Published on July 11th, 2018
If you can’t communicate effectively with your team or organization, you aren’t going effectively lead them to success.
While admittedly communication is often a scapegoat for larger organizational issues, it is extremely important.
With that in mind, today, we are focusing on it as a catalyst to lead our teams more fruitfully.
Have you ever had a boss or leader who solely relied on email, notes, or middlemen to communicate with you?
I have -- and it wasn’t fun.
Every email I received, which I had to respond to in almost real-time, spiked my system. My chest would tighten and I would feel like I had done something wrong… for no reason.
Every note was direct, with absolutely no context or emotion.
Something needed to be done; someone had made a huge mistake; the unit wasn’t cutting it.
Many of these were group messages which meant I might not even be the person the boss was talking to. It was all very confusing and impersonal.
This email communication made it hard to know where I stood and to know how he was really feeling about our work.
Does this mean we should stop using email, Slack, and technology in general to communicate?
No, this is not an article to say EMAIL is DEAD. Believe me, I communicate a ton through email, Slack, text, etc.
Technology has given us so many amazing ways to share information and communicate with our teams.
The issue we need to dive into is how can we use technology to enhance communication rather than hurt it?
The answer is simple - start using video!
Putting Your People First
One of the fundamentals of leadership, in my opinion, is putting your people first.
If you are mindlessly firing off emails or Slacks, you are not doing this.
You are blasting out a blanket message that may or may not be understood.
It may be off your to-do list, but you are also potentially adding more complexity or anxiety to your team - especially if part of your team is remote and can't just shoulder-tap you.
When you take the time to put your message into a video, you highlight to your team the importance of the message you are sending. You make your message more tangible.
There is a huge difference between reading a written text from the COO and seeing the funny-looking guy in a baseball hat (still the COO) talking through a company update in a video.
You make it more human. They can see you and see how you are thinking through what you are saying.
They can hear and see your passion, your body language, and how much you care about what you are saying.
Simply put - a video message is more personal.
When you send a video message or email, you provide more context.
You allow your team to see and hear inflections in your tone and see your hand and arm gestures. This level of context is completely lost in an email or Slack message.
Especially with a partially remote team, like IMPACT, these human elements are invaluable.
Video gives your team the ability to watch what you’re saying and more importantly, how you’re saying it.
I’m not talking about highly-produced and edited videos; I am talking about utilizing a tool that we use at IMPACT called GoVideo from Vidyard.
This free Chrome extension allows you to create videos using your computer’s camera that can be embedded in email or Slack.
Here is an example of how easy this is:
We use this tool in almost every aspect of our business at IMPACT.
Our sales team uses it to communicate with our prospects, clients, and internally.
Our services team uses it to communicate internally as well and with clients to ensure they understand the message in between meetings.
In addition, I have found that GoVideo has become a great tool for leaders to communicate with both individuals and the entire team.
You can show emotion, body language and the viewer can gain a better understanding than they would if everything was just text
How I Use GoVideo
I hate writing email.
I get inside my head (probably because of my past experience) and try to make sure I am using the right words. I start thinking, how will this message be received? Will X-person understand what I am relaying? This can take some time…
What I have found, is when I start having these thoughts, I can turn to GoVideo.
Rather than trying to relay context in written form, hoping that whomever I am sending the message to will be able to get it, I simply talk to them using GoVideo as if they were right in front of me.
I find myself sending congratulatory Slacks to teams or individuals using a short GoVideo.
I take the few extra moments to let them know how proud, happy, or excited I am based on their accomplishment.
I do the same thing when there is a large announcement or if I need to update the entire company and I can’t wait until an
When I do this, I have put our people first. I’ve connected with the team, and I can see who has received the update.
Is Using Video for Internal Communication Worth Your Time?
Every team is different, but in my experience, yes!
I’ve found our team engages better when we update them through video and I’m sure yours will too. There is a reason so much content on Facebook and LinkedIn are moving to video; it is what people want.
Plus There’s Reporting:
One of my favorite features of GoVideo is the reporting that comes with it.
Sometimes when you send an email or a Slack it can be difficult to gauge how your message was received, if received at all.
As your team watches a GoVideo, however, Vidyard sends notification emails letting you know how much of your video has been watched by each recipient.
This allows you to see if someone has actually watched all the way through, or if they haven’t even opened it.
This could be a good tool to gauge the level of engagement you have with your team and help you improve moving forward.
If you have low views and people are only viewing a brief portion of your video - you know you have a problem. Either people don’t care about what you’re saying or perhaps you presented it poorly. At the same time, you may find that the entire team has opened and watched the entire video, your message was likely well received and understood.
Overall, it gives you deeper insight into how effective your communication is and helps ensure that your message is being clearly understood.
Communication Should Connect
The bottom line is communication whether it be internal or otherwise needs to connect; that’s the point of it after all.
In our increasingly digital world, real connection is hard to achieve, but as we’ve found in our organization, video can help bridge the physical and emotional gaps that may arise. With that, I’ll leave you these five simple tips for using video to improve your internal communication:
- Get the GoVideo Chrome Extension. It’s super easy!
- Know you’re not going to be perfect on video and be ok with that.
- If you make a mistake when you’re recording keep going. It’s better to get all of your thoughts out and then retake the video then to stop and start again without getting everything out - think of it as a rehearsal.
- Bring energy to your videos.
- Have fun!