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Communicate Like Barcelona


alan walkerEven if you don’t like football you should, at least once, watch how Barcelona play the game. They make it look so easy because they have learned, practised, refined and when they play everyone does their job to the required high standard.

Good communication is like a pass in football – check out the statistics on a Barcelona match to see how good their passing is – not only does it have to be sent correctly and at the right time but the person at the other end has to be ready and able to receive it.

Communication takes many forms and we have many different methods available to us. The challenge is knowing when to use each one. Your people and stakeholders need to understand which methods will be used in different situations. It’s no good them looking for emails if the information is on your Intranet pages.

I once witnessed a Helpdesk send an email to users explaining why the network was down. Not much good for staff at the affected sites because most of them could not receive it.

Education of recipients is helpful so that people know what to expect. Agree and publish your protocols. Practice using each method so that people become familiar with the look and feel of your communications. ‘Brand’ them so people can prioritise.

Don’t assume that because you have sent a communication everyone has got it, digested it and acted on it. Tests will help you check your coverage – is everyone receiving the messages? If not why not and how do we fix it?

Barcelona win because they have refined what they do and everyone involved knows how the system works. It looks easy, it looks good and it is effective.  Simple preparations and practice will help you achieve your communication goals.