A few months ago, I was invited to speak at Leadership and internal communications: an essential partnership, the first global online conference by the fab H&H communications agency.
It was my first time speaking at the conference and while I was very nervous, I was absolutely made up to be asked! Delivering a presentation applying psychology theory to internal communications was a personal goal of mine, and I’m glad I pushed past the nerves and said yes.
Watch my talk below – it’s 26 minutes long, so if you’re short on time, I’ve highlighted the key takeaways under the video.
- Leaders spend more than 75% of their work time actively communicating with employees (Farahbod, Salimi, & Dorostkar, 2013)
- Research supports the assumption that leaders who are verbally supportive (e.g. give compliments, are friendly and compassionate) are more likely to have satisfied and committed employees (Reinout de Vries et al 2009)
- This effect was the same whether the CEO was communicating face-to-face or on social media (Linuan Men, 2015)
- If execs want employees to emotionally commit to organisational change, they should reduce their fears around change by:
- building hope – describe encouraging examples, tell spellbinding stories to capture imaginations
- emphasising potential benefits to employees and considering their concerns
- showing a determination to push forward with the change and a willingness to support employees through it – use powerful, decisive and self-confident language (Luo et al, 2016)
- Non-verbal leadership communication is as important – if not more – than their words, especially:
- eye contact
- hand and face movement (Sacavem et al, 2017)
Visit H&H’s global conference micro-site to check out all the presentations, including talks from comms superstars Helen Reynolds, Dr Kevin Ruck and Helen Deverell.