Become a Strategic Communicator

“I solve problems, I improve quality, I add value, I make my role critical…”  words we should all be saying as strategic communicators during our performance reviews, according to David Caruso, who presented the topic, “Become a Strategic Communicator,” at NEO STC’s first program meeting of the year.

How can we be appreciated more for the roles we perform? By thinking more like a business and being our own agents for change. This is the basis of being a strategic communicator with reference to our own careers.

All businesses have Strategic Planning:

  1. A mission statement.
  2. A vision. (What does the organization believe?)
  3. Smart goals. (Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based)
  4. (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
  5. A gap analysis. (What’s in the way of making the goals happen?)

All businesses have Operational Planning:

  1. Action plans. (How are you going to do what you said you’d do?)
  2. Measurement and evaluation. (How will you prove what you said you’d do?)

Now, apply these strategies to yourself and evaluate the role you are currently in. Is this role really right for you? Do you have:

  1. Investment in the role?
  2. A deep commitment to your company and its products/services/initiatives?
  3. A deep institutional knowledge of the company?
  4. Support from your supervisor and from a mentor?

If not, this role may not be right. But don’t despair, you can take some necessary steps to change your circumstances in the form of on-the-job training, using a mentor, investing in more schooling, and networking as much as you can with your peers and those whose roles you see as appealing.

David referred to a great book by Spencer Johnson, “Who Moved my Cheese?” The book embraces the philosophy of managing change in your work and in your life and accepting that at times, “it” moves, it’s OK, it’s in a new place, and you’ll be able to find it!

According to David, waiting 2 to 3 years should be the maximum time you wait to move on if you are not satisfied with your current role. Use the steps noted above and develop a timeline for change. Be your own agent for change when managing your career.

by Lynn Nickels