Communication is NOT My Job
Many professionals believe that communication should be left to the communicators – those hired for that role or who naturally excel in communication. You may be reading this because you have come to a similar conclusion and the headline caught your attention. While I am not likely to validate that mindset, I implore you to keep reading because I believe there is a takeaway or two for you in this article.
Communication IS Your Job
To those of you who have decided that you are not a communicator, I respond with, “Yes you are.” Actually, the better response is, “Yes you are because it’s in your professional interest to be.”
I hope that you are fortunate enough to be working for an organization that places great importance on the necessity of hiring professional communicators and public relations professionals. These folks are invaluable.
A communications team not only constructs public messaging, responds to critical feedback, and drives the marketing and engagement strategies of the organization; they also guide the communication efforts of all employees. A good communications office will inform, advise, coach and support all employees in the organization to become more effective communicators.
Why? Because every person in your organization must communicate professionally with somebody else. It could be with customers, clients, community partners, consultants, contractors, or just colleagues.
An ineffective communicator at any level of the organization will struggle to climb the career ladder and worse, could damage the reputation of the organization.
Not every person has to communicate at the same level of the professional communicators, but every person must approach effective communication as an essential job requirement.
Improving at Communication
Just being aware of your abilities and competence as a communicator gets you halfway there. Awareness will prevent you from saying something you regret or delivering a message in an ineffective manner.
Additionally, the professional communicators in your office should be leading professional development sessions with all staff to improve interpersonal communications and build confidence as communicators. They should provide guidance on a variety of skills and requirements. For instance, all employees should receive basic interpersonal communication training. Leaders, on the other hand, may require additional training on public speaking.
If your organization does not have this internal capability, the TCW Academy website provides a plethora of free and paid resources to improve your skills as a communicator. In addition, our pros are always available to provide support, training, consulting and coaching to you and your organization. Contact us today.
Your Role During a Crisis
At all times, but particularly during an emergency or crisis situation, the ability for all employees to communicate effectively is essential. Every employee has a role to play during a crisis and communication is a core pillar for an effective response. At the very least, you will be required to communicate internally with colleagues.
This is a key time for your organization’s communications professionals to provide you with the resources needed to be an effective communicator.
During a crisis, it is important that all employees and stakeholders have the same accurate message. Talking points and briefing documents are very effective tools for this purpose. This way, anybody engaging with a stakeholder has the right information to communicate.
To communicate with all stakeholders during a crisis is too big a job for any communications office. They will require the support of many other folks from a variety of roles. You are able to enhance your value to the organization by improving your skills as a communicator.
Furthermore, these new and improved skills will help you during team meetings and in future interviews when the next promotional opportunity comes along.
Communication is most definitely your job. It does not matter if you are a CEO, customer service representative, bus driver, budget analyst, or public relations manager – you are a communicator.
To enhance your value to the organization, it is imperative that your interpersonal skills are up to par.