Your Role

As the leader of your organization, you set the tone. Keeping constituents aligned and motivated, especially when you don’t have the capital or resources you need, requires a great deal of skill. The intensity and length of the normal day leaves little time to make sure that every word and deed is executed or managed properly. In fact, you probably forget most things you said or did by the time the next day arrives.

“Avoiding key communication mistakes can strengthen the “feel” of your company.” 

The Do’s and Don’ts

There are a few communication patterns, often occurring on a daily basis, which impact the “feeling” of the organization. In these interactions, what you say and how you say it makes all the difference:

  • Instill Confidence. Despite the challenges of your organization, always communicate with confidence. How often do you walk out of a meeting and say to yourself, “If they only knew how screwed up we are”? It is fine to have those conversations with yourself, but not out loud. Even though your balloon is full, resist the temptation to communicate in any way that undermines the confidence of your team, customers or investors. Confidence does not mean that you are not candid, that you don’t outline challenges or that you create unrealistic expectations. Confidence is about how you deliver the message.
  • Never Talk Catastrophe. There will be times you feel that you are on the brink of failure, at your wit’s end, or too burned out to go at it. You have no money, and you have hit “the last straw” with a vendor, employee, investor or customer. Marathoners talk about “hitting the wall” at mile twenty. Try hitting the wall at mile 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7… Your communication can never include words like disaster, catastrophe, quit, falling apart or any of terms associated with the apocalyptic scenario running through your mind. To you, these may simply be expressions of your current emotion and some air coming out of your balloon. To others, these words are warning bells that may lead them to question their commitment to your vision. While the catastrophe of the day may be quickly forgotten, the lasting impression of these words will not. These words will stick in the mind of your constituents like a line from a B-movie you’d like to forget. .
  • Avoid Cockiness. To accomplish many of these lofty goals the job requires, as noted above, you need confidence. When that confidence shifts to cockiness, you run a great risk. There are times people do business with you because of your business value. There are other times they do business with you because they like you. When you demonstrate cockiness, you make customers and employees think to themselves, “Do I want to do work with this person?”

They way you say things has a huge impact on your team and company. Pay attention.

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