TMD Creative Launches Strategies for Effective Communication in Challenging Times
- by Anne Allen
SALINAS, CA - Nick Pasculli, CEO and President of TMD Creative, recently wrote a blog post noting how important it is for us an industry to practice effective communication during challenging times.
“No one can argue the fact that our industries, our communities, and our nation are going through unprecedented changes. We can easily say we are experiencing severe turbulence and effectively communicating with customers, employees, and stakeholders has never been more challenging,” Pasculli began. “For those of us who are able to do it well, we will be able to project a vision for the future and map out a practical path forward. The ability to do this successfully is rooted in the difference between leading and managing.”
In this article, he outlined crucial steps that industry members need to take in order to make sure their messaging comes across correctly. Below are several excerpts.
Repeat your message more than you think you should
When leaders communicate to the organization and their teams, they often believe the job is done once that communication is delivered. But not laboring under this misconception is especially important. Total, effective communication has only really occurred when the person receiving the message has internalized it, not just heard it.
In order to ensure this, the messages need to be repeated several times, and preferably in multiple formats—email, video, phone calls, or at all company meetings—as there may be an emotional response to the information delivered.
Once the initial communication has been delivered, the next challenge is to ensure that the message was understood as intended. In order to confirm this, leaders must seek feedback from their listeners. Feedback is the mechanism for determining what was heard, what was understood, what actions are happening as a result and the degree of acceptance the message has received. This allows you to move on knowing that the issue has been dealt with.
Control what is repeated
There are often instances when we know that something we say is going to be repeated. This is particularly when your point of view is asked for by a member of the organization in times of uncertainty, as your answer is likely going to be repeated to others. Frequently, circumstances occur when your comments or response provide the basis for subsequent direction, discussion or action. Consequently, it is important to be able to influence how others interpret and pass along what you said after they walk away from the conversation. There are four specific things you can do to that end:
- Be proactive. Say what you think is important. It may not be the specific answer to the specific question, but it does ensure that what is repeated is what you wanted communicated
- Keep it short. People can’t remember everything you said, and they will select what they think is important and repeat only that, so provide your answers in brief sound bites
- Avoid using negatives. Many psychological studies have proven that people tend to remember negatives far better than positives. While there is a time and place to use negative examples or verbiage, in turbulent times this can detrimentally impact your ability to communicate with a trepidatious listener
- Make it interesting. Add interest to the conversation yourself so the listener does not distort or embellish the message to make it more interesting. You can do this by adding in an analogy, story, or illustration to really bring it to life
“Without a doubt, it can be difficult to find the 'right words' to say, which can lead to us saying nothing or little to nothing to our teams," Pasculli added. "You may never find those perfect words, but we must say something. This is the job of company leaders. Therefore, intentionally focus on our communication activities so that we can effectively shape opinions, influence behavior, and guide outcomes when the time comes, thereby providing the leadership clients, associates, and stakeholders are looking for in times of uncertainty.”
To read the entirety of Pasculli’s article, please click here.
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