I had the opportunity to hear David Grossman, author of “You Can’t Not Communicate,” last week at an IABC/AMA meeting.
David’s presentation reminded me of a lot of fundamentals we need to remember but tend to forget about communications.
Everything we do or don’t do communicates something. The higher you are in the organization, the more people are watching what you do and judging if it’s consistent with the mission, vision and values of the firm. This is why it’s critical for the c-level executives to be in total alignment and ensure that the mission, vision and values of the firm are consistently communicated, represented and celebrated within the firm.
Ultimately your communications impact the perception of your firm’s integrity and level of trust consumers have in your business, services, products and people.
How we say something, how we present a message will determine whether or not the target audience, consumer or employee, understands what we are saying. It’s incumbent upon the communicator to ensure his communications are understood. It’s incumbent upon employees to ask questions when they’re not clear what’s being communicated. Nothing is incumbent on the consumer, so it’s best to check in and ensure they understand what you’re trying to communicate.
David argues that good communicators are made, not born. It’s a learned skill that only improves with planning and practice. A good communicator can motivate, inspire, drive sales and build goodwill. A poor communicator can cause confusion, fear, create conflict or distrust.
A Towers Watson study shows good communication drives financial performance (http://bit.ly/bC54Rr):
- Effective employee communications is a leading indicator of financial performance and a driver of employee engagement.
- Companies that are highly effective communicators had a 47% higher total return to shareholders over the past five years versus firms that are the least effective communicators.
- A significant improvement in communication effectiveness is associated with a 15.7% increase in market value.
Tomorrow I’ll share the rest of Mr. Grossman’s ideas about communications.
Can you improve your communications?