Communication is always the hardest element of any job. Especially when you are a manager or a leader of a business.
Being able to: talk simply, write important updates, to cut through the noise on instant messages, to explain hard decisions, explaining the next action plan or importantly asking for help are all essential elements of leadership communication.
Here are five tips for leaders to take on and improve communication for you and those you work with closely and influence those around you.
Post-It Note Comms – Clear communication comes from understanding the subject matter simply if you cannot explain it simply, you likely do not understand it simply enough. Take the time to understand and explain it as simply as possible. If you cannot explain it by writing on one post-it note you likely need to try and explain it again.
Small Notepad & Pen – always have a tiny notepad where you can write the points you have to get across. Write in forms of bullet points and have trigger words that help you explain your point clearly and concisely.
Military leaders to astronauts to elite sports coaches (including Jose Mourinho in the Amazon all or nothing series) all carry around notepads and pens and use this technique.
One Channel For Essential Communications – we all struggle to get a message to cut through as we are overloaded with communication channels. Agree with your teams and or department which channel is for essential news. There should then be no excuse for missing important comms updates.
Decision Document – Create one home for all decisions that are essential and important for everyone to know and understand. Unknown knowns kill companies inside out. Ensure you have a decision document or hub where all important decisions are marked out and a record is kept. Always assign a date and a follow up where possible.
Notion, Google Docs or Confluence are all popular choices.
20 Minute Planning – Each week block out twenty minutes planning sessions where you plan out your week, the priorities and how you are going to discuss and communicate all actions. This twenty minutes will help you centralise your thoughts, prioritise what to communicate. A twenty-minute wrap-up block is also something I recommend when coaching or mentoring leadership teams.
Bonus: A sitdown session as leadership teams are some of the most interesting and useful 10 – 30 minutes of any week. Have one person who takes more informal notes of wins and upcoming challenges and shares these, the two little ways to get strides forward for the week ahead.
If you are a leader or enjoy leadership posts like this, go and sign up for my weekly leaders letters below, you will join super smart leaders from Amazon, Google, Facebook & Venture Capital firms: