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Cascading communications: How to master manager messaging

by | May 24, 2018

In any communications strategy, providing the resources needed for cascading consistent messaging is vital. Managers are most often responsible for delivering change communications to their teams. Without the proper guidelines and tools in place, managers will filter any information they receive through their own lenses. The problem comes in when their interpretation of the message changes, slightly or vastly, from the message the company intended.

Equipping managers can be simple. Providing them with simple communications tools, like talking points and FAQ sheets to help them keep on message in face-to-face sessions, can go a long way towards making things easier on them. And making communication easier for managers will increase the likelihood that the message will be shared.

For major initiatives or change management issues, a communications toolkit can be an efficient solution. You can accommodate a range of manager communication styles by providing an electronic tool box of email templates they can copy and paste into their own emails, bulletin board flyers they can print out at work, PowerPoint presentations, videos, tip sheets, training guidelines and more. A manager toolkit can include materials that are ready to use as-is, as well as templates to be adapted as needed.

Whenever possible, allow managers to receive the news of a big change before the rest of the company. Giving managers a heads up will allow them to process the announcement before cascading information to their teams. Before middle managers can lead, they need to be informed. Providing information in advance will also give leaders a chance to get on board with the change. Once managers embrace the change, then not only can they act as informers, they can be reinforcers as well.

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