Part of a public company’s ability to generate good returns for it’s investors comes from building trust with those investors. If the investors trust the company, they stick around longer, buy more shares and hopefully drive the price up.
The best way to build this trust is through regular and consistent communication.
Earlier this year I attended a roundtable discussion entitled Raising the Board’s Game in 2013. The panel included four experts, each serving or having served as Directors of Boards of companies such as Sherwin Williams, Materion, TransDigm, Enpro, Acuity Brands, PolyOne and Gorman Rupp.
The panel talked a lot about communication as it pertains to pubic companies, but these same principles apply to any leader of any organization. Here are five lessons I took from the panel discussion:
1. Give Regular Guidance
Communicate regularly. The interval length isn’t as important as consistency.
2. Be Thoughtful About The Range
Being practical about how precise you can be when communicating. Sometimes things are uncertain and you should give a wide range, while you can be more precise in less-volatile times.
3. Communicate a Down Quarter Before It Happens
This is about communicating news that might be perceived as negative as soon as possible.
4. Give Guidance When You Won’t Meet Expectations
People always have expectations, it’s up to the leader to communicate when they won’t be met.
5. Regularly Share Your Long-Term Plan
It’s easy to get caught up in short term activity and forget about the bigger picture. They are both important and related to each other – the leader needs to remind people of this relationship.
- Podcast: Boost Your Communication Skills
- Podcast: Freedom Through Communication
- Podcast: Making and Fulfilling Commitments
- Article: Trust and Trustworthiness
- Article: How a Compelling Vision Can Increase Company Value
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