Communicating: why bother?

How to help busy people see that communicating can help remove blockers and frustrations.

Encouraging green shoots.

Basically, we internal communicators, spend our lives trying to make ourselves redundant. Not needed. Unnecessary. If we can crack internal communication there should be no need for internal communicationS.

And yet there seems to be no shortage of work. And Internal Communications functions are now very normal in medium and large organisations, especially compared to when I started out in 2001.

So how do we help busy people with busy day jobs to see how communicating can help them?

I’m busy enough trying to do my job, without all these extra things. HR, Finance, Comms…

Things we have all heard people say

You’re just asking my people to do admin

Things overloaded managers of overloaded teams say

As Simon Sinek says, it starts with why.

My response to this is in two parts.

Firstly, why is communicating generally a helpful thing for anyone to do?

Most of the time when we are communicating we are trying to influence other people to do something (differently).

Communicating helps you to get your job done.

Secondly, if you think about your work challenges and what you need to change to remove them, you can focus your communication to help remove frustrations.

A leadership team I’ve been working with recently identified a number of everyday pain points that could be tackled through communicating.

The trick is to identify the pain point, define a key message (probably the reverse of the pain point), look for examples of where the key message is true, and tell the stories. Show, don’t tell.

For example:

People don’t know how to be good clients. They lob in a request and expect to have nothing more to do with the project.

Becomes:

We get even better results when we work with you as part of the team.

Then you look for examples (green shoots) of where one of your customers has been actively involved throughout and you’ve done good work together. And tell the story. Or, better yet, get them to tell the story for you.

How easy was it to work with the team? What insight did you gain? How did your feedback and insight help to improve the result? Etc.

Show, don’t tell.

Start small, get a few examples under your belt. And make sure that you share the impact of the communications back with those hard-pushed people to show them it’s worth it.

 

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Author: caseyleaver

Internal communicator obsessed with eating, preparing and sharing food, and running (off all the food).

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