Is having a perfect communications style an attainable goal for a company?
Begin with the quantifiable rather than a qualitative outcome in mind. In other words, develop a transparency in communication that relies more on results than activities. It should be built upon a reporting and feedback loop that includes frequent review and updates to tactical action plans that align with the company’s operating and strategic plans. Take great efforts to scorecard results instead of just measuring activities. This helps with course correction and coaching as needed. Otherwise, there is a risk of being content with busywork and activities that may not be moving the company in the appropriate direction for desired results.
Whether you have a small company or a large one, what are some steps to take when disseminating information?
Promote a culture of inclusion, collaboration, and partnership of purpose. There is only one agenda–the company’s agenda–and neither the individual leader nor the department’s interest supersedes it. Leaders should model the behavior and culture they want for their organization. And always celebrate successes, express genuine appreciation, and crystallize for all associates the purpose of the company. My door is usually open and I am even-tempered and approachable. I model this style to my direct reports to ensure an inclusive and mentoring culture that promotes openness to feedback and coaching. Also, learn how people receive information. You’re more likely to be successful when you align your communication style with how people understand information. Make your points in different ways that will touch people.
This article originally appeared in the November 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.