CommsMasters Blog

Effective Leaders Choose the Tough Option

Travelling by train today, a woman in her mid-twenties sat in the seat in front of me.

Shortly after she sat down, she began to sob loudly – enough to draw the attention of the people in the carriage around her.

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If it's Tuesday it must be time to engage the team...

Senior leaders have to paint a compelling vision for the future while pragmatically establishing the steps to get there.

Customer Service teams must give customers personalised care and attention while still hitting strict call-time targets.

Managers are expected to be tough decision-makers and also collaborative explorers.

Head versus heart, masculine versus feminine, soft versus hard – getting the balance right between each is critical to business success.

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4 Ways To Help Leaders Fall In Love With Performance Reviews

Hands up all you leaders out there who look forward to the annual round of formal performance reviews. And hands up everyone in Human Resources who enjoys the annual game of chase-up-the-leaders-who-haven't-done their-performance-reviews.

No one? Really?

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Listen to the ROAR!

Financial ROI? People being nicer to each other? Blind faith?

Which of these is your preferred way to ensure that investment in soft skills development – such as leadership communication – pays off?

It's such a tricky area to measure that, too often, rolling out the development programme and just hoping it delivers can seem an attractive option.

But that isn't satisfactory for anyone involved – the learners who put time and energy into learning; the provider who puts time and energy into supporting the learning; or the purchasing company that contributed time, energy and money – often significant sums.

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3 Steps to Resilient Leadership Communication

Resilience is a major prerequisite of personal success, a critical element separating the winners from the also-rans in life and business.

Resilience is also a critical element in successful communication, separating those who get their messages heard and the results they require from those who leave mixed messages, misunderstanding and hurt feelings.

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Can You See Me Now? 6 Steps to Becoming a More Visible Leader

The events of the last few years should leave no one in any doubt that we live in turbulent times. ‘Business as usual’ is an increasingly rare state for most organisations.

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Management Communication and Industrial Relations

Trust and respect between managers and employees are vital components in creating good industrial relations.

Leaders who fail to foster a high level of openness, honesty and two-way dialogue can accidentally create an atmosphere of mistrust, bad feeling and anger. In some cases this can spark industrial disputes.

 Traditionally, business leaders and managers lead from the front – making the critical financial and staffing decisions, then announcing the changes and leaving the staff to just 'get on with it'.

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Careless Words Lose Hearts and Minds

With the spectre of recession looming over us and a reported 7 out of 10 business leaders preparing for more tough times, employees naturally become extra sensitive about what this means for job security.

Business leaders must therefore become extra sensitive about what they are communicating. If they do not, they risk building unnecessary worries that reduce motivation, morale and commitment across the workforce.

Two words in particular – 'restructuring' and 'efficiencies' – bring fear. They are inevitably heard as 'you are going to lose your job'. This naturally means that energy is diverted away from work and focussed instead on self-protection.

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Face-to-face Conversations Are Best When Delivering Tough Messages

Ongoing economic woes mean that many business leaders are spending yet another year giving tough messages to employees.

Pay freezes or reductions, job losses and fewer opportunities for career progression are sadly still the order of the day for many businesses.

But despite the depressing regularity of this type of conversation, we must ensure we do not underestimate the importance of handling them sensitively.

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Thinking of Change as Organisation-wide Builds Unnecessary Resistance

One of the things that has struck me most when working with organisations and individuals going through change is that change is always personal.

Change happens when each individual moves – literally or metaphorically – from position A to position B. When enough individuals make this move, the change becomes organisation-wide.

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