Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Over-Communicate to Be a Better Leader
Posted on February 11th 2014
Every morning, Clay Morgan sends an email that has company-wide priorities for the day, things to get accomplished, and an article to read that helps set the tone for the day.
In the beginning, I teased him mercilessly about it. But the truth of the matter is, we all love this ritual.
He finds off-the-beaten path stuff and he almost always accompanies his article recommendation with a personal story about focus, innovation, growth, culture, or working smarter.
Sweat the Small Stuff
We’re a Silicon Valley company, so we have a very full kitchen. I hired a new head of business operations, and she decided we were going to switch out the vendors. There was a week when the supply went very low because the next vendor was coming in a couple of weeks later to kind of set up. Because we hadn’t said anything about it, and the food was starting to run low, people started saying, “There’s layoffs coming; bad things are going to happen.” I actually had to say in an all-hands meeting, “Guys, it’s just the nuts in the kitchen. That’s it.” But people look for symbols, and they look for meaning where maybe there isn’t any. So now we’re over-communicating. You have to talk about the little stuff as well as the big stuff, just to make sure folks aren’t running away with ideas.
Roberto uses that quote to talk about how important it is to over-communicate.
He says, “People will interpret actions based on their own worries and concerns, and they will infer important meaning even when you deem certain issues and actions largely inconsequential.”
A Personal Story
Back in 2006-2008, when we had office space and more than 20 professionals running around the place, the only way to get any privacy was to close my door.
I had an open door policy, but there were times – HR meetings, leadership coaching, private phone calls – that required a closed door.
Occasionally, if I really needed to focus, particularly if I were creating a client strategy or writing, I would close my door so I could work uninterrupted.
But it happened so rarely, it never occurred to me people saw that as a sign something was wrong.
One day, I had closed my door for a meeting with my Vistage Chair, and when I emerged two hours later, our managing director said we needed to go for a walk.
We left the building and she told me people were freaking out that something was going on because my door had been closed for TWO HOURS. (They never put together the walks were when the real problems were discussed.)
I was a bit incredulous. It was just a meeting with my Vistage Chair. The door was closed because we often discussed business challenges not everyone needed to know or be privy to and we needed to do so without being interrupted.
Nothing was wrong.
But she was right. The mood in the office afterwards made me feel like I was attending a funeral.
Leadership Requires One to Over-Communicate
I quickly called an all staff meeting and, in less than five minutes, explained that nothing was wrong. I simply was meeting with my Vistage Chair and that required a closed door so we wouldn’t be interrupted.
We went around the room and people voiced their concerns.
I heard everything from “Well, so-and-so said we’re going to lose a client” to “The sign you put on the A/C that says not to change the temperature makes me think we don’t have money to pay the bill.”
To say I was shocked at some of the things I was hearing is an understatement.
I mean, really. The sign was on the A/C because it was FREEZING in there and I didn’t want it lower than 72 degrees.
To Roberto’s point, as a leader, you may not intend to signal anything other than what’s there at face value, but all eyes are on you.
If you put up a sign saying people are not to lower the A/C and then you take a random closed door meeting, they’re going to assume the company is going out of business.
It’s not rational. It’s human.
Always over-communicate, explain the why behind decisions, and be open to questions.