Six simple steps to a better communication

6th September 2022

Very clever, brilliant people use checklists.

Surgeons use them. Pilots use them. So, it’s perfectly fine if we want to use them too.

Here’s a checklist of what you might want to use for your communications:

  1. What – what do you want the other person to DO after your communication? (we usually put this at the end, as a call to action)
  2. Why – why will they want to DO it? In other words, how will they benefit? (we usually put these benefits at the start, to engage them early)
  3. Which – of all the topics we could include in our communication, which are the most essential ones?
  4. How – what communication channel will we use? Verbal, email, document, Teams, presentation…?
  5. Who – who is the person we want to influence? Ideally, we want to go to them directly, rather than through an intermediary
  6. When – when’s the best time to communicate this message to them? (quick hint: doing it at 4.59pm on Friday afternoon – just so you can tick it off before the weekend – probably isn’t what they want you to do)

If you like this checklist, great. Use it!

If not, consider creating your own.

But it’s worth having one – especially for important communications. After all, people’s usual ‘checklists’…

  1. I’ll brain-dump everything I know; or
  2. What slide/materials have I got, that I can re-use for this next communication?!

… aren’t as likely to impress or influence anyone.

Action Point

  1. Create your own Communication Checklist
  2. Put it in a visible place, so you see it all the time (not in a sharefile you never open)
  3. Use it!

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