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5 communication strategies



As a leader do you understand the impact of how decisions are taken in your organization? Do you think of which decisions should you involve your employees?

For those questions, Bryan Smith brings an interesting framework to communicate with teams which consists of 5 strategies:

  1. Telling people what to do or what is going to happen

  2. Adding more context, Selling to people what needs to be done or what will happen

  3. Testing the idea and gathering some quick and general feedback before taking the decision

  4. Consulting before taking the decision, most probably with some smaller groups or workshops, but the decision is still not shared

  5. Sharing responsibility for the decision, Co-Creating things together.

Topics vary in complexity. You might need to fire someone or you might need to take a decision on how to split your team. So for each new topic, the strategy that you should use might be different, but basically, you need to consider:

  • How strategic is the decision?

  • What kind of impact the decision can create?

  • How skillful are your employees?

Adding a couple more things to consider, especially in the context of Product Teams and new ideas or features that they need to develop.

  • If you tell a team to do something without or with very little context, how their sense of ownership is going be?

  • On the other side, when you give responsibility to a team to drive a topic. Does the team have enough support, or are they mature enough to lead the topic?

I created the infographic below to represent the 5 different levels of communication with teams. What is your take on it?




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