Become a Brilliant Communicator
Post on 25-Feb-2016
DESCRIPTIONBecome a Brilliant Communicator. Todays Communicators. Andrew Krzmarzick GovLoop Community Manager GovLoop.com /profile/ andrewkrzmarzick LinkedIn.com /in/ andrewkrzmarzick firstname.lastname@example.org | @ krazykriz. Hannah Ornell GovLoop Graduate Fellow GovLoop.com /profile/ HannahOrnell - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Become a Brilliant Communicator
Become a Brilliant Communicator
ANDY- Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to our session entitled, Become a Brilliant Communicator
Andrew KrzmarzickGovLoop Community ManagerGovLoop.com/profile/andrewkrzmarzickLinkedIn.email@example.com | @krazykriz
Hannah OrnellGovLoop Graduate FellowGovLoop.com/profile/HannahOrnellLinkedIn.firstname.lastname@example.org @hsornell
ANDY and HANNAHIntroductions and our street cred in teaching communications
ANDYNow let me ask you right from the start: how many of you have ever blundered in communication in the office? be honest!It happens to the best of usheres one example:
When Office Communications Go Terribly Wrong
How an embarrassing office email became the key to an advertisers successThe advertising team at the Dallas-based Richards group was tasked with designing an ad for Bridgestone Tires to be aired at the 2011 Super Bowl The advertisers were to pitch their ideas for the commercial, and the best ad would be chosen. Winning this competition is like obtaining the Holy Grail of the advertising worldAs you could imagine, the office environment quickly turned cut-throat with the carrot of the Super Bowl looming in front of the employees. In an effort to inspire his art director, Bill Cochran, who won the Super Bowl spot for Bridgestone the previous year, sent a fired-up email cutting down his opponents in the challenge. "There are words you might say in a locker room about another team," explained Cochran, "And there are words you might say at a press conference. I used locker room words.Minutes after sending his email, he got a phone call from a horrified copywriter in his office telling him that his email was replied to all. Over 100 people got Cohrans email, including the people he had disparaged.His first thought was: Ill get fired. Fortunately, his boss forgave the email as a mistake, so he continued on brainstorming ideas for his pitch.Thats when the light-bulb went off in his head: He would use the mishap in his ad. The executives loved his idea, so he produced it and it ran during the Super Bowl last year
The Ad That Turned Blunder to BrillianceHANNAH
Heres the ad that turned lemons into lemonade.and a blunder into brilliance4Communication Gaffes HappenCommunication by email for me is the likeliest source for miscommunication. Between being misunderstood because of misread tone or address error, the possibilities are great.
Although I cannot note a specific miscommunication, I know I have double checked my sent box a dozen different times after a sudden fear that I may have inadvertently replied to the "wrong" person.ANDY
Of course, Bill is not alone, this kind of thing happens all the time, doesnt it?Here are two examples shared on a forum we hosted on GovLoop a couple weeks agoBottom line: Communication is arguably the most important and most difficult performance indicatorDo it well and even your worst mistakes can be minimizedDo it poorly and your best intentions might lead to lack of respect or worse, cost you your jobor even your career5Communication Gaffes HappenWhile working as a young supervisor, I was miffed by an employees lack of follow through on a specific task. I, angrily, left her a message on her dry erase board, for her only to see the next day. Rethought the delivery of this communication (as opposed to more professionally speaking with her directly), so I went to erase the message and discovered I had used permanent marker. Ugh. Had to cover the secured dry board with paper until new one could be installed. This incident taught me a lot, to say the least.ANDY
Top 5 Office Communication ChallengesWhen Informal Is Abnormal: Tips for EmailWhen Voicemail Isnt Enough: Tips for TelephoneWhen Islands Are Isolating: Tips for FeedbackWhen Time Is Too Short: Tips for MeetingsWhen Colleagues Are Quirky: What Would You Do?ANDY
Unfortunately, not all communication mistakes can land us the fame and glory of creating a popular ad for the SuperbowlSo, to make your office communications effective and hopefully prevent an embarrassing situation like the one Cochran and those GovLoop members found themselves in, we will address 5 current challenges of communication and give you tangible tips to address them7
1. When Informal is AbnormalChallenge: How formal do I need to be when using communication technology like email, IM, texting and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) in a professional setting?
- Lets start with the most common challenge.8
1. When Informal is AbnormalThe Wall Street Journal reports that poor grammar is increasingly an issue in the workplaceStudy by the Society for Human Resource Management and AARP: most respondents blame young workers for this trendHowever, with younger generations on the forefront of communication technologies, they may have developed a new norm of informality
1. When Informal is AbnormalTIPS FOR EMAILRemember: your email represents your agencyStart formal, then react to respondents toneUse signature blocks so people can follow-upLeave Sent from iPhone/BlackBerryAvoid sending work emails after hours (schedule if you do)Take a break from email; check at set intervals
Your email indicates your professionalism, reliability, and it represents, by extension, your agency.Always start with a formal email, and from there, determine your tone based on the formality of the responseDont drop the greeting and closingUse signature blocks: mailing address, telephone, mobile or fax numbers, and perhaps a website.Its ok to leave Sent from my iPhone/BlackBerry, etc." Its understood that messages sent from a mobile device are composed on-the-go, so this automatic disclaimer could explain typosHow many of us feel enslaved to our email? Consider setting specific times to check it and if you dont have to do so, give yourself a break on the evenings and weekendsDont send work emails during off-hours. This sets the expectation that your coworkers/employees should be on-call 24/7Consider scheduling your outgoing messages with a send later function (I have this boomerang extension for Gmail)
2. When Voicemail Isnt EnoughChallenge: How do I ensure the meaning of my message gets across when Im using technology?
Phone Miscommunication Lands a Family in Court 2. When Voicemail Isnt EnoughHANNAH
- A 7th grade student, Meghan Calter, switched from a Tennessee public school system to home schooling this past summer- In compliance with the laws in place for home schooling, the Calters enrolled as a satellite of a nearby church school - In August, the local public school Meghan used to attend began calling the Calters with automated attendance messages - The Calters left several messages with the school and even visited the school to remind the administration she was homeschooling, yet the calls persisted until one day, the local attendance officer reported the absences to the county prosecutor- Fortunately, they were able to prove they were legally homeschooling Meghan, and the case was dismissed.12
STARTING A CALL:2. When Voicemail Isnt EnoughTIPS FOR TELEPHONE
Dont just jump right in with businessStart with a warm-up: Hows your day going? orIf you know of another project the person is working or something personal, ask about that
DURING A CALL:
Have an agenda in mind; jot it down, stay on task.If its a scheduled call, allot a time limit for it.2. When Voicemail Isnt EnoughTIPS FOR TELEPHONE
Got a call thats going long? Say you have another meeting / ask when you can continue later (or shift to email).Get a call when youre under a deadline? Ask to schedule to a later time.ANDY14
ENDING THE CALL:
Summarize what you discussedstate action items: I will do x, y and z. You will do a and b by ____. Make sure the business part is overask is there anything else I can help you with?2. When Voicemail Isnt EnoughTIPS FOR TELEPHONEANDY15
3. When Islands Are IsolatingChallenge: We underestimate the power of positive and constructive feedback as a motivator. How can we more effectively give and receive feedback at work?
ANDY163. When Islands Are Isolating
You dont need to take the teamto a retreat in paradise
to motivate your employees.It just takes some feedback.
- The manager of a government office called a trusted colleague to ask for advice. Her team lacked motivation and she had a high turn-over rate- She planned an off-site team building retreat and was surprised when it didnt seem to fix her problem- The colleague asked if she could speak with the team anonymously, and learned that a common complaint was that they were not recognized often enough: I feel unappreciated and One day the manager is happy and the next day she doesnt talk to me all day- The problem here was a lack of day-to-day appreciation of the workers, a problem that an offsite retreat couldnt fix (adapted from The Impact of a Positive Work Atmosphere (By Penny Tremblay)17
Recognition for a job well done is a powerful motivatorPeople want to improve, so dont hesitate to offer constructive criticismBe specific. What exactly did they do?
Avoid email / chat: too impersonalHand-written notes = rare, but respectedGive feedback in person, when possible.Do so publicly as appropriateUse video if remote3. When Islands Are IsolatingTIPS FOR GIVING FEEDBACK
- Recognition for a job well done is a powerful motivator, so make sure you tell your employees/coworkers when you are impressed with their work and dont just send an email, write a note or tell them face to face A recent study in the International Journal of Training and Development found that the number of people providing helpful feedback was positively correlated with the successful application of new skills learned in trainingAnonymous feedback is a great way to get solid feedback because people can be honest without fear of being scrutinized.
Say thank you.Listen to understand.Dont get defensive.Ask questions to get specificity.Give it serious consideration.Do something about it.The only person you can change = YOU!Make it easy for people to give feedback: Office hours, tip box, email address, incentives3. When Islands Are IsolatingTIPS FOR RECEIVING FEEDBACK
4. When Time Is Too ShortChallenge: Have you ever left a meeting feeling like your time wouldve been better spent at your desk? Me, too. How can you make meetings worthwhile?
Heres a failed meeting example we all know: the Super Committee!
4. When Time Is Too ShortANDYHeres an example of ineffective meetings that we all know: The Super Committee meetings! (Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction)6 Dems and 6 Reps convened with the weighty task of finding $1.2 trillion in spending cuts during the next decade. Despite the threat of sequestration should they fail to come up with a decision, the group has not found a resolutionReasons for failure: The meetings had no clear leader all had equal say, members were unwilling to compromise, competing ideologies about the governments role21
Begin and end on time.Arrive early with all necessary materialsCirculate an agenda beforehandTake a break at minimum every two hours
Only have meetings when necessary: Pssstits okay to cancel!Avoid holding meetings during peoples most productive hours4. When Time Is Too ShortTIPS FOR MEETINGS
Dont accept calls or texts during a meeting.Dont sit down seriously.If you (must) have a PowerPoint, make it visually interesting
4. When Time Is Too ShortTIPS FOR MEETINGSMeetings with a clear leader or time keeper move quicker they can keep the team on trackANDY23
5. Application: When Colleagues Are QuirkyGet in groups of 4-5 peopleRead the scenario and ask yourself: what would you do?Select one or more of the communication vehiclesPlan your response to the situationBonus: use 4-5 of the tips youve learned today.Assign a spokesperson to share with the larger group.
ANDY / HANNAH24
Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Andrew KrzmarzickGovLoop Community ManagerGovLoop.com/profile/AndrewKrzmarzickLinkedIn.com/in/AndrewKrzmarzickAndrew@GovLoop.com | @krazykriz
Hannah OrnellGovLoop Graduate FellowGovLoop.com/profile/HannahOrnellLinkedIn.com/in/HannahOrnellHannah@GovLoop.com | @hsornell