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The Call for Serious and Transparent Com... > The Call for Serious and Transparent... - Pg. 99

E F F E C T I V E C O M M U N I C AT I O N 99 the evening between the coaching session and the actual interview, he had been introspective. He thought through the impression he would give and how the images and the words needed to be one and the same. This physician's lesson--made all the more dramatic because 60 Minutes, often called America's #1 news program, has more than 10 million viewers--applies to every individual who wants to ensure that he or she builds a sense of common understanding. The words, the voice, the body language, all must come together. So too with you, whenever you communicate. Your reputation depends on it and, in turn, so does your success. The Call for Serious and Transparent Communications Today's digital communication and media environment--and the expanded access to information they have spawned--have changed the way that people communicate. Information travels at lightning speed. Blogs, social networking, Facebook, Twitter, instant messaging, and other channels for online commentary have all created a world where anyone can be a self-professed expert, say virtually anything, share their thinking, and comment on issues ranging from global politics to corpo- rate ethics to small-town high school football games. Tapping on a key- board, even in the dark of night, everyone has a voice today and a soapbox from which to speak. Communication has become serious business and the pressures on you to participate and respond are intense. As we see virtually every day, not communicating our views on key issues or in reply to important questions is tantamount to No Comment. That, as we know, is never helpful. In a McKinsey Quarterly interview, Jeroen van der Veer, retired CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, strongly urged managers to take communication seri- ously because of the expectations that others--both employees and out- side stakeholders--had about performance and results: Not only internal communication--people feel uncertain, so they like to understand how the bosses think about it--but external: with politicians, ministers. And nearly every discussion you start in the first two minutes with not necessarily the subject you have to discuss, but [instead with]: "What do you think? How long will it American Management Association / www.amanet.org