Increased media scrutiny and expanded opportunities for employees to share information have put executives in the hot seat. Basically, anything they say or do can be Tweeted, Instragrammed, YouTubed, and, surely, held against them in a court of law.
The openness and transparency demand by today’s society has top executives turning to the Corporate Communications function for guidance and support on what to say, when to say it, where to say it, and how to say it, both in terms of message and tone as well as the medium or forum itself.
Corporate communicators, especially those adept in handling crises, leading press conferences, and writing key announcements, are under pressure to help executives communicate more effectively. The best communicators out there are taking advantage of this opportunity to not simply polish an executive’s speech, but also to sensitize executives to the important of ongoing, continuous dialogue with stakeholders as a way to conduct better business, not just manage perceptions.
The 5 Communication Skills to Teach Your Executives
Here are the 5 most common types of communication support or skill building offered to executives mapped to CEC support for our members.
- Speechwriting: Your leader needs to have a clear understanding of what they are trying to achieve and how audiences should take action as a result of the speech.Ask consultative questions to help executives to deepen their understanding of the desired stakeholder action of the communication | Use this 3-step Executive Communication Triage Process and learn why this process works on the CEC Insider
- Storytelling: Help leaders to weave stories and personal experiences into their communication to make a concept feel much more “real” to the audience, driving their energy and enthusiasm to support it.Build executives’ ability to engage others in storytelling. | See how Continental Airlines breaks down storytelling into a simple, repeatable process.
- Dialogue: Equip leaders to lead dialogues on the implications of company strategy to help employees understand goals and believe that they can impact them positively.Break dialogue into simple steps that executives can easily digest and practice. | See how Shell runs a Dialogue Workshop for Executives and run your own workshop with CEC’s out-of-the-box Dialogue Training Materials.
- Empowering: In agile environments, employees need to proactively change their behaviors. Executives need to get comfortable and trust employees to take smart action by building an empowering environment.Help executives overcome perceived barriers to letting go of some control | See how GlaxoSmithKline CPSE structures its Empowerment Workshop for Executives
- Communicating During Uncertainty: Executives feel uncomfortable not having “all of the answers”. Help leaders run structured dialogues where they’re expected to take part in a conversation, but not to have all the answers.
Capitalize on moments of uncertainty to quickly teach executives how to hold dialogues. | Nordea’s dialogue prep sessions help executives prepare for “critical and curious” questions and simulate conversations that will soon take place on the job
CEC Related Resources
- Build Executives Communication Skills
- Executive Communication Topic Center
- Help Executives Understand Their Communication Role
- Improve Coaching and Advisory Capabilities
CEC Related Blogs