By Imran A. Andrabi, MD
President and CEO of ThedaCare
I’ve often said there is an art to communicating. For leaders, communications can shape a more effective business strategy, when started early and often. It ensures ideas are understood when we think about the way, tone and methodology in which we share them. Most importantly, communications can draw people in once we understand what is important to them.
Communicating is intentional. Don’t leave communication to chance or as an afterthought. Nurture a culture where team members understand and believe in the strategy through regular, clear communications. In order to advance the mindset of team members, be sure to create transparency, align goals and set expectations.
Communicate. Then communicate more. Most industries are in times of rapid change, which requires communicating. I would even say, over communicating. In the absence of information, human tendency is to fill in the gaps with what is thought to be true. As leaders, we are then left cleaning up misinformation versus being the flag bearer of our vision.
Face-to-face communications is best. When it comes to methods of communicating, my preference is face-to-face. This allows the opportunity to listen, discuss and understand. With our nearly 7,000 team members at ThedaCare, I have also found the combination of videos and email to be successful. It’s the next best thing to being there in person. Whether spoken or written, find what works best for the audience and be consistent with communications.
Communicate what is important to the audience. To ensure the message is clear and meaningful, reflect on what is important to the audience. What do they want to know and understand? Keep in mind that communication often happens across multiple levels of the organization with variable backgrounds and understanding of topics. Key on subtleties and adapt the message to the situation.
Above all, communication is an art that is best expressed in simple and elegant terms. It inspires thought, dialogue and action when it is built through the perspective of the audience.