Discover why doodling is important to Shan Chatoo, a self-employed senior internal communicator, plus the best career advice she’s been given.

Shan is the latest comms pro to sit in my #questionofcomms hot seat.

Want to be featured? Here are the questions for you to answer. I’ll hand you over to her…

1) When did you know internal communication was what you wanted to do?

In my mid twenties I was assigned a mentor. She was a global SVP Communications for a multinational engineering company. Her enthusiasm and firm belief that profits were driven by happy people influenced my change of direction from Compensation/Reward to IC!

2) What do you like most about working in this field?

Inspiring people from all walks of life everyday.

3) What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

Listen. BREATHE. Respond. Smile.

4) What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a career in comms?

Take time to live, breathe and learn about where you work and gain general business acumen. This will make you a more credible communicator; give you deeper audience knowledge; and, you’ll be in a better position to influence the top table.

5) What does a typical day or working week look like for you?

There isn’t a typical day or week!

However where I can, I like to structure my week into a third Strategic, a third Creative, a third Listening/talking.

6) Name a book you think every communicator must read, and why you’ve chosen it.

Haha… I’m a TED talk fan. I don’t read books!

7) What’s the one thing you couldn’t do your job without?

A white board. Or a large blank sheet of paper. I doodle.Its how I make sense of things and then use in my discussions with my stakeholders!

8) What is the future of internal communication?

IC needs to evolve if its going to support organisations and their employees in an increasingly disruptive world.

This is already happening e.g. IC professionals needing to have an understanding or experience of the wider communications remit, as well as being specialists and the blurring of lines (not just better collaboration) between HR, IC and Change departments.

Ultimately for IC to ‘survive and thrive’ we will need to deliver the mechanisms for communication, let people get on with it (with guidance), and focus more on influencing and having a presence at the top table.

9) Where can people find you online?
LinkedIn.

Post author: Shan Chatoo.

Thank you Shan.

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First published on the All Things IC blog 19 April 2017.