Archive for the ‘Internal communications’ Category

Media Training and internal communications

April 4, 2010

Media Training techniques have a clear objective:  enabling you to communicate your message effectively.  That is, to make sure that you are understood.

There is nothing harder to do than to explain complex ideas in a simple way.  That is the challenge.  To speak in a simple, clear and concise way.  Without using complicated sentences and words to “show off,” but to do it in a way that gets your message to your audience. 

Media Training courses are mainly used to enable you to communicate well with the press, but, in reality, have a function that goes beyond this.  They can be enormously useful for the daily internal communication in your business or organization.  Why?  Because many executives do not know how to convey their messages well; Media Training techniques can help them to communicate better with their employees and superiors, as well as with their customers.

There are many high-level executives who are extremely intelligent and well-educated from a technical point of view, but who, unfortunately, have limited communication skills.  They have devoted years and effort to preparing themselves professionally, but, generally, have not dedicated the same efforts to learning how to convey their knowledge effectively.  This makes them much less effective managers.  These managers, often, don’t know how to effectively transmit instructions to their subordinates or how to formulate a clear vision of where they want to take the company in the future, a significant value-added loss.  All of these factors not only lead to a loss in productivity, but also diminish employee morale.  Among other factors, a good manager must know not only how to get their employees to do something, but also to motivate them to do it.  Make them feel that they are part of an organization of which they can be proud and where, through team effort, there will be a successful future.  There is no doubt that an executive without communication abilities loses many opportunities to rise even further in an organization’s chain of command.

There are endless examples of poor management communication; the participants in my media training seminars share them with me all the time.  Let me share a couple with you.

  • A supervisor at an international corporation held a two-hour long team meeting to outline the objectives and assign responsibilities for several projects.  After the meeting, not one of the team members was sure of who got what assignment regarding several important issues, or even what the assignments were.  This despite having asked repeatedly for clarification from the supervisor, who was unable to provide it clearly.  The employees felt that asking more questions would make them appear incompetent, so they didn’t.  If the entire team is confused, it is obvious that the manager was unable to communicate well.  If he or she used media training techniques to convey his message effectively to the team, they would have understood everything clearly.
  • The vice president of a company we shall call “Y” calls a colleague in another company we’ll call “X.”  The first company is a customer of the second one.  The vice president of “Y” asks his colleague in “X,” in confidence, to please decipher a message he received from a high-level executive in “X.”  The language used in the message was so technical and abstract that he was unable to understand it.  If the vice president of a company is unable to understand the other executive’s message, how will his employees understand any day-to-day communications?   It is clear that the executive who wrote the message is a bad communicator, but is probably unaware of this problem.  It is not necessary to delve too much on the misunderstandings, or the wasted hours of productivity, that this can bring about.

And the problem is not limited to oral or written communications.  I have been able to observe executives who attend public events representing their organizations and say that they are very pleased to be there, but their body language very clearly shows that this is the last place where they would want to be.  Body language is a very powerful message and says as much or more than words can.  Many executives are not aware of this.  The damage to their organizations is very noticeable.

When a member of an executive board asks an executive a question, the executive needs to reply precisely and clearly.  There can be no misunderstandings.  And this includes the appropriate body language.  Again, this is another instance where Media Training techniques are essential, especially when having to deal with difficult or negative and loaded questions from internal audiences.  The executive needs to be ready to come out on top when dealing with the most complex questions and situations.

All these issues and many more are dealt with in Media Training to ensure productive and efficient results during a media interview.  Thos executives who understand this and train themselves to be masters of communication will, undoubtedly, have much more successful careers than their colleagues who do not.  I would dare to go even further.  With rare exceptions, no matter how well prepared an executive is from the technical point of view, not knowing how to communicate well will prevent a fully successful career.