I was recently asked for tips on how to communicate with senior level executives and managers.Here are my top five tips on how to communicate with authority.
- Be prepared-Know what you want to say and say it. Practice exactly what you need to say until you feel confident that you are succinct. After all, time is money and the last thing you want to do is have an executive checking his watch on your dime.
- Act as a peer-If you've done your homework then you should be able to communicate as someone who is a subject matter expert on the topic at hand.
- Timing is everything-You may feel a matter is urgent, but will you get the attention you need if you present your situation an hour before your boss is about to enter a board meeting? Check your bosses schedule before presenting a matter that will require more than ten minutes of her attention.
- Know your bosses preferred style of communication-You may prefer face-to-face meetings, yet your boss or an executive may prefer to be kept informed via e-mail. Communicate in the manner most preferred by your boss, even if it's out of your comfort zone.
- Be open to outside help-Communication is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice. If need be, work with a coach to improve your communication skills, as this is one skill that will be in demand for years to come.
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