AB Thinks  →  30th January 2023

How can bravery help internal comms professionals keep their edge?

Sometimes it’s easy to just say “yes” and nod along, taking the path of least resistance.

But we’re in a unique position as comms professionals. We can go behind the curtain – we see how it all comes together for an organisation and where the risks and opportunities are.

This is where Anna Milne, Colleague Communications & Engagement Director at Kingfisher, believes IC professionals have a huge opportunity. She told the audience at AB Thinks Live that it’s one thing to see where there are problems or opportunities, but it takes another skill entirely to speak the truth: bravery.

Sticking your neck out, voicing a new idea, having a difference of opinion and making time for yourself to be curious are key to personal growth as an internal comms professional. We have to prioritise this mindset to keep a business fresh and to keep adding value. Here’s how:

#1 Two ears one mouth
Are you role-modelling a culture of listening? Put your ears to the ground and get to know your people. Know what bothers them, what they like, what they don’t and what their issues are. Seek out those people who tell you how it is and remember it is brave to ask for feedback. Always see any critique as an opportunity for growth.

#2 It’s a relationship thing
Being close to our people and our colleagues across all functions of the business and having a real depth of insight into their roles and their experience is the most powerful thing you can do as a comms professional. A close working relationship with your internal stakeholders is paramount to getting buy-in on that brave new idea that could just push your internal comms to new heights. Learn to speak their language, figuring out why internal comms can help them meet their unique business challenges – your conversations will become much easier.

#3 Chase change
When everyone feels comfortable and are in agreement it’s not necessarily a good thing and it can be a sign that you’re losing your edge. Building a team of internal comms practitioners that you can keep learning from is vital to driving IC forward in any business. After all, in comms, we are trying new things, learning and need to keep up with how our organisation’s needs are changing too. And even when we’re thriving, there’s always ways we can push the boundaries and bring new thinking to our work. Build your team to be a source of infinite knowledge, with a diversity of thinking and the confidence to push your objectives forward.

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