How well does your CEO resonate with the rank-and-file?

Upper-level execs often miss the mark when creating internal messages. Several things factor in, but gaining their trust will help you reach more eyes and ears, more hearts and minds.

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A few weeks ago, Josh Bernoff wrote about an internal memo from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella concerning layoffs.

He criticized Nadella for using the language of a victim, such as “impacting” and “reductions.”

Clearly, the Microsoft corporate communications team helped Nadella develop this message. Rarely does a CEO or senior leader write an important message to employees on his or her own.

Even with a number of communications pros involved (including most likely the senior-level communicator for Microsoft), the message came across as unclear and full of corporate-speak.

Herein lies the challenge for every corporate communicator when helping an executive communicate with lower-level staff.

Having spent 10-plus years in corporate communications roles, I see a few key challenges:

Executives and rank-and-file employees speak different languages.

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