Refrain from Making a Snap Judgment
How often do you make a snap judgment?
New research shows that our stereotypes about other people’s warmth and competence often mar our decisions and behavior in negotiations (PROGRAM ON NEGOTIATION/ HAVARD LAW SCHOOL, 2017).
First impressions from discrimination, prejudice, stereotypes can negatively affect one’s snap judgment, avoid snap judgment by all means. To do that is to fully understand and analyze the implications of such decisions before communicating. It will help you send the right information across without misinterpretations that could undermine your integrity, so never take decisions on the spot unless it is the only option available.
Determine Your Communication Strategy
When last did you use a communication plan?
A communication strategy has four major components: Communication goals, target audience, communication plan, and channels (John, 2019). From this definition, to develop and implement a communication strategy, the first step is to define the communication goals then identify the target audience and their requirements to design a communication plan to achieve the pre-defined communication goals through established, responsive, and effective communication channels.
The resources available to an organization and the level of operations engaged by that organization determine the organization’s communication strategy. To develop a relevant and effective strategy, stakeholders' preferences must be investigated and captured in the strategy.
Implement Your Communication Strategy
How well have you implemented your communication strategy in the past?
In 2016, it was estimated that 67% of well-formulated strategies failed due to poor execution (Ron C. 2017). This substantiates the fact that there is a high likelihood of non-implementation of formulated strategies, so executives must ensure that they execute their communication strategy effectively. Where there are changes to the preferences of their key stakeholders, the communication strategy should be updated before implementation.
Maintain Your Communication Strategy
Is your communication plan still in line with your strategy?
When you neglect your approved communication strategy, you may not achieve pre-defined objectives. You may also experience some issues that were considered in the approved strategy which you dumped.
Consider using a document control system to manage documented information, track, safeguard, recover, backup, send, and retrieve vital documents.
Manage Your Communication Strategy
When last did you update your communication strategy with the current requirements and expectations?
Sometimes the flow of information could be irregular, so it is imperative to keep communication under control by updating your strategy regularly to ensure that your stakeholders do not get dissatisfied with your style and level of communication. Again, the interest and level of stakeholder involvement may change over time, so will their communication needs. This implies that you must be in touch with your stakeholders to spot their preferences change, to devise better ways to manage their predilections.
Create Policies, Procedures and a Healthy Work Culture
Are your policies effective?
Kimberlee on Chron suggests that subordinates take decisions that do not reflect the expectations of their leaders when their leaders do not make clear business policies, stating that to maintain consistency and autonomy in operations, clear, concise, and written business policies must be in place. Kimberlee continued that business policies should be specific, clear, uniform, appropriate, simple, inclusive, and stable, that these attributes make them effective.
Again, Autumn on Convercent, posits that to ensure a detailed comprehension of acceptable workplace behavior, and to remediate inappropriate behavior, organizations must start by training their managers on workplace policies. Such procedures define a sequence of steps to be followed consistently to address policies and policy violations.
Firms create and enforce effective policies to communicate specific goals to their stakeholders. For instance, occupational safety & health policies drive health and safety standards across the length and breadth of an organization. Organizational policies make it easier for organizations to achieve specific objectives. They are the communication lines that keep staff informed and focused on company goals.
Never Say I do not know.
How do you respond to a request for a piece of information you did not have?
I do not know, may sound honest, but to some extent, it depicts reluctance and arrogance. No stakeholder wants to hear that or feel that way. Clients want answers to their inquiries, and they are very willing to migrate if those answers are not gotten. No doubt, honesty pays, but honesty and commitment pay more.
When answers are not immediately available, never show ignorance. Instead, express a sincere intention to find the answer like saying, give me a minute, I will get back to you on that immediately. Thus, as much as you can, stay informed. It keeps you alert to make timely decisions when you are called upon to respond. Where knowledge is lacking, a sincere willingness to provide the needed information could suffice.
When was the last time you sent your regards?
Keeping in touch smoothens your way to any stakeholder’s heart. Some stakeholders may ignore you even when it is evident that you have made sincere efforts to reach out to them. Never mind, keep trying but do not bug them. If your calls do not get attention, send a text message, an e-mail, or paper mail, yeah. Surprisingly when they get to respond, you may learn that they had suffered a setback, lost your contact, had a tight schedule that caused them to skip over you. They may also have skipped out on you because you offended them without knowing it, and the missing friendly call, e-mail, or text had been the barrier. So, find a way to hear from your stakeholders now.
Have you ever been caught off-guard with a question?
Imagine that a stakeholder called you thrice on different occasions within a month for issues, and you kept saying, I will get back to you in a minute. Or maybe during your presentation on a business aspect, you could not answer at least two crucial questions thrown at you. What impression do you think the affected stakeholders will have about you in both scenarios? Thus, it is vital to envisage certain circumstances that could occur and prepare for them not to be taken by surprise because the less you appear knowledgeable to your business stakeholders, the more your chances of getting fired.
Recent updates may outwear your knowledge of something, so update regularly do not rely on past knowledge. Take a second look at your resources if they fit into now, not then, and envisage other possibilities that may not be handy while doing that. Also, take note of call-ups. In all, the best way to be well updated is to have an interest in what you do, so develop enough interest to have the energy you need to succeed.
How effective is your leadership communication style?
From The report of the Economist Intelligence Unit on SpringgHR, 52% of employees said that poor leadership communication led to higher stress levels, 44% said it caused failure in completing their projects, 31% claimed it caused them to miss their performance goals, 20% reported that they experienced obstacles in innovation, and 18% confirmed that they had increased loss of new sales opportunities. The cost of poor leadership communication is extremely high (SpriggHR, 2020).
Strong leadership involves clear communication skills. Leaders speak with and listen to staff members, respond to questions and concerns, and are empathetic. Leaders use effective communication skills for moving the company forward and achieving new levels of success (Alexandra, 2020).
Successful leaders communicate their vision clearly to their stakeholders. They do not scold or vent in public, but they may encourage, reward, and celebrate their followers in public. Such leaders delight in teaching and mentoring their followers.