Simply Said
Simply Said
Simply Said is the essential handbook for business communication.

Motivating Through Tough Times

09-01-2002

Communication becomes even more important when you're hashing out solutions to tough problems. To steer employees in the right direction:

  • Put problems in perspective. Give "where-we've-been and where-we're-going" summaries so everyone understands the situation. Example: "We detected a problem a month ago when sales dipped.  The latest numbers show more severe declines. We need to regain lost sales to end the quarter on target."
  • Give an overview of what you're about to cover. That makes it easier for listeners to follow along. Example: "I'd like to analyze the cause of the problem and propose solutions."
  • Review working assumptions. Discuss beliefs or priorities that drive your strategy. Ask for input to ensure that you're not operating under false assumptions.  Example: "I'm assuming our sales are down because shoppers are staying home. What are other possible explanations?"
  • Agree on the three Ws. After exchanging problem-solving proposals, decide who does what by when. That increases accountability as you and your team enact solutions.

Adapted from Merna Skinner, Exec-Comm.

By: Jeff Williams, CCM, President of teh PA chapter

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