As a leader, you have to explain the rationale for decisions, promote the idea to others, and coach and guide a change process along to get others enthusiastically on board with a vision. You must persuade employees to believe corporate objectives are achievable and there’s a personal payoff if they commit and contribute wholeheartedly.
To successfully communicate a vision to this extent requires the use of various techniques:
- keep the message simple and clear, to avoid misinterpretation and ensure employees get it – The formal vision statement of your organization should lay out the core values, purpose, and direction of the company in a short, memorable way.
- make sure you recognize the differences in audiences and personalize the message – Your audiences will vary because people vary, and different groups have different priorities.
- multiply the message to ensure it’s taken in –Take every opportunity to explain and demonstrate a passion for the vision – live and in-person – keeping the vision at the forefront of your communications. Multiply the message using as many avenues of communication as you can.
- communicate your enthusiasm at every opportunity to “infect” your audiences with it – As a leader, you must be passionate about achieving the vision’s goal and about the process of getting there as well.
- get employees to take a personal interest in the vision, making the vision their own – A unique message format will not get your message and enthusiasm across if it lacks meaning for the listener.
- be authentic, as employees value leaders who “walk the talk” – Speak from the heart, avoid platitudes, euphemisms, jargon, and office-speak – just be yourself. Employees watch leaders closely and won’t get on board with a leader whose actions seem to contradict her words.
It’s a long journey from crafting your vision message to thoroughly embedding the vision throughout your organization. It requires patience and tireless effort on your part to promote the vision. To overcome resistance, to get employees moving, and to keep them on track, you must make communication a priority.
Using the right techniques for communicating vision helps overcome resistance to change. Start by crafting your vision so that its core principles can be stated in a short, simple, and clear way. The vision must have personal meaning for the audience and be delivered personally as well, through every available channel, over and over again.
As a leader, effectively communicating your enthusiasm for the vision is critical. To get employees on board, find ways to get them to internalize the vision, making it their own. Careful preparation and rehearsal of your vision message presentations will help ensure that your audience recognizes your interest and enthusiasm as authentic.
Certified Leadership Communication Professional