Transparency is no longer just a buzzword in business--it's a mantra. It materializes when important information is shared and people are involved in the decision-making process.
This is what will make employees feel more invested in the company and secure in their jobs. And, according to one top CEO, good leadership in today's day and age comes down to having the capacity to do one thing extremely well: overcommunicate.
Chris McCuiston, CEO of Goldfish Swim School Franchising, a leading learn-to-swim franchise concept in North America, credits much of the brand's success to this idea of transparency as overcommunication. Let me explain.
He says overcommunication can materialize several ways: transparency on company performance; explaining the why behind decisions; being open to questions and feedback.
There is a difference, however, between being a good communicator versus the higher state of being communicative.
The art of overcommunicating
McCuiston says when you're communicative, you've mastered the art of relaying information consistently and clearly, meaning you've not just been heard but you've been understood.
McCuiston says it the responsibility of every leader to articulate a clear and focused strategy that is consistently communicated throughout the entire company--reiterating the vision over and over and over again.
This message will bring light to the why behind the work, bring shared direction to all teams, and allow everyone to move fast and focus on what really matters.
Here are McCuiston's top five tips on how to master the art of overcommunicating:
1. Be transparent and build a culture of accountability.
Businesses that aren't transparent in sharing company information cultivate a culture of speculation and rumors. Being open and honest and letting everyone in on the company's strategic plan can help build a culture of accountability. Your staff will be more invested in their work, understand the value of their roles, have higher morale, and feel they are trusted members of the team.
2. Keep it simple and use keywords.
Use a simple framework to structure your points and give updates. This will help your team prioritize where to focus energies -- and remember, less is more. Consider the use of keywords to help streamline the process and inspire action (e.g., immediate action needed, deadline EOD, requested feedback, FYI).
3. Personalize your interactions.
Tailor your communication to explain how something specifically impacts your audience, whether it's your internal leadership team, your systemwide staff, your vendors, your customers, etc. Make sure all communications highlight the relevance to their personal objectives. This will enhance your relationship building and position you as a trusted, authentic leader.
4. Vary your communication medium.
Don't rely too heavily on email. Overcommunication is done best when you vary your media. Analyze the message you are seeking to deliver and match it with the appropriate method of communication -- face-to-face, small group meetings, video conferences, etc.
5. Reinforce the message with reminders.
Remember that people forget, and reminders are a necessary part of the overcommunication process. A reminder has the power to unlock the productivity of your team members. It is a reinforcement tool that's a sign of strong leadership because it shows you care and are invested in your team, their work, and the company's overall performance. Without reminders, you can create a disconnect that will hinder your team's performance.