Researching a chapter for a PR Book is proving to be a real treat. I’m being forced to update my reading in a few areas that I’m ashamed to say I’ve neglected a little in the last couple of years.
One great discovery is Phillip Clampitt’s Communicating for Managerial Effectiveness.
Consistently every IC manager sooner or later gets drawn into the discussion of how to improve the communications skills of line managers. Even if you have no interest in training or HR, no practitioner can afford to let supervisors stumble over communications.
If the first line manager gets the message wrong, whole campaigns unravel quickly.
Clampitt’s book provides a thought-provoking framework for planning and developing communications standards for line managers. It includes hard practical advice as well as understandable explanations for some quite detailed theory.
For example, he explain Shannon &Weaver’s classic comms model in the context of getting managers to think about their basic approaches.
A discussion of the causes for ambiguity in communications generates a set of general principles:
- Explore the employees’ context
- Manage expectations
- Sculpt the proper context
- Anticipate possible interpretations (and misinterpretations) of messages, events and symbols
- Don’t let the probability that one person could get the wrong end of the stick shape your whole message
- Pay attention to secondary messages
- Remember that the credibility of sources shape everything
Definitely a book for most communications offices.