How you make your staff feel?

The leadership road show where senior managers do the rounds talking to large groups of staff has become part of most organisations communication strategy. The senior manager introduces the event and is expected to energise the audience with a short standup routine.

By lunch time your audience will have forgotten much of what you said in your speech. When asked by a colleague the next day what you talked about all they will remember is the anecdote about your holiday. By next week when they come to brief their team they will have to refer to their notes. People will forget what you said but not how you made them feel.

As their manager and leader your predictions and your vision will impact on their working lives.Your words describe how things will look in the future, more of this , less of the other, better use of technology, new ways of working  but what they will remember is what they felt as they heard your words. Did they feel threatened or valued, did they feel uneasy or reassured, excited or anxious, supported or blamed, apprehensive or confident, comfortable or uncomfortable?

When thinking about what to say we give a lot of thought to what we want the audience to know, to tell them what's going to happen, how, when, why but we also need to ask ourselves which feelings do you want them to go away with? If the message is things are going to change whether they like it or not, do we want them to feel apprehensive or reassured. If the message is things have gone wrong and we are determined to put them right do we want them to feel blamed or supported? If the message is the time scale for delivering will be challenging do we want staff to leave feeling threatened or valued?

This is what leaders do they set the tone within an organisation, service or team and the tone is how you make staff feel.

Blair Mcpherson

Security level: Public

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