The Grossman Group CEO and communications expert David Grossman shares his insights on the importance of meaningful leadership communication in today’s business climate. The leadercommunicator blog is instructive, entertaining, and a must-read for leaders, communicators, and leadercommunicators.
One of the things that’s key to communicating with leaders is considering that person’s leadership style. From experience working with leaders across the globe, I’ve noticed that the majority of senior leaders today are left-brained.
They think in words (vs. images)
They are highly analytical
They focus on logic (as opposed to emotion)
They do a lot of advanced planning (they don’t wing it)
Innovation is often powerful when it comes to communications, and so is the tried and true. A printed or electronic newsletter can be an effective means of breaking through the clutter by bringing timely and valuable information to employees where they’re at – whether that’s in front of a computer, on a mobile device, or in the field.
I was reviewing some of our tools with a leader who thought a messaging methodology or leadership platform was a “luxury,” like “GPS or electric seat warmers.” (Though, believe me, to survive the harsh Chicago winters, seat warmers are not a luxury; they’re a necessity!)
A strategic approach to communications, too, is a necessity. The fact that he mentioned GPS was ironic to me. Nothing is more important today to employees than an understanding of where their organization is going and the plans to get there. Without understanding that, employees can’t connect the dots to figure out how they fit in (and why they should contribute the extra brainpower, time, and energy that every organization needs today).
You’ve probably heard the philosophical question “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” That same concept applies to communication. If you share a message with an audience and it doesn’t make sense to them or they aren’t able to connect with it, did they really hear what you had to say?
One might be considered a strong communicator, but lack the other skills necessary to be a successful leader. However, the reverse does not hold true. Strong communication skills are paramount to successful leadership.
To understand what it takes to be a successful leadercommunicator, it’s important to understand what we mean when we say communication. This can range from an informal hallway chat with a colleague to a company-wide presentation to facilitating a staff meeting or huddle, to delivering the news of a major change impacting the entire organization.