Trusted messages are more than words

Pencils and speech bubbles

Your message is not just the language you use, the words transmitted on screen or paper or that come out of your mouth whether in person, on the phone, or in a video call.

It’s also what you don’t say — your paralanguage and your body language. 

Are what you say and what you don’t say in agreement? Are you conveying a consistent message in all the ways you are communicating? Do your words align with your hips?

Do your written and spoken voice, your demeanor, and your body language all clearly and consistently convey that you’re there for your people and that you have their back? That you’re fully committed to the message? That you’re there in a caring way that is authentic and true?

What about when your message cascades across your organization and beyond?

I’ve frequently witnessed leaders spend enormous amounts of time earnestly wordsmithing key messages to roll out to their workforce and stakeholders and are surprised when their message is met with mistrust or gets jumbled in the chain of transmission. Unfortunately, they only focused on crafting part of their message.

Before committing to the words, consider how you want your audience to feel when they receive your message. How can you connect with feeling, in a genuine human way with both what you say and don’t say in your communication?

More than simply passing on the words to other givers of information who will help to communicate your message, are you ensuring they are equipped with the fullness of the message? Are you aligned on tone and meaning so they can effectively deliver the message? 

Your words and communications channels may change depending on your target audience, but the alignment on the unsaid is what will bring consistency to your communication and help it be met with trust as it cascades out.

A book with the title "Building Trust at Scale"

P.S. Have you grabbed your FREE copy of the Building Trust at Scale Playbook? Among many other practical tools, it contains a communication plan template for sharing your priorities that you can also use when crafting other messaging.

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