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Leaders: Are you getting the most out of those who know the most?

How organizations fail to tap the strength of their most knowledgeable hires and what they can do about it

They exist in every organization; the smartest folks in the room with the most insight at solving problems who can engineer a solution, innovate and find that crucial solution needed for a fix. These go-to people who create, innovate and problem-solve are essential to the success of every business.

Unfortunately, they are often times not the same people who communicate well about a finding, or who can convince others about the merit of a fix. These subject matter experts often take a back seat in organizations, simply because they don’t have the communication skills needed to carry their ideas forward.

They may be the people in your organization who although capable and even brilliant, run from the spotlight. Or they may be those so immersed in detail, others have a hard time following them.

If however, the brightest minds and clearest thinkers are confined to the shadows, that’s more than talent wasted. It sends a signal to others that the divide between those who actually know the most, and those who have a role in implementing that knowledge is wide. It tells the best and brightest in your business or organization that moving up, being recognized for their skill, isn’t for them. It’s for the people who know less but who nonetheless are able to carry the idea forward.

It’s that disconnect that often results in turning to communication coaches like The Pincus Group, but usually when the problem has already grown and caused serious harm. When the investors or donors are already put off, when the board of directors are already annoyed, when the clients are frustrated and the deals don’t close, organizations and businesses turn to communications coaching for the fix.

We’re here to help bridge the gap between communicator and target audience, with an eye toward fostering measurable, concrete results. With coaching, the CFO who can’t help others make sense of the numbers learns to connect and gain the confidence of investors and board members. The newly elevated CEO adjusts to higher profile stages, wins over skeptical audiences and gains the confidence of those up and down the chain of command.

Your subject matter expert need that support as well. Imagine if the person who knew the most, the innovative one, the one focused most closely on the problem and aware of every nuance and detail of possible solutions, was also the person you could call on to communicate about it to others.

This is a call to invest in that outcome. Every crucial member of your organization should be available to you to put in front of any of your target audiences. There should be no disconnect between those in your organization or business who are the most knowledgeable, and those you designate to speak about that knowledge.

To change that dynamic, consider:

  • The more you know, the harder it is to prioritize what you know for others. Subject matter experts are by definition, mired in detail. Communications coaching helps them identify the “so what” of that detail in a way others outside their level of expertise can understand and appreciate.
  • Credibility soars with authenticity. Asking your target audience to believe you’ve got it right when you can’t be bothered with the details can destroy credibility. Hearing directly from those who know the nuances and the details of an issue addsto credibility of the entire organization in the eyes of those listening.
  • Putting those who know the most out front is empowering and good business. When any in your target audiences hears from anyone in your organization, there’s an immediate judgement on the whole of your organization. Getting support for those who know the most is not only a nod of appreciation for what they bring individually to your organization’s success, it’s a clear indication of the depth and expertise of your entire company. Confidence in your ideas, product or service adds to the whole of your reputation as a provider of those ideas, products or services.

Those in your company or organization who know the most should have the opportunity to demonstrate that knowledge. Regardless of title, irrespective of confidence, those are the people to you should be able to count on to speak on behalf of your organization or company. Invest in communications coaching and make sure those opportunities are there.

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