Facilitating Culture Changes
Miriam Luke

Miriam Luke

Lead Consultant

The Schroder Series; Inspiring Communication

At GFB our foundation of leadership is based on the well validated and widely used Schroder Framework of Leadership. The framework consists of eleven key behaviours set within 4 clusters; Thinking, Involving, Inspiring, and Achieving. Each of the 11 behaviours is further defined by 5 levels ranging from negative use of the behaviour at level one, to an inspirational use of the behaviour at level five where an individual is embedding a culture which supports and encourages others to use this behaviour within the organisation. The framework has been empirically researched and proven to be reliable and valid.

When put like that, it can start to sound a bit complex! And it kind of is, but this is also what allows us to really see and develop how great leaders work.

To help to bring the framework alive, over the next several weeks we will be publishing a series of posts focusing on each of the 11 behaviours and giving some real world recognisable examples of how people operate at the different levels of the behaviours, both high and low.

For our first post we will be looking at the behaviour of Inspiring Communication, part of the Inspiring Cluster.

Inspiring Communication

One of the most important (and visible) leadership behaviours we have all experienced this year has been communication. The Inspiring Communicator behaviour is about engaging communication to ensure messages are clear, understood and trusted. Some of the best examples of excellent communication, and also some very poor communication, have been seen on the daily Downing Street Coronavirus press conferences over the course of the last year.

Van-Tamm versus Boris – the Downing Street Coronavirus press Briefings.

Great leaders operating at the higher levels of Schroder make their message compelling and memorable by adding metaphors and analogies. Boris Johnson certainly likes a metaphor and delivers them  in abundance, but not all metaphors work and it’s only part of the art of inspiring communication. In the clip below he announces the launch of the Covid19 vaccine. He talks about “the searchlights of science”, the “invisible enemy” and “biological jujitsu”. In fact, he uses so many dramatic metaphors that his key message starts to get lost. It doesn’t appeal to the wider audience that is watching. He does add variety in pace and tone to add emphasis however he does it so frequently that his message doesn’t come across clearly.

Anyone who has seen Jonathan Van-Tamm in action will know that he is also a big fan of metaphors and analogies but he chooses examples that are clearer and more appealing to everyone. Van-Tamm fans (and a brief twitter search suggests there are more than a few) will remember such highlights as “cup final penalty shoot-outs” and “incoming trains”. However, he doesn’t use so many of them that they confuse the fundamentals of his message which is structure, clear messaging and making it all relevant to the audience. His metaphors enhance and don’t detract from his clear message. Some of his best can be found in the video below:

So MY key message is great leadership communication starts by getting the fundamentals right and adding the interesting metaphors, visual graphs and pace and tone so that it enhances your core message rather than detracts from it. Could someone let the prime minister know?

GFB are global leaders in people assessment. We support clients with the design, development and delivery of people and talent solutions supported by our data focused approach, in house assessment platform, and expert consultants.

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