Last Thursday communications guru (and one of my personal heroes), Bill Quirke led a teaching session at Kingston PgDip in Internal Communications Management. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay and hear him speak, however current student Siobhán Roddis from Ernst & Young has kindly written this guest post on her thoughts from his session, Rachel.
I really enjoyed Bill’s session, which focused on ‘How to raise your game as an internal communicator’. I’ve never heard him speak previously, although others in the room had. I was expecting lots of war stories and case studies to help bring the theory to life, and he didn’t disappoint.
For me, the most interesting points which emerged during the discussion were around building credibility with senior leaders and ‘speaking their language’. This isn’t about spouting corporate jargon; it’s about challenging ourselves to better understand business challenges – what’s keeping your leader awake at night, and working with them to solve challenge through better communication.
I really identified with this point. I work for Ernst & Young, where our business is selling the skills and expertise of our people. In the same way I would expect a tax consultant, for example, to work hard to understand a client’s business challenges and then work with them to identify how we could help; I believe that internal communicators have a responsibility to do this with their stakeholders if they want to add real value to an organisation. It’s our job to make the link for leaders between good communication, engagement and business success, but we must do it in their language.
A CEO losing sleep over falling revenues is hardly likely to respond warmly to an invitation to discuss next week’s company newsletter. But talk to them about a plan to boost sales activity through better engaged staff, and suddenly they’re interested.
As communicators, we must continuously challenge ourselves to better understand the trends and pressures of the organisations we operate in if we are to be seen by leaders as credible and valuable assets.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Siobhán and good luck with your final assignment, Rachel.
Post author: Siobhán Roddis