Female business leader speaking at a podium

 

Employees want their leaders to be visible, candid, easy to understand and open to discussion. As communicators, we can help leaders meet some of these needs by writing blog posts and developing PowerPoints®, but we can’t script their every word.

To help your leaders prepare for off-the-cuff conversations, teach them how to frame their messages. Follow this recipe for dialogue that resonates:

Consistent
What it means

What it means

Leaders should develop the story they need to tell and stick to it. Any deviation in messages will confuse employees, or worse, cause distrust.

How to achieve it

How to achieve it

Provide leaders with tools like core decks, key messages and FAQs to help them stay on message.

 

Compelling
What it means

What it means

Leaders can create confidence among employees by delivering messages in a compelling manner. The more emotional connection employees feel, the more trust increases.

How to achieve it

How to achieve it

Leaders should strive to make an emotional connection with employees by:

  • Sharing unique perspectives
  • Speaking from the heart
  • Going off script
  • Practicing what they preach

 

Authentic
How to achieve it

What it means

Employees see through corporate jargon and pre-scripted speeches. Inspire confidence among employees by giving them the unvarnished truth.

How to achieve it

How to achieve it

Not this:

  • Packaged
  • Corporate speak
  • Vague
  • Evasive

But this:

  • Candid
  • Transparent
  • Conversational
  • Specific

 

Engaging
How to achieve it

What it means

An important ingredient in leader communication is dialogue. When employees have a chance to talk through something, they feel like they’re part of the process, rather than just receiving orders.

How to achieve it

How to achieve it

Coach leaders on the importance of answering questions, listening to concerns and asking for ideas. Here are two prompts to start a dialogue:

  • What do you think about this topic?
  • What challenges do you think we’ll face in achieving our objectives?
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