Get out and talk to the troops!

Some senior managers seem to think that communication is like a magic box of tricks that you pull out from time to time to get you through a problem period.

What alarms me most about this approach is that it misses the critical point: Communication isn't a commodity, it's a critical element of leadership.

Great communication programs–especially internal ones– should be about empowering the leadership team with the tools and processes to have regular conversations with their people.

You can have as many programs, project charts and policies as you like but none of that will help without a genuine commitment to staying regularly in touch with your people.  Communication is just a means to an end: To maintain relationships and trust.  As a leader, you respect me as a member of your team by acknowledging my need to be kept informed.  Not to know everything – I "get" the fact that there are some things you need to keep under your hat, that's just common sense.  What's most important to me as a member of your team?  That I know you genuinely WANT to stay in touch and that you respect me enough to keep the conversation going.  My number one tip for senior managers wanting to engender good communications internally? Get out and talk to the troops!