Skip to content
May 14, 2014

Se7en Deadly Sins Blog Post Series: Sin #3 - Sloth

sin 3

Now that we’ve established that leaders are almost always communicating—even when they don’t realize they are—it’s fair to say that 80%-90% of the average leader’s day is spent communicating. But how much time are those same leaders spending planning for those communications, and thinking about the messages that they are sending? More like 10%.It’s a fact that leaders are used to putting time and energy into business plans, product launches, business succession plans, and more, but when it comes to planning for day-to-day communications, most fall prey to the third Deadly Sin: Sloth, or being too lazy to commit time and resources to great communication.

Effective communications are purposeful, and that takes planning. The Nike slogan “Just Do It” doesn’t apply here. You can wing it and take a chance on your results, or you can make a plan and increase your chances of being effective.

If planning for messaging is a challenge in general, it can become an even bigger issue when the message is truly difficult.

Follow these 6 steps to prepare for a tough conversation:

1. Follow up.  Do employees have questions? What’s on their minds?

2. Consider how you’ll have your conversation.  Select the right time and place for the conversation to avoid distraction and for privacy, and encourage dialogue.

3. Structure your key messages and conversations.  Think about your audience’s mindset and what you’d like their response to be. What will you say?

4. Identify your audience.  Do you need to inform your entire staff? Is it a small group of employees? Is it one employee? Should they all hear the same message at the same time?

5. Identify your desired outcome(s).   For example, are you putting business news in context for employees, informing your team about changes, changing toward desired behaviors, or something else?

6. Identify the problem.  Are business results not where they should be?  Do staffing changes need to be made?  Do undesired behaviors need to change?

How can you increase effort and resources dedicated to communication? 


Comments on this post

Other posts you might be interested in

View All Posts