While there are a number of different communication styles, the focused and effective leader knows how to communicate well. This person knows that leadership communication strategies are critical not just to their success, but their team’s success.
Is that you?
Here are 3 ways to determine whether you are in command of your communication.
1. You know that leadership communication is directed to individuals.
Are there times when sending out emails to an entire group is necessary? Yes. But rarely. Those communications fall under the category of “Info about the upcoming company potluck” – not direction or guidance.
Leaders direct their communications to individuals. “Dear Jane,” or “Hi Emily and Jane,”
…not “Hey everyone…”
2. You use CC and BCC sparingly and strategically.
The higher up in the organization I went, the fewer emails were directed to me personally and the more I was copied on what felt like… everything.
A person copied on an email should need to know the information in order to fulfill their duties and responsibilities.
A person blind copied on an email will know in advance that they will be privy to the information contained in the email and understand from a previous conversation why such an act is required.
3. You follow a short and sweet leadership communication formula.
The formula of leadership communication is: [Instruction or guidance] + [Rationale] + [Consequence]
A favorite example is from a current client of mine overseeing programs at a ranch:
Hi (name), Please make sure to breed the goats so that next summer’s camp kids will have a goat to milk as part of their experience. Otherwise, you’ll have to take on the responsibility of finding and bringing a new milking goat to the ranch in advance of the summer programs. Thanks very much, (name)
Leader’s emails are short and to the point, respectful, and with clarity of consequence. In this example, the consequence is what other burdensome activity the other party will need to do to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of their own job. Leaving consequence off the email allows room for interpretation or assumption, the worst of which is that it will fall to someone else to help or take care of it altogether… like you!
You might also like:
Deciding to be accountable
Rethinking how to be assertive
Age gaps between managers and direct reports