Put me in, Coach! I’m ready to … talk!!
Recruiting a coach for communications will help you win the employee-engagement game.
Coaches. They push us when we need it. They get us in line. They challenge us to try things differently. And if we work hard and follow their lead, we more often than not win the game.
Just ask the highly successful players from the Green Bay Packers’ “Glory Years” in the 1960s, when the team won five NFL championships under iconic coach Vince Lombardi in just seven years. Or the talented and inspirational United States women’s national soccer team, which this summer became the first team since the 1930s to repeat as World Cup champion with the same coach (Jill Ellis).
So, why not consider a coach for one of the most important plays you can make this year — communicating with and engaging your employees? In a recent article from Forbes magazine, author Erik Samdahl wrote, “Your organization can’t execute your business strategies if you don’t have the right job roles filled.”
One way you can attract and retain the right people is by communicating the vision, mission and values on which your company is already built. Have you ever considered a coach for helping you communicate? Well, strategy in communications can make a positive difference.
Let’s say your big company meeting is next week. How are you going to lead and motivate your team? Do you have planned talking points? Stories to help engage? And a way that you can gauge whether they are with you or wishing it was lunchtime?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering how you can up your game in how you communicate with your team by engaging a communications coach.
- Plan your message. Then ask your coach what’s missing.
Having a general idea of what you are about to share simply isn’t going to be enough for you to give a strong talk. Go through it with your coach to find the holes that need filling.
- Know your stories and examples. Then test them with your coach.
The State of the Union Address now often includes real examples and people who are introduced as real faces to an issue. Who’s the real person or your real example in your message? Your coach will help ensure it’s a relevant example.
- Clarify what you want people to leave with. Then see if it works on your coach.
I once had a pastor who was masterful with his three-point homilies. You knew he was going to give you three points and a story. And you could remember it for the rest of the week. Any more and it probably wouldn’t stick in my memory. Can you get your message to stick with your coach?
- Maybe even with your coach in the room.
If the first time you walk through your talk is at the talk, you won’t be your best. Period. Trust me. I’ve tried. Give a high-level version to your coach. If it’s a high-pressure situation, then definitely give it a full rehearsal with your coach guiding you on how to make it even stronger.
- Follow up. Your coach can help you think through options and then hold you to it.
How are you making sure that you follow up with a team email summarizing what you shared? Or, perhaps at the next leadership meeting, you might bring up the top points for discussion and goal setting. Ask your coach to help you brainstorm all the ways to reinforce your message.
- And have a communications plan. (Hint: Your coach can help.)
Politicians say they have to share their vision with each voter a minimum of six times before the voter really retains what they’re sharing. Telling your team once isn’t enough. Repeat your most important messages to your team, and in turn, they’ll be able to share those messages with prospective customers.
Just like most things in life, having a sounding board and partner can help us be better — do better. The challenge many CEOs and presidents face is scheduling other tasks and meetings that fill up their days instead of ensuring they’ve communicated clearly and strategically with their best asset — their talented team. Why be like most? Be better. Why? Because in this competitive market for talent, your employees have options.
Are you a business or nonprofit leader who could use a good coach to achieve winning results in your communication and engagement with your team? Connect with us today to learn more about our service line of executive communications and coaching.