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May 25, 2011

Senior Managers are Biggest Roadblock to Effective Internal Communications, Survey Says

Challenges with senior management is the reason many internal communicators pull back from what they believe to be the appropriate course of action, according to a recent survey by the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC). Among those surveyed, 45 percent said senior managers are a major block to progress in key areas of their development (far ahead of budgets and time pressures, at 19 percent each). 

To help explore aspects of IoIC’s annual conference theme for this year, “The rise of the fearless communicator,” the group commissioned the online survey, Fighting Fear for Effective Communication, which considered the following: the “nature of fearless communication, what encourages it, and what kills it stone dead.”

Survey results also revealed that 45 percent of respondents said gaining leader and staff support is the “scariest challenge” they face. When it comes to reducing fear and initiating positive action, 44 percent of those surveyed cited understanding leaders as the key variable.

While results showed the challenges facing internal communicators today, respondents also identified the traits they equate with “fearless communicators,” including a leader’s ability to inspire, listen, be honest and consistent, and confident. 

 “This survey clearly illustrates the challenges faced by internal communicators in getting through to business leaders, but also how important it is for them to have the abilities required to break down barriers – with managerial and interpersonal performance, along with business know-how, being just as important as technical skills,” says IoIC Chairman, Dominic Walters. 

The IoIC survey results support the notion that in order to best drive business success, today’s leaders need to pave the way—not block it—by using their ability to positively influence the internal culture, being sensitive to employee needs, and being open to progress.

What would make you more fearless?

- David Grossman

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