwhelming or even impossible to measure the value of something as intangible as communication, the fact is there are definitive metrics by which you can measure success.

And the reward of understanding the impact of any strategic internal messaging plan is well worth the effort! Measurement helps create credibility for communication among an organization’s employees and its leaders, and it ensures that communication has a place at the table in any strategic business discussion. The key to successfully measuring communication is to focus metrics on the outcome (the action you seek), not the output (how you communicate). Since the goal of internal communication is to drive action and behaviors, it’s not enough to know that a message was distributed to employees. Rather, measurement needs to focus on whether the message was received, heard, and acted upon.

Core Principles for Communication Measurement

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Tags: Internal Communication

Employee Engagement and the Communicator’s Role

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, May 16, 2022

Establishing credibility and achieving employee trust and, especially, engagement is the ultimate prize for employers. This is true now more than ever as those team members serve as brand ambassadors with direct access to clients, customers and patients who (in today’s consumer-driven environment) are the ultimate decision-makers, meaning that engagement is directly connected to the bottom line and desired business outcomes.

Communicators Play a Role in Employee Engagement

Communications—and communicators—play a key role in the engagement process. Great communication can engage employees if it cuts through the clutter to speak directly to them, and no one is better positioned than communicators to know how to connect effectively with employees.

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Tags: Employee Engagement, Internal Communication

Trust in the Workplace: 10 Steps to Build Trust with Employees

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, May 09, 2022

Whoever said “trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair” was correct.

Working with leaders and teams at many different organizations across industries over the last 20+ years, I’ve seen how trust opens doors to opportunities and can help people and companies grow beyond their wildest expectations. I’ve seen leaders and teams work through trust issues and get to the other side stronger and better. I’ve also seen how business can slow or stop without trust.

Those who get it right champion humanity, empathy and authenticity to build strong, trusting relationships, which improve employee engagement, retention and business results.

Let’s look at the environment of trust that we’re living and working in these days, and what leaders can do to build trust inside their companies.

Why is trust important in the workplace?

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Tags: Feedback/Trust

5 Ways Leaders Can Drive Employee Engagement Today

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, May 02, 2022

Employee engagement is evolving, and leadership must evolve with it. Some call it the New Normal; others call it the New Better—with a wholly redefined employee experience. At The Grossman Group, we like to call it the New Reality. The fact is: workers everywhere have more leverage than ever before—and that likely isn’t changing anytime soon.

We need to think differently about employee engagement in the new reality. Engagement is an emotional connection employees have with their work, and that emotional connection brings all kinds of benefits. It helps employees feel more excited to come to work because they are connected to their colleagues and leaders and feel they are doing work that’s meaningful and interesting. It also often results in something extra—extra time, extra energy, extra brainpower. Employees go above and beyond with discretionary effort because they’re motivated to do so.

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Tags: Employee Engagement, Heart First Leadership

Employee Experience: Definition, Strategy, and Best Practices

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Apr 25, 2022

I was first introduced to the concept of employee experience more than 20 years ago during my time in internal communications at McDonald’s. The campaign was called “employment image” and was designed to improve the reputation of working in the restaurants. A significant problem was that the campaign didn’t have much credibility inside or outside the organization, and the concept was gaining limited traction – and then we had that “ah-ha” moment:

What we came to realize over time was that the best way to improve reputation as an employer was to improve the employee experience – in this case, what it was like to actually work for McDonald’s. When the brilliant minds on the operations side of the business got involved and saw how their efforts (e.g., improving quality, service, cleanliness and more) could deliver a positive impact, everyone benefited – most importantly, restaurant employees. After all, employees were the ones delivering (or not delivering) the brand promise to customers. Changing the reality of working for McDonald’s, focusing on ensuring we were meeting the needs of restaurant workers and making things easier for them, was the realization we needed to truly make a difference.

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Tags: Employee Engagement, Internal Communication

4 Major Changes Impacting Internal Communications in Healthcare in 2022

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Apr 18, 2022

The unprecedented shift companies are experiencing due to a staggering transformation of the American workforce is one of the biggest concerns facing employers today and is hitting healthcare especially hard as the industry ranks as the second-largest sector impacted by the Great Resignation. While we can’t control a global pandemic stretching the healthcare workforce even thinner than it already was, we can make a difference when it comes to change fatigue.

4 Key Factors Affecting Healthcare Employees and Organizations

Here are the four key factors and changes that are constantly creating ever-shifting contexts and engendering the employee insecurity and uncertainty (even fear) that directly impacts your organization’s culture and success.

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Tags: Employee Engagement, Internal Communication, Communicating Change, The Great Resignation

Top 11 Attributes of Exceptional Leaders and Communicators

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Apr 11, 2022

What does it truly take to be a great leader? Clearly, the definition of an exceptional leader in today’s business environment has changed quite a bit over the past few years. One of the biggest changes is that the pandemic has caused many people to reexamine their life priorities, including what they want from work – and from their leaders.

Amid the Great Resignation and employees quitting their jobs in unprecedented numbers, the power has clearly shifted from senior leadership to employees. That means leaders need to focus more than ever on truly listening to what their employees want and need, and build a far more genuine and authentic connection than they might have aspired to in the past.

The Top 11 Attributes of Great Leaders

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Tags: Leadership Communication, Communication Skills

Creating Useful Vision and Mission Statements

Posted by David Grossman on Mon, Apr 04, 2022

As we emerge from the tumult of the past two years, individuals and organizations are charting how the future will be shaped and look. More and more, we are seeing individuals evaluating how work fits into their lives rather than vice versa. Likewise, they are taking a very hard look at whether an organization’s values align with their own. Choices about staying at, going to or joining an organization are being driven by these reflections. In turn, organizations are finding the need to reevaluate and update their vision, mission and values.

Revisiting an organization’s foundational statements can always be useful. But, where to begin? Answering the following common question should help launch your efforts.

What’s the real difference between a vision and mission statement?

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Tags: Employee Engagement, Company Culture

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