Communication is vital to success on teams and in organizations. In this episode, Tommy Re shows us how to dramatically improve communication.

Show Notes

One of the issues holding organizations back is the development of their leaders.  A lot of what it takes to develop as leaders are the communication skills necessary for them to work effectively with other people.  According to one survey, 86% of employees cited poor communication as a leading cause of workplace failures.  Poor communication is also a leading cause of project failures.

With changes in the way we work in today’s environment such as working in teams and Agile approaches, there’s often less hierarchy.  People need to be able to work effectively in teams and one of the most important things in that context is communication.  That includes being able to persuade others and candle conflict.

What You Can Do to Improve Your Communication

To improve your communication, start by building your emotional intelligence.  Understanding your feelings and how you’re perceived by others is a critical step in better communication.

From there, you also need to notice and recognize the preferred communication style of others.  Do they speak very directly in short bullets or do they prefer a lot of detail?  Without an understanding of how your emotions influence your communication and awareness of your communication preferences and those of others, you’ll experience clashes around how to work well together.

Communication is VITAL

To improve your communication and get your point across, use the acronym VITAL.  Make your message Visual, Interesting, Time sensitive, Action oriented, and Logical.

About 75% of the neurons in our brains that process sensory information are dedicated to vision.  Using visuals in your communication reduces complexity and evokes emotion.  You can also use descriptive words and metaphors to allow people to create pictures in their minds.

With all of the data coming at us today, to compete for people’s attention, we need to make our communication interesting.  One way to do that is to break a pattern.  Change the context and style of your communication to make it interesting.

Everyone in organizations is very busy.  Because of that, we need to be time sensitive and get to the essence of our message.  To be concise and still get your message across, you need to know your audience, understand their communication preferences, and adapt your communication style.

Making your communication action oriented is all about helping your audience understand what to do with the information.  Using verbs in your message will help make it more action oriented.

Finally, we want to make sure our communication is logical.  Is our message well structures, organized, and are we using sound reasoning?

Listen to the full episode to understand how to apply these principles to your emails and in group settings to improve your communication.


Know your audience.
For your next meeting or communication opportunity, think about their perspective and what’s in it for them.  Also consider their communication preferences and adapt the way you present information.
Once you’ve thought it through, take time to plan your communication.  Consider the most important aspects on your communication and plan out your approach and structure.

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Tommy Re

Tommy Re is the founder and principal of Vital Talent. Tommy is passionate about helping organizations thrive by working with them to identify and develop the talents of individual contributors, leaders and teams. He works with executives and business leaders to diagnose barriers to high performance and design appropriate talent solutions that lead to individual and organizational success.

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