In summary, effective and empathetic communication is one of the most powerful ways to build trust. It's the primary tool for connecting with an audience, for letting them know that you are accountable as a company, an executive, an employee. The rules are simple: look your audience in the eye and be clear, consistent, and compassionate. Your authenticity will pay dividends—you'll build trust with your customers, helping your bottom line. And within the organization, you'll increase team cohesion and productivity. As we'll see in chapter 8, effective and empathetic communication is vital in confronting and resolving conflict.
BUILDING THE ACCOUNTABLE ORGANIZATION
Overall, how would you rate your organization's internal communication in terms of clarity, consistency, and compassion? Consider instances in which better communication could have resulted in a better outcome or even averted a crisis. What mechanisms and/or changes in philosophy could be instituted to improve performance in these areas?
Review your external communications with customers and your marketing materials. Evaluate these communications in terms of clarity, consistency, and compassion and devise strategies for improving performance in these areas. Examine previous breakdowns in communication with customers and identify where better choices could have been made.
How would you rate your own communication when it comes to clarity, consistency, and compassion? Can you think of any episodes in which better communication would have helped you avoid conflict? How will you commit to improving your performance in these areas?