•The need for HR executives to effectively communicate in public, at the board level, and with the teams, they work with is crucial.
•In any organisation, the leader has to be compelling and persuasive in order to influence and motivate people to work towards the shared vision. This can be b
We manage human beings and we must admit that communicating with fellow human beings is one of the most challenging experiences since we all interpret information and express ourselves in very different ways.
This is further complicated by the pressure that comes with executive communication when you have to engage with others in an effort to persuade them to consider your point of view, give support, or make an informed decision.
The need for HR executives to effectively communicate in public, at the board level, and with the teams, they work with is crucial.
In any organisation, the leader has to be compelling and persuasive in order to influence and motivate people to work towards the shared vision. This can be achieved through a well-structured communication.
We have all talked about communication and its importance in various aspects of our lives.
What is communication?
The dictionary definition of communication is “the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium”.
It is further defined as “a means of sending or receiving information, such as phone lines or computers.”
Communication can therefore be one–on–one or mediated through a medium like a phone.
Donald Smith a renowned communication writer in his book Creating Understanding outline various principles which define communication. I will highlight a few;
Communication is involvement- in order to communicate with people you have to establish a commonness that brings a sense of belonging.
This calls for a clear understanding of your audience in order for you to involve them in your communication.
Appreciate what informs the audiences’ experiences and participate in their culture and beliefs.
In short build a relationship with your audience for effective communication to take place by addressing the issues that interest them.
For instance, interest of the board may vary from that of the union hence one should be in a position to involve each group effectively
Communication is a process- Communication is an ongoing process with no clear beginning and end.
For example, we know that even silence communicates. How people communicate and interact keeps on changing depending on the circumstances.
As an HR executive, you have to therefore keep in touch with the changing environment and adjust your communication to fit the prevailing circumstances.
Do you understand your business and the HR profession for you to continuously engage various groups effectively in your communication?
Meaning is internal and individual- I alluded to this earlier on that individuals interpret communication differently.
How one interprets meaning is influenced by their beliefs, the environment they are in, the experiences they have had, and their needs.
This also determines their response to your communication and whether they will be accepting of your message or they will reject it.
As you speak to various teams and individuals package your message in different ways to appeal to different people.
Say the same thing in different ways for example using numbers, pictures, and videos
Communication is what is heard not only what is said- What is heard is not always what was said.
Many leaders have accused their audience of misquoting them or misinterpreting what they said.
This makes listening a critical part of communicating in order for the process to be complete.
Communication is a transaction where speaking and listening roles are exchanged.
As a HR leader do you listen to people and how is listening or the lack of it affecting how effectively you communicate?
Understanding the communication process, and the dos and don’ts is critical, however, having content and command of your field of expertise is even more important.
A combination of great skills and competency in HR coupled with executive public speaking and communication skills is a sure way of becoming an effective HR leader transforming their organizations and the profession.
It is my hope that HR professionals will receive insights aimed at transforming us into world-class speakers who will cause transformation not just through what we know but also through how we communicate what we know.
CHRP Odero Dalmas is the National chairman Institute of Human Resource Management. He spoke at the Executive Public Speaking and Communication in Leadership Convention in Mombasa on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.