Thoughts on Leadership is the brain child of Paul Bridle. This is the place that Paul shares his monthly thoughts.

Listen to the Chatter

Posted: May 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Main Feature

You see there’s always chatter going on, there’s always conversation going on and there’s an expression that has been around for a long, long time about bad news travelling faster than good news. If there’s some gossip or something’s gone wrong in the world or there’s issues happening somewhere, people are very quick to tell everybody about it.  That’s one of the problems we probably have with the media.  They are always quick to tell us about all the bad things that are going on but not necessarily there to tell us about the good things. So, what are we looking for here?  We are looking for an organisation where people are talking the organisation up.  But in order for them to talk the organisation up, they need to have the information.  They need to be able to have something to say, to think about other than everything that’s going wrong or is bad about the organisation.  How many times have you been into a shop or a restaurant or wherever it is, and the people — you hear them talking about “Oh this is not right” and “that’s not happening.  And if you really want to challenge things ask people:  “what’s great that’s happened in the last month?”  And when they go and can’t answer you, that will tell you a little bit where they’re focused on and what information is freely available to them.

Think about the chatter that is going on in your organisation.  What is it?  And most importantly and here’s the killer question:  what are you doing about ensuring that the right chatter is getting through?  What are you doing about giving them information that they can talk up about?  Are they saying: “Did you hear about such and such happening?”  Or are they saying: “Hey, did you hear we got a new order?”  “Hey, did you hear we got this customer?”  otherwise they will be saying:  “Did you know we’ve lost this customer?”  That’ll come very quickly, you need to give them that information, they’ll find out and they’ll talk about it.  So think about in terms of what information you are sending out and how do they get hold of that information.  And what are you doing about encouraging them to talk about the stuff that’s going up.  So simple things that I’ve seen business leaders doing is going to people saying “Have you heard about X?” and letting people go: “Oh no I hadn’t!”.  And the way they do it makes the person go: “I wanted to tell somebody the good news.”  Instead of: “Oh I wanted to tell somebody the bad news because bad news is exciting.”  So what are you doing about it, how do you have systems in place to ensure the information getting out there is positive.  Don’t tell me it’s your news letter because people don’t read that anyway.  I’m talking about actively managing, getting up there and talking about these things.  I hope that gives you something to talk about this month.  Bye for now!


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