What’s holding you back from becoming the rock star of the communication profession? You know you have the intelligence and experience to be a strategic advisor, but every day you face obstacles like these:
- “Bogged down in the day-to-day.”
- “Brought in too late.”
- “No time to think properly.”
- “Lack of resources: money and human.”
- “No seat at the table for critical projects.”
- “Lack of understanding in my organization of what communications can and should do.”
Yesterday I led a web workshop on “Taking the leap from implementer to strategic advisor” with about 30 very smart, savvy communicators who face the same challenges you do. I shared seven strategies for breaking out of the tactical trap and focusing on the work that matters to your organization (and being recognized for your important contributions).
Then we looked at three common challenges (internal clients who expect you to take their orders, who don’t set you up for success, etc.). The workshop participants had many good ideas for dealing with difficult situations, including:
- When dealing with an internal client who says, “Let’s create a video (or whatever),” coach the client to articulate the desired result. Ask how employees will be impacted. Then revisit the tactics to see how well they meet the objectives.
For a client who always requests help at the 11th hour, hold regular update meetings so you can get ahead of the client’s needs. Or arrange a follow-up meeting post-crisis to outline how communication could be more effective in the future with more time to prepare.
- When managing a client who’s stuck in the past and wants only to use old communication methods, share evidence about who the audiences are and what needs and expectations they have (that presumably are different than those of the dinosaur client). Show examples of alternatives that have worked well in other leading companies, with metrics that demonstrate effectiveness.
Need more ideas? We’ve just published a white paper that shares suggestions on how you can become a rock star communicator. I invite you to download the free white paper, so you can be ready to rock in 2013.
And please feel free to share any questions or comments—I'd love to help. Thanks.