We must factor certain key elements into each communication plan we develop. Keep them at the forefront of your mind and at the heart of your plan as you proceed:
Listen before you communicate, while you are communicating, after you communicate. Through listening, you learn—and, more important, you convey respect for your audience.
The best way to show you’ve listened is to act on what you learned and report back.
Get focused. Say what you need to say, and let people know what is expected of them. Ditch the corporate-speak and jargon; use words and phrases that make sense and are easily understood. The greater the clarity—in your messages and in your delivery—the greater success you will achieve. If you fail here, your chance of success is virtually zero.
Treat employees like adults
They deserve it, and they will be thrilled. Don’t hide the bad news; doing so only leads to mistrust, frustration, and an extremely active rumor mill.
Many years ago I worked with an organization that was preparing for a significant reorganization. It was late in the year, and the CEO was adamant that nothing be told to employees because it was “too close to Christmas and I don’t want to ruin the holiday season for them.”