Communication is the foundation of coalition work. Even though our coalition members may be overwhelmed by emails and weary from meetings, we have to find ways to communicate clearly and consistently. If there is occasional communication with only a few coalition members, the overall coalition will lose interest and struggle with engagement. Join me this week as I highlight 3 ways you can communicate clearly and consistently that will support coalition engagement.
Make a plan
Develop a coalition communication plan. Consider your purpose, timing, methods and people responsible. Review the plan to ensure you have consistent communication related to your coalition priorities. Don’t forget to include listening as a part of your communication plan!
Keep it simple
Keep your emails as short as possible and use bullet points, pictures and tables. When communicating with your coalition members, focus on what they would find most interesting. Practice communicating clearly and avoid using too many words. One of my favorite college professors regularly reminded us to “cut the clutter” 🙂 If you struggle with keeping your communication simple and clear, ask for feedback.
Figure out what works
When we are busy with our coalition work, it is really easy to forget to take the time to figure out what is working and what is not working. This is an opportunity to ask my three favorite questions: “What is working?” “What is not working?” and “What do you recommend?” Interview some of your coalition members to learn what is working and what could be improved. Conduct a short survey. Discuss what is working during a coalition meeting. In one of the coalitions I work with, we recently conducted a short survey and then discussed the results during a meeting. This helped us know what was working and helped us prioritize our communication efforts.
So what about you? What are you doing to communicate consistently and clearly with your coalition?
Download my newest free resource where I provide additional guidance on how communicate clearly and consistently.