With the end of the financial year upon us it's a good time for CEOs and senior executives to consider how they might seriously improve their communication in the New Financial Year.
Traditionally the New Year is a great time for making resolutions. Here are six New Years Communications Resolutions that just about every CEO could benefit from and improve their communication as a result.
1. Tell It Like It Is
People want you to be open and honest with them about the challenges your organization faces. I'm not saying it's something they enjoy but the alternative is to lie or 'sugar-coat' and both are strategies that ultimately will create much bigger problems.
2. Be an Optimist
Motivating people is simply a matter of pointing out what can still be achieved rather than wallowing in where we have failed. There is no situation from which valuable lessons cannot be learned and applied and the trick is to focus on those lessons - in simple terms...a little bit more 'how we can get better' and a little bit less of 'where did we screw up'.
3. Express Yourself
Let people know how you feel instead of just what you think. If you want people to care about what is going on within your organization then they need to see you care as well and that means showing people how you feel. We all talk about the importance of authentic leadership but fail to recognize that you cannot be authentic unless you are prepared to show people how you feel.
4. Challenge Those Around You
Float some big ideas, ask for feedback and encourage people to explore their potential. People want to be challenged and they need to feel that their work is meaningful. Instead of just giving people targets and KPIs which are more often than not seen as a burden, give people what they crave most - responsibility.
5. Provide Context
People need direction to be effective and that means they need to understand the context of what they are being asked to do. Stop assuming that understanding exists and instead illustrate it with stories, analogies and concrete, specific examples.
6. Get to the Point
Say what you need to say in the shortest amount of time it effectively takes to say it. Edit, prioritize, and get rid of the guff that leads most people who come into contact with you to lose the will to live. This, of course, is always made easier when you actually have a point and are completely cognizant of what that point is.