Clear As Mud…

Have you ever been in a conversation where the more someone spoke, the worse it got? Where no matter how many explanations received or questions asked, the result was the same: a complete and total lack of a concise message?

Yup. Clear as mud!

Sometimes, I’m pretty sure it’s the speaker. Sometimes, I’m embarrassed to admit, it’s probably me. Sometimes, the ideas behind the message are jumbled. Sometimes, the channel for the communication is just not effective.

Which brings me to this week’s message: crafting an internal or external communications plan for your organization can be fraught with pitfalls if you don’t keep a few rules in mind.

The following is an article I found on rangan.com that is particularly helpful: 20 Essentials For Every Employee Communicator

In it, the author reminds us that the true nature of communication is to effect a change in behavior. With that in mind, a good communications plan will start with the audience. How well do you understand them? What are their underlying unspoken needs, and how does your product or message meet those needs?

In the case of an internal communication, particular care needs to be taken to establish a dialogue with your valued and engaged workforce.

Be believable.

You may want your employees to participate in something that has little value to them, but much value to the enterprise. Tell them that. They’ll see right through your attempt to convince them it’s in their best interest, anyway.

And remember to look at the various channels for your message. Are you utilizing various social media, email, internal memos, newsletters, blogs and in person communication to maximize the reach and impact of your message?

Crafting your communication plan is a vastly important piece of your comprehensive culture and your brand’s message. Who will get the message? When? From which channel?

With everyone listening, make sure they hear what you really want to convey. Knowing your audience and your message will help to bring real clarity to your communications. Otherwise, its’ sort of like…clear as mud!

Boxer Advisors, LLC, is a full-service consulting, training and coaching firm with more than 50 professional consultants, facilitators, and coaches and carefully selected partners providing services to Federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies since 1996.

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