Good communication is the key to great leadership, with 91 per cent of respondents to an Interact/Harris poll saying that communication issues can drag executives down. However, communication becomes increasingly difficult as the messages you seek to convey get more complicated. How can you get employees on board with complex ideas?
1) Relate the idea back to your employees' day-to-day work
What really matters to your staff is how the new initiative is going to affect their job.
While it's important to explain the reason why you're making the change and the theories behind it, what really matters to your staff is how it's going to affect their job. If you're explaining a change that the business is going through or a difficult process you're introducing, it helps to relate it back to something tangible – how will it impact your team's work on a day-to-day basis? How will they have to alter their own habits, and how long will it take for the initiative to be fully implemented?
2) Use data
Using numbers is the most objective way to get an idea across, so try running data analysis to find out exactly how the new idea or initiative will improve your business. For instance, how will it increase productivity, revenue or any other key performance indicator? Data will give your employees concrete evidence that the complex idea is a good one, and creating visual graphs to show old and projected KPI numbers alongside each other is the ultimate testament to how well the new initiative will work.
3) Go visual
Using data to create graphs is just one way you can convey a complex idea. Using images, videos and other visual media to illustrate a difficult idea is a great way to engage your team. In fact, a changingminds.org study showing that only 10 – 20 per cent of spoken information is remembered after three days, but 65 per cent of visual and verbal information combined is remembered.
Try creating a game to see if you have successfully explained your ideas.
4) Make sure your employees understand
When you're conveying a lot of challenging information, it's extremely easy for staff members to switch off. This means it's essential to ensure your employees understand what you're saying at frequent points throughout the communication. This can be as simple as asking your staff members questions, or something more exciting, like creating a game to see if you have successfully explained your ideas. Whatever method you choose, it's essential to regularly invite questions from your audience.
If you've been developing your leadership skills for some time, and think you're ready to make the move into the C-suite, Jackson Stone & Partners can help. Contact us today for more information on our specialist executive recruitment services.