October 28, 2020
Does Your Internal Communication Pass the C Test?
While public relations focuses mainly on presenting the right public image and message, good, effective PR begins at home, with clear and accurate internal communication. Leaders who know how to communicate their vision and expectations in a way that increases buy-in from their team can be successful. This is true for any industry and in any organization.
This isn’t all about “fresh ideas,” “shaking things up,” or coming up with something “inspirational” to “rally the troops.” In fact, it’s more about having a well-planned and purposely implemented system in place to keep the team focused, energized, and on track.
Leaders concerned about their internal communication should take an honest survey to account for how well their communication operations pass the “5C” test.
Charm is not something to turn on only when you want something. Never miss an opportunity to let your team know how much you appreciate who they are and what they bring to the team. Be specific when possible. Be gracious, generous, and warm as a habit.
Communicators who live curiously are more apt to listen more and listen better. Instead of ignoring the people they hire to do specific jobs and manage specific responsibilities, they actively listen to their team members to understand a situation or opportunity from their perspective. The leader may ultimately choose another path, but they have expanded their own perspective exponentially by actively listening to achieve a better understanding.
Focus is hard to come by these days. It seems like the world is built to distract us. But distracted communicators miss opportunities to achieve clarity and understanding on their teams. Choose to focus on one thing at a time, and expect all those on your team to maintain a similar focus with their communication. Most people feel like they’re a good multitasker. This is not the case, in action or communication.
People can feel it when someone genuinely cares. Leaders are responsible for projecting empathy in their internal communication. Teams will work harder and with more enthusiasm for a cause they share, and a leader who they know is concerned not just about the work at hand but about those who help them accomplish it.
Teams need to know their leaders are with them all the way. That they will take the heat, take the blame, take the responsibility, and share the credit. That they have a vision, that every member plays a role in their collective success, and that the leader will be there to give them whatever they need to accomplish it. Never express expectations without offering resources. When the leader is fully committed to the team and their success, the team will rise to the challenge.
For a leader who is missing it in one or more areas, that’s not The End. It’s simply an opportunity to grow and develop as a leader and a communicator. So, check out the 5 C’s, rate communication honestly, and take steps to get better.