Experts! Speak English PODCAST Navigating Corporate Communication: Unveiling Insights for Career Growth As you know
As you know I’m a bit of a corporate communication nerd and through my communication coaching, I love helping feisty women and smart but slightly ignored guys wanting to focus on leadership communication to finally take control of their career.
CORPORATE COMMUNICATION can be challenging to do effectively and those of us that have been in the corporate world for a while will know how difficult it can be to be your true authentic self.
Effective Communication is a skill, not a coincidence.
We tend to think don’t we that by fitting in as much as possible, we’ll have a better chance of promotion, or even just being noticed for what we do. The problem is – if we deliver our message in the same dull, predictable way that we have seen communication in our organisation, that you are likely to be more bland vanilla than deliciously deep dark chocolate with mint.
GOOD COMMUNICATORS ARE OFTEN PERCEIVED AS BEING LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS
The significance of corporate communication in the professional world is clear but it can be a real turn off, can’t it – if the go-getters in your organisation are loud and obnoxious, after all who in their right mind wants to go around like that?
LEADERSHIP IS NOT ALWAYS LOUD
I’m a firm believer that there is a leadership position for anybody that is genuinely interested in making a difference but also prepared to work on themselves.
LEADERSHIP HAS CHANGED – ROOM FOR YOU TOO
Leadership training used to be all about power poses and wearing red – especially for women, but thankfully we have moved on into a more authentic sphere,
as new work becomes work,
as remote work becomes work,
as our careers become something that we can drive, rather than being at the mercy of HR departments and our bosses.
YOU NEED TO BE SEEN BEYOND YOUR DEPARTMENT AND COMPANY
Let’s face it, if you intimidate your boss with strengths that he doesn’t possess, even though he or she is brilliant at something else, or don’t really have an amazing relationship with your boss, they will always find someone else to put forward for promotion.
No, you are right, that is not necessarily professional but it will affect you.
IMPOSSIBLE TO IGNORE
(There’s a book called that and I interviewed the author, I’ll put the link below for you)
So you need to start communicating in a way that makes it impossible for people to ignore you.
All it takes is some
smart ideas from another industry,
some practical workarounds and
proactive suggestions, communicated in a simple, precise, clear manner for you to stand out.
No soap box necessary.
NOT ALWAYS ARROGANT; JUST BRILLIANT
Having great presentation skills doesn’t make you an arrogant show off, in fact the best presentations, speeches, pitches and keynotes focus on the audience. Interaction triggers engagement.
That’s where working with a coach can be incredibly powerful.
DUMMY RUNS FOR INSTANT CONFIDENCE
You see, instead of going in cold and for many of my clients that means switching into another language first and then going in cold, we can jump on a dummy run call to take your communication for a test drive before you go into your next performance critical conversation or meeting.
That means that you are forced to plan and be intentional about your communication, thinking about not only what you say but how you say it.
BENEFITS OF COMMUNICATION KUDOS
Having effective corporate communication not only boosts profitability due to breakdowns in communication and how the conflict that evolves as a result of that is managed but it also fosters a far more positive work environment. It makes it more pleasant going to work.
good chance of keeping people loyal to your organisation.
FOCUS ON WHAT COUNTS
We’re at work for longer than we are at home as a rule so doesn’t it make sense to pay communication a little more attention? If you could use your communication skills to create a more sustainable strategy wouldn’t that feel incredible? It’s not outside of your reach, not if you go about it the right way.
Communication is more than a transmission of information, isn’t it?
It is how we create connections or relationships, it is also how you form your reputation or brand.
Whether you want to or not, you are communicating, all the time. So doesn’t it make sense to be intentional about it.
Clear, approachable, confident communication contributes to team collaboration and that in turn will affect your bottom line.
POOR COMMUNICATION IS A PRODUCTIVITY KILLER
Every time there is a breakdown in communication, productivity and teamwork suffers, sometimes grinding to a complete halt, which puts everybody on the team under pressure. Even if there are just two people involved in the conflict
Good communication can be a matter of interpretation, but where communication is open, honest and clear from a place of togetherness, the team pulls together more.
COMMUNICATION IN REMOTE TEAMS
I work with Volaris, the two companies that I am working for within this technology group are working predominantly or completely online and have been since long before Covid. Now granted, they are used to working remotely but I sense the cohesion immediately when I am working with them:
These software developers, consultants, product owners, scrum masters and other technology and project experts are working and learning together in a way that I rarely see at this level.
I see how they all have each other’s backs.
I see how they speak with and about each other and
I see how they are given the freedom and trust to work as and when they want to as long as they submit their tasks as done within the sprint.
AN IMPARTIAL VIEW
The Power of Coaching in Corporate Settings is often under-estimated and resisted. Many senior executives feel uncomfortable reaching out for help as they feel that they should have the knowledge and experience to work it out for themselves, but the bottom line is that we rarely sit with a problem for long enough to give ourselves the chance and headspace to work it out. Working with a coach means asking questions, not all of which will be comfortable or easy to answer.
UNPLEASANT OBSERVATIONS AND BREAKTHROUGHS
When you get that queezy feeling, you know that we are getting to the root of the problem, without a coach in front of you, that insanely annoying flight mechanism kicks in doesn’t it and we jump head first into ….procrastinaction
A great term I picked up this weekend at club officers training for Toastmasters. It’s a wonderful combination of procrastination and action – so doing something ‘important’ to avoid doing what we really should be doing – thinking about our careers is easy to park.
FIGHT OR DENIAL
The other option of course is to fight it, that’s when you hear yourself saying things like
“It’s ok here”
“My job is fairly easy”
“My team is ok”
“The pay is quite decent”
“I know what I’m doing”
(loosely translated as boring as hell – let’s be honest here)
Check out that language –
– minimisers a plenty.
But is that really OK?
If someone came and offered you a great new job tomorrow – would you take it?
Yeah – probably!
But REALITY CHECK that’s not going to happen, not unless you are putting in the effort to let it happen.
So make it happen.
SOLO OR GROUP
Coaching can be individual or in a group but many executives feel embarrassed about their problem so prefer to meet before they go to work or afterwards, some go out to a cafe a couple of blocks away so that they can speak more openly and honestly. It’s this confidentiality that is key and of course when you choose a coach you need to find one that you feel 100% comfortable with, you should immediately have the feeling that they understand you and can help you to get to where you want to be.
But for me personally, coaches that I have worked with that were genuinely excited about my coaching journey, helped me to make a bigger shift.
As well as being an accountability partner that keeps you on track, they’ll be your biggest fan – a bundle of motivation and someone you can proudly boast to about your little successes – they all count you know so being proud of those is essential and a delicious ego boost that will inspire you to stay on track. These things always need momentum and commitment.
FREE FRIEND OR CONSISTENT AND PERSISTENT COACH
Where a friend or colleague might lose interest, get busy, have personal stuff going on or worry about damaging your relationship, a coach is like your smart guardian angel. No front seats, we don’t get to see what is happening, but we can always look forward to hearing all the juicy details afterwards and of course the learnings that they made as a result of that.
I’m not sure if you have ever met or worked with anybody from India but they are incredibly humble and warm hearted people, they can drive a hard bargain but are they are also hard on themselves sometimes. For me that is heart wrenching, I have this massive aversion to seeing brilliant people playing small. When I was first getting certified as an ICF coach – for the International Coaching Federation, I started coaching a wonderful young man called Ishan.
He had qualified in the UK with a Masters in Digital Media and he had already gained some work experience with a friend of mine at Culture Buff Games, Lucy Fogarty. (check out my podcast with her)
When I first started working with Ishan he was looking at poorly paid jobs with dreadful hours but before he left to go back to India, he was earning four times the salary at Barclays Bank. So whether it is money mindset or some other type of imposter syndrome holding you back, working through that with a coach will get you out of a rutt.
If through coaching you can become more sensitive to the situation around you are work, you will be in the situation to bridge communication gaps at work, making life at work more harmonious at the same time as boosting your own professional development because problem solvers are an asset to any organisation and people are the biggest and most expensive problem that can stunt the growth of any company.
WHERE TO GET COACHED?Coaching sessions can take place online or at your organisation but I prefer to get outdoors with my clients – clearly you would have to be in Berlin or Potsdam for that but it is incredibly effective and as well as coming back pink cheeked and clear headed, the exercise is great for resilience isn’t it?
So in terms of taking Control of Your Career and incidentally, this is something that you are never too old to do, infact let’s start right now with replacing the word old, with experienced. Language matters, even the language in your head.
LET’S FACE IT – THE REALITY IS THIS …
The honest truth is this, HR does not have your best interests at heart. Not in isolation.
Proactively managing your career starts by acknowledging that you are the one in control and you are the one that needs to do the work, or don’t, you need to make the connections, learn the skills.
By the time many managers have reached out for coaching, we normally have some serious self confidence issues to work through and it is this self-awareness that is practically impossible to get to on your own and with a friend it would just sound like an empty compliment.
This self confidence needs to come from within, you need to realise it for yourself. Coaches are incredible at this and actually, coaching is an essential part of your continuous learning toolbox if you are taking your career development seriously .
START WITH A MENTOR
You can start by looking for a mentor, someone who has your interests at heart, preferably someone who has noticed that you have more to offer, probably in the same company but if that feels uncomfortable you can reach out to a former boss – maybe a colleague that has progressed in their career quite quickly . Start talking about what frustrates you in your career and answering questions about what you really need to feel content in your career (which let’s face it affects life at home too) If you would feel more comfortable talking to a stranger about the problems that are keeping you stuck, somebody who doesn’t know your boss or your company, then find a coach. Yes you will probably end up paying yourself, most of my clients do that because they have already made up their mind that they are going to leave (their current employer), but they are not sure what to do next. It’s tax deductible, but you know what the value for your self confidence is huge , it’s an investment.
COCO’S COMMUNICATION CHALLENGE
Coco’s communication challenge for today is to honestly reflect on your communication skills and your career satisfaction so that you can take proactive steps to enhance both of those. They will be interconnected.
Take two separate pages of A4 paper and write furiously – not editing, it doesn’t matter, just getting all of your thoughts onto paper for both topics:
1. communication mastery and
2. career satisfaction.
Highlight the main things that come up and try focusing on one thing a week.
Track your progress by keeping a journal about how you feel about that and which impact you are seeing, hearing and noticing .
Ultimately the message here is that
Strong communication competence and career clarity are undeniably important for you as an individual. It will have a massive impact on your self confidence and will have an impact on how you feel about your work and your life.
HELP YOURSELF A FRIEND OR COLLEAGUE – 20% off
If you have an amazing colleague or friend who is trapped in their career, then forward this to them and if they use the code ese170, so that’s ese for experts speak english, no gap then the episode number 170 then that gets you or them a 20% discount.
Limited Offer: Until the Wednesday 7th of February 2024.
It was great to hang out with you today, we’ll be discussing the show on LinkedIn so make sure that you are connected with me, Corinne Wilhelm
I would love to hear your feedback and comments plus any juicy corporate communication topics that you would like me to cover, or perhaps a business expert that you would like to have on the show for an interview.
You can find out more about me via my website, englishspeakingexperts.com and the number is right there on the website, (Top right or 01731688006) feel free to just pick up the phone.
The next episode about corporate communication and career development will be on Thursday the 15th of March
All that remains for me to say is “Be the very best communicator that you can be!” and take care
from Corinne Wilhelm
on the podcast “Experts! Speak English!”