Risk Management

Board Members Are Not Like Us; 5 Communication Tips to Get Their Attention

Hear top communication tips from risk managers like you. Know how to speak with the board and get what you need through clear language and active listening.
By: | June 29, 2018

Your day is filled with emails, communication, meetings, the occasional fire-dousing and various other demands on your time.

Take a minute to think about those time stealers. Now image that they multiplied — exponentially. You’ve just glimpsed into the busy day of an officer, director, board member or other executive-level leader.

Given this reality, it’s crucial that you communicate with leaders in a time-efficient way. Use crafted communication tips to help them remember and prioritize the information you share. Get what you need from them — be it buy-in, funding, approval or simply information sharing. And do it with ease by conveying essential information quickly, succinctly and in a way that positions you as capable and on top of things.

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At RIMS 2018, communication thought leaders Julie Cain, senior strategic adviser, information and technology risk management, Educational Testing Service, and David Young, lecturer, University of Colorado, Denver, spoke to the audience about D&O communication in the context of enterprise-wide risk management, but their tips and insights can be applied to almost all D&O communications.

Use these 5 communication tips today to improve your standing with executives:

1) Give actionable reports: Actionable is defined as things that “can be done” or have “practical value.” So, in other words, give them “news they can use.”
2) Listen carefully: Know what’s crucial to the business, so you understand what leaders need to know.
3) Speak their language: If they are in finance, use that parlance; operations, use that parlance, etc…
4) Propose solutions: When you report on a challenge or problem, don’t stop there; add suggestions and options that could be considered.
5) Challenge yourself to always bring value-added: It’s tempting to give a “just the facts, Mam” report, but try to give more, such as a trend you are noticing or industry news that could potentially be helpful. &

Mercedes Ott is former managing editor of Risk & Insurance. Comments or questions about this article can be addressed to [email protected]

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]