Why Business Leaders Must Convey Authenticity

The public has changed attitudes toward private sector leadership. Consumers expect responsible, ethical and empathetic business practices. While many business leaders believe showcasing sustainability and community engagement initiatives will meet expectations, consumers expect more. Stakeholders expect that executives behave and communicate with empathy and authenticity, both internally and externally.

Don’t believe me? Think of the recent wave of layoff announcements. As companies of all sizes announced the unfortunate news, what was covered in the media? Not only the news of the layoffs, but the analysis of how the terminations were delivered to employees.

Criticized for appearing too nonchalant, others are praised for being open and honest. The way executives communicate, on or off the record, is a direct reflection of their organization. Whether it’s an external presentation, social media post, or press interview, communications influence how a brand is perceived.  

This is where communications coaching comes in. A communication lead may be asking, “why would I need to train a c-level executive that doesn’t speak directly to the media?” Well, communication coaching goes far beyond key messages and best practices for interviews.  The training shows business leaders how to communicate efficiently and effectively to external and internal stakeholders.  

Coaching can help even the most polished leaders understand the mindset of various public audiences. There are subtle nuances and risks that come with communicating. When leaders are excited about their mission, sharing the proper tone and message to investors, reporters, employees and the public is vital.

In the instance of layoffs, leaders need to understand that communication doesn’t end with a news release and media statement.  Their behavior and messaging before and after – both internally and externally – set the tone for the way the news is received.

Effective communication skills have always been a critical leadership asset, but 2023 has proven that the public is anxious to call out inauthenticity and isn’t amused by age-old corporate speak. Leaders and companies that invest time to sharpen authentic communication skills – internally and externally – will notice a positive difference in the way their organization is perceived.

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