You Can’t NOT Communicate

So, finally I am…

Some time ago, David Grossman, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, sent me a copy of his book, You Can’t NOT Communicate.

Much of the book focuses on employee communications, offering an excellent collection of tips and approaches to communicating in a way that can help leaders differentiate themselves.

In fact, he coined the term “leadercommunicator,” stating that you cannot separate communications from leadership much like you cannot separate leadership from results.

Grossman describes several traits of a leadercommunicator; among them: plans communication and is aware that communication doesn’t just happen.  We discuss that with our clients on a daily basis – especially those who have not effectively told their side of the story for a long time.

He also offers phrases to help leaders share what they know.  We’ve used some form of each of these in media training for years as a way to bridge from a negative or inaccurate question or comment:

  • “I don’t know that, but what I can tell you is…”
  • “No, let me explain.”
  • “That’s the way it used to be.  Here’s what we do now.”
  • “As I know more, I’ll update you.”

You Can’t NOT Communicate provides insight into understanding the audience, building trust, the power of storytelling and managing change, among some other pertinent chapter topics.

He also shares tips on communication vehicles, including how to prepare for a presentation.  He points out that “a winning mindset helps frame any presentation” and provides three practice tips:

  • Present in allotted time.
  • Do it in half-the-time, in case you’re told, “we’re running late.”
  • Present it in five minutes, as brevity breeds clarity.

Grossman says mastering these skills “will get you noticed,” a phrase I have used on my e-mail signature for years.

The bottom line: “everything you do and say communicates SOMETHING.”

Written by
at Sep 1, 2011

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