Executive Communication Is in Crisis

If You Are a Coach, Trainer, or in Executive Talent Development – Here’s How You Can Help

Executive Communication Is in Crisis

A Gallup poll from several years ago reveals that only 13% of employees strongly agree that their organizational leaders communicate effectively. 

Said another way… 87% of employees don’t feel that senior leadership is doing a great job with their communication.

At Step into Your Moxie, we hear the same thing from both the employees we work with through our coaching and training programs and the external coaches, trainers, and consultants who support organizations with employee learning and executive talent development.

Executives and senior leaders often have a skewed sense of how their people perceive their communication—and leadership.

Here are some of the top reasons why executives and senior leaders struggle with their communication.

  • Leaders often come across as robotic during high-stakes communication, i.e., delivering bad news or presenting to their board or funders.

In pursuit of developing executive presence, many rising leaders go through traditional presentation skills programs and emerge polished but also unrelatable—out of touch with their people’s day-to-day struggles and concerns.

They discuss what matters to them rather than what matters to their people—which can be as simple as being seen and having emotions validated.

  • Leaders appear dishonest or, at the very least, not fully transparent. This problem is often a subset of the first. 

In their desire not to come across as unprepared or lacking in credibility, especially during times of uncertainty, too many leaders struggle to communicate with candor about what they do know, what they are working on, and how updates will be communicated.

  • Leaders don’t provide adequate follow-up after important communication.

They might deliver big speeches with nice talking points, but employees desire ongoing communication that shows how to take strategy or vision and turn it into something they can connect with and take action on.

  • Senior leaders lack dedicated spaces for their executive talent development.

Most senior leaders no longer participate in leadership development training. While many leaders work with executive coaches at some point to level-up their leadership, unless they have ongoing opportunities to practice and, more specifically, role-play their executive communication, it’s likely that they will develop blind spots and make the kind of mistakes that the Gallup poll captures.

The unfortunate thing about these mistakes is that with the right mindset and appropriate opportunities and skill development, each is completely avoidable.

Unless you are 100% sure that you or your company is in the 13% of companies whose employees feel their leaders have dynamite communication category, and you facilitate robust executive talent development programming, it’s likely that you have an untapped opportunity to create a revolution in how your company (or the companies you work for) do communication.

Let Step into Your Moxie support your executive talent development and help your organization create a culture where all employees can Speak Up and Influence.

And, if you are a coach, trainer, or consultant who is looking to start or expand your work inside of companies, check out the Step into Your Moxie® Certification program.