Hi it’s Caroline,
This spring I joined Team Teal as a permanent team member, having worked alongside Rachel and Louise for almost 18 months.
At the time I marked the milestone with a blog post which set out what #TeamTeal means to me.
I talked at the time about the team being thoughtful, experienced, attentive and always listening.
We have revisited those words as a team since then and reflected on what they mean in practice. This article reveals what they mean to me.
Are you thinking about becoming an Internal Comms Consultant? Our How to be a Comms Consultant – Exploration is the Online Masterclass for you.
How to be an Internal Comms Consultant
It’s a real privilege to be the first member of the team that many people speak to and to be trusted to help people navigate what they might want and need.
My initial exploratory conversations with prospective clients are golden and contain a healthy dose of phrases like these; ‘can you just,’ ‘have you seen this before?’ and the very simple ‘can you help?’
While we have a comprehensive website, a thriving newsletter and a very active presence on social channels and more, we don’t try to package up what we do and expect prospective clients to pick from a list.
Most of other services are undefined. They fall under the headings of training, mentoring and consultancy but take so many forms meaning, it would be very difficult to include a definitive list on our website.
Further reading from Caroline: My first week in Team Teal.
Taking time to listen
Instead, we choose to invest time upfront to understand the needs of the people who ask for our help because we don’t expect them to know exactly what they want or need.
We want prospective clients to come as they are and feel as though anything is possible.
I pride myself on the unseen care that goes into every interaction I have with IC professionals from the moment they get in touch. They can rely on me to give them time to listen to their story and to get reassurance that they are not alone.
They expect me to be candid and to manage their expectations. They trust my judgement and experience. In return they are given a commitment that we will work with them not to them, crafting solutions together that meet their needs.
Sometimes we say no because we don’t believe we can help, or we don’t believe we are the right team to help.
We are usually able to suggest somebody who can and share resources and links that will help that person. We are proud of being prepared to say no when it’s the right thing to do.
My favourite conversations are the ones that start with a clear request and end up with a totally different solution. An example of this is a client who came to me asking for an audit and by the end of our discussion agreed that they really needed a leadership engagement plan and some comms principles instead.
Shifts like this happens through a lot of up-front investment to understand the issues and by co-creating an approach that will work for that person and the stakeholder relationships they are managing.
When somebody thinks a solution is out of reach because of available time and resources, I thrive in finding a way to make a positive difference.
Although we are a knowledge-rich organisation that shares a lot through blogs, our Podcast and learning offer, one of the biggest perks of being part of Team Teal is learning so much every day from clients and each other.
Every Monday I consider myself more equipped than the previous week to advise and support our clients, our team and the IC community.
In the past three months there have been plenty of highlights and challenges to stretch my knowledge and experience even further.
I’ve supported an audit involving colleagues in over 40 global locations, I’ve mentored a new starter working in-house who was looking for structure and clarity, I’ve created an IC plan for a housing provider and delivered training on world class IC and measurement.
Over the summer I’ll be putting the finishing touches to a more clearly defined, consistent client experience with nurturing front and centre of the experience we are trying to create.
I am looking forward to testing this out in the second half of the year and to having more of those fabulous conversations with people who are curious, keen to improve and open to ideas.
If you have a comms problem and aren’t sure whether we can help, why not give me a shout?
The All Things IC team will be taking a short break over the summer to spend time with our respective families and friends. If you do get in contact with us, we’ll respond when we’re back from our breaks.
Learn about internal communication with All Things IC
If you want to learn more about internal communication, check out our range of Online Masterclasses.
See the dedicated website to access all the latest courses. They are packed with bespoke text lessons, videos, workbooks and quizzes to help you learn about the wonderful world of IC at your own pace.
They are pre-recorded, which means you access the content at the time you choose. Most courses have 12 months’ access and there are VIP options available on some of them, which means you’ll submit assignments to Rachel for personalised feedback.
- How to write an internal communication strategy – learn how to write your own IC strategy.
- The internal communicator’s guide to hybrid working – to help you navigate through different ways of working.
- How to be an internal communicator – ideal if you’re new to the world of IC or have up to three years’ experience.
- How to be a Comms Consultant – Exploration – this is for you if you’re thinking about going freelance and becoming an IC Consultant.
- Introduction to internal communication channels – get up to speed quickly.
- How to create a 90 day plan – to set you up for success in your new Internal Comms role.
- How to be a strategic internal communicator – to help you improve your Comms capability.
Thank you for stopping by,
First published on the All Things IC blog 28 April 2022.