“I’m just gonna sit on the dock of the bay, Watching the tide roll away, I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay, Wastin’ time. Look like nothing’s gonna change, Everything still remains the same, I can’t do what ten people tell me to do, So I guess I’ll remain the same”
As internal communicators it is easy to sit back and watch meetings take place and discussions and decisions are made about messages and strategy. So often we can be seen scribbling in the corner and going away with questions and thoughts from the conversations we have witnessed, yet we do not speak up, and then the moment has passed.
In Melcrum’s 2007 research about 21st Century Leadership Communication it shows that ensuring messages are credible and relevant to the audience is of paramount importance to leaders. It stated that we add value by enabling leaders to listen and that leaders from all over the business need to be part of the communication process. In order for us to do this, and add value to our businesses we must ensure that we speak up and advise based on our expertise:
Advise leaders on how to get the messages out there. Our business leaders know what they want to say. They often know what they want the result to be and we need to help them ensure people listen and engage with that message. How they want to tell the story may not be the best way and we need to advise them on, based on our experience, the best way. If we sit back then we are not supporting the business as we should be.
Have an opinion. Whilst you may not be a leader in the business, an operator, a CMO you can have a view on how they do things. To be a strategic partner to the business advising them on the strategy from a communicator’s view point is the only way forward and the best way to influence the culture and growth of the business.
Establish internal communications as a profession. During the recent CIPR Inside conference I was following the Twitter stream and was astonished to read that from a poll of 120 IC professionals only 50% viewed internal communications “as a profession”. It is a profession, a skill and something we should be proud of. But we can only achieve that if we speak up and add value to the business day in, day out.
We cannot continue to sit on the dock of the bay, watching from the sidelines, wasting time. Nothing will change if we don’t have a voice, advise our leaders and become the strategic business partner we all can be.