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How effective is your communication?

How effective is your communication?

I recently spoke to the team at The People Experience Hub around some listening they’d done around effective communication.

Unsurprisingly, 82% of senior managers said that communication was effective, great news (you’d think!), BUT…

Delving a little deeper into the data only 46% of employees on the front line agreed – there is a massive disconnect.

As a communication team, we can sometimes think that our communication is working well “the senior team think it’s great, so what’s the problem?”.

The problem is that the senior team are already bought into the business, they are the ones that are implementing the change and usually understand everything that’s going on. This is an extremely dangerous place to be and can lead to a massive disconnect in the business, not only from a communication point of view, but also culturally.

As communicators it’s our job to join up ALL areas of the business and make sure that communication is getting to everyone – so everybody is clear on plans, focus areas and successes too.

Do you have a plan for how you communicate in your business?

Do you have a plan for how you communicate in your business?

We plan for things every day, think about it – you jump in your car, what’s the first thing you do? You put on that Sat Nav (or Google Maps) If you want to go out for a walk there’s a high probability that you’ll at least look out the window to see if you need a coat or not.

In the business world, most business will choose to have a plan on how they’re going to achieve their business plans or their sales targets for the year, so why don’t they have a plan for how they’re going to communicate?

You’d have a clear plan – something to work towards, something to achieve – and it should be the same for how you communicate.

In too many businesses I see too many teams ‘getting by’ through communicating ‘on the fly’ – yes, it works for a short time, but will never take you to where you need to get to.

Communication needs a plan, a way to get out there, and through using a plan you can make sure that your teams know what’s happening at the right time so they can engage more in your plans.

How do you communicate change?

How do you communicate change? 

We all know that change is that never stands still, and if 2020 is anything to go by – it’s taught us that the pace of change is getting quicker than ever before.

The thing about change is that if you don’t keep up with it, it can leave you in the dust (think Blockbuster, Polaroid, Kodak – you get the idea…)

Any business that manages change well, will tell you that one of the most important assets in successfully managing change is communicating with their teams.  

One key thing that I help businesses with is how to share the message effectively.

It sounds crazy, but many businesses forget to tell people about what their doing. Worse still, they forget to tell them why they’re doing it too. While this may be OK for the very short term, it leads to a whole world of pain in the medium to long term.  


When you’re planning to make any changes to how you do things in your business – make sure you communicate with your teams.

How are you sharing tough messages in your business?

How are you sharing tough messages in your business?

Let’s face it, change is happening all the time, currently more and more businesses are having to make tough decisions about how the business is shaped to cope with the ever-changing market against the backdrop of Covid.

One question that I’m asked almost every week is around how to communicate a tough message to a team or an individual. For me, there are five key areas (and I’m sure there’s a load more too!) but I think the five below will certainly help you on your way!

1: Create a plan

  • Don’t blag it – it’s not going to work and (especially if you’re talking to many people) you need to deliver a consistent message.
  • Plan what you are going to say, along with when and how – for many people they see this as a bit of a faff, it’s not. A great plan will mean that you have covered all bases and thought of any curved balls that may be asked.
  • Put yourself in the ‘shoes of the impacted’, try to think of all the questions that they’d be asking. If you can, this is where I’d suggest you engage with your HR function to make sure that they can put a ‘people slant’ on the situation.

2: Being clear and explain why

  • It’s at this point that you’ll need to explain what’s happening and why so they can start to understand the reasons for why they are there.
  • If you can, create a compelling message (some people call it a story) to explain why you’ve reached this decision.

3: Get to the point – don’t fluff it up

  • Linked closely with the previous point, but still important. You know what to say – the temptation is to veer off the subject and try and fluff it up – don’t.

4: Get feedback, listen more

  • Once you’ve said your bit, shut up and listen…
  • It’s important for the person impacted to ask as many questions as they can (this will help with understanding and helping them through the change.

5: Follow up

  • One thing that many people forget to do is follow up on the conversation, they’ll just “leave it and move on” – please try not to do this.
  • Thinking about the change curve (that I’ve included below) it’s important to get people through this process as quickly as possible (both from a business and a personal point of view)
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