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Live Chat
Stephen Welch RECIPE is about the six different influencing styles. Reward Exchange Connect Inform Picture Exit. As communicators we have a choice of how we influence and don't always have to revert to data/logic/facts/ROI.
Danae What's your preferred ingredient to use in Stephen Welch's recipe for success? Take the poll below, or if you missed it, check out Stephen's recording on the main page πŸ™‚
Danae What's your preferred ingredient to use in Stephen Welch's recipe for success?
Stephen Welch Here are two resources which may be helpful:
Danae Welcome to anyone who's just joined us at the #hhICconf. Check out Dr Kevin Ruck in the live event section, or continue your questions and chats with Stephen here in the IC cafe πŸ™‚
@PushPaulAnswers We asked: whatu2019s your preferred ingredient to use in Stephen Welchu2019s recipe for success?
@PushPaulAnswers The top response was: Picture!
@PushPaulAnswers Thank you for the votes! Keep them coming guys πŸ™‚
Stephen Welch John Lennon would be proud
Haveyouhadyourweetabix Hi Kevin - Agree that authenticity is hugely important - What do you think is the best way for leaders to demonstrate their authenticity?
Danae A great chat from Dr Kevin Ruck on the power of listening in leadership communications! Check it out again here:
Danae I'm also really interested to know: what do you think is the biggest barrier to effective listening in your own organisations? (or as a leader yourself?)
Thomas Nielsen Time and resources - I think these two elements have a lot to say. I.e. money and budgets, I suppose.
kevinruck I think employees can detect authenticity very quickly. It's about being yourself, not sticking to 'messages' or a script. Engaging in a conversation and showing that you have listened to what has been said.
Thomas Nielsen If everyone's focused on meeting budgets, it's hard to focus on listening and utilising each other properly.
Thomas Nielsen I agree to a certain extent, Kevin. The messages and scripts, in my experience, have been a welcome backbone for communication and starting point for asserting your true self for leaders.
Thomas Nielsen As soon as there is a group of leaders, rather than just one (which is often the case), the overview of key messages is a real help for them,
Danae Wonder what would happen if it became a performance metric, alongside financial performance and budget. Does anyone have internal communication as an org KPI?
Thomas Nielsen The notion of a united leadership team falls apart very soon if messaging goes astray between them πŸ™‚
Thomas Nielsen Nope. But when I worked for one of my previous employers, it was more than often part of the KPI for programme managers. This meant that they'd ask us to post something on the intranet towards the end of the programme, and then that deal was done :-0
Thomas Nielsen We worked hard on changing that notion, needless to say...
kevinruck Having a unified strategic narrative is important. When people just speak in hackneyed 'messages' employees will turn off.
Thomas Nielsen Exactly.
Stephen Welch Yes to the strategic messages, and leaders need a chance to personalise them as well (& guidance on how much they can personalise), in order to inspire oths beyond just being a corporate parrot
kevinruck Messaging, storytelling & presenting need to be balanced with listening otherwise employees will just say that IC is propoganda.
kevinruck Soz, 'propaganda'. Spelling not my strong point, despite going to a grammar school!
kevinruck Leaders don't need to be polished presenters, that's not what employees want. They just want them to be human.
Danae @kevinruck - this is an interesting debate in itself Kevin! If we know what word you meant to type, does it matter if you misspell it!?
Stephen Welch Agree! And being a polished robot is not the way to go.
kevinruck Ha, exactly my point. Employees don't necessarily want perfectly written prose, just 'human' communication.
Danae For those looking to check into Perry Timms' talk about IC and HR in the era of AGILE, check it out now:
Annique Simpson @Thomas Nielsen and @kevinruck - I often find that issues with the effectiveness of IC are actually issues with the decision/initiative/process being communicated. Likewise, disagreement between decision makers can easily spill out into the IC. I opt for talking points for leaders and encourage them to flex as they need to. And I leave gaps or conflicting info in there - that way they can see the confusion and hopefully make attempts to fix it before its communicated. Risky strategy but has worked so far!
kevinruck Great approach Annique. Love it.
Danae Thanks Perry for your chat!
Thomas Nielsen Annique, you're so right. How many times have I and my colleagues not wasted time because decisions were changed throughout the course of a project?
Danae For anyone who missed it, you can check out Perry's recording here:
Thomas Nielsen Oftentimes decisions were changed because leaders disagreed on the direction.
Thomas Nielsen I'd find myself running around like a headless chicken, trying to make sense of everything.
Thomas Nielsen Changing the storyline, the Q&A, etc.
Thomas Nielsen Up until the last minute before announcement.
Danae I have a question for Perry. Do you have advice for ICers who would really like to get into that responsive, agile style, but are stuck on expectations, processes and systems that mandate them to be more structured, controlled and pre-planned?
kristian A big thank you to Perry. It's now time for some lunch. The Chat cafe is still open so keep up the interactions. Cheers all.
Danae Anna going live about leadership communications during change. Check it out here:
Danae Hi Anna, thanks so much for your chat! Some really practical ideas around how to address some of those barriers for leaders during change!
Anna OSullivan Thanks Danae. Enjoyed presenting on how to support leaders to communicate effectively during change. Please do let me know if anyone has any questions!
Thomas Nielsen @Anna OSullivan I loved the term 'empathy disconnect' you used. I've been training people to understand this situation for years, but always called it different things.
Thomas Nielsen I'll use that from now on πŸ™‚
Danae Thinking about your own organisations and leaders during change, what do you find hinders their communication effectiveness most? Take the poll here:
Anna OSullivan @thomas yes, it's a slightly different way of saying out of touch I think, but brings in the emotional component as well.
MoniqueTsang Hi Anna, thanks for your talk. I'm fairly new to change comms, and what you discussed has been really useful for me to anchor what I did in some recent change projects. I understand Pearson is global - what were some top challenges that you've come across when communicating change as part of a global group, or alongside colleagues from so many different cultures?
Danae Hi all! For those trying to listen in to Alex's talk (, we're just working through a couple of wifi connection issues - just one of those things when connecting to amazing speakers from all over the world! Another update as soon as we're back on πŸ™‚
Danae Hi all, thanks for checking in to Alex's presentation. Unfortunately the internet isn't playing ball in the UAE today so you won't be able to engage with Alex. The good news is, we'll absolutely still get all the golden nuggets from Alex by recording and sharing his chat on the website as soon as we can
Anna OSullivan @MoniqueTsang thank you. I agree with you there are a number of challenges in a global organisation with different cultures. Firstly, the sheer orchestration of communicating change across multiple locations to multiple teams and ensuring the pre-work is completed in terms of stakeholder buy-in and sign-off and awareness of their own role. For this to be successful there has to be ownership at many different levels. I would also say that having that change network of HR and comms teams across the different locations is important - both in terms of that orchestration, but also in terms of sense-checking plans and representing the different cultures or working styles to say if a plan will land as you intended it to. I also think it's important for communicators to build up their own knowledge of the different cultures and things to take into account when communicating to different employee groups.
Thomas Nielsen @Anna OSullivan I think it's a powerful expression. If I as a leader were told I suffered from an empathy disconnect, I'd definitely listen πŸ™‚
Thomas Nielsen @Anna OSullivan HR, comms and legal teams, I'd say...I found that I could build the strongest communication when I united with colleagues from HR and legal when communicating org changes.
Thomas Nielsen I was once part of a programme team that orchestrated layoffs in 21 countries. You should have seen the comms plan. It was a monster. Including local leaders, HR and legal partners. Crazy stuff.
Thomas Nielsen The respect for local cultures and legislation is central. And what makes global comms so challenging.
Danae @Thomas Nielsen - interested to know... do you refer to the 'monster' comms plan in a good way or a bad way? Was it too planned or detailed or did this help?
MoniqueTsang Thanks @Anna. I agree that sense-checking the plans is a good approach - it's actually so helpful to have the local comms experts to help 'test the waters' do the 'translation' of the nuances etc for us.
Thomas Nielsen It helped. It was necessary. We needed to know exactly who was supposed to do what where in each time zone.
Anna OSullivan @ danae - chiming in here, I think you do need that 'monster' comms plan. But then the challenge is to also chunk it up for the people involved so that they can clearly see their own part. Always a balance for example between how much to show the leader of the full nuts and bolts comms plan, versus high level approach. depends on their preferences and style here too.
@PushPaulAnswers We asked: What do you find hinders effective leadership communications in your organisation? The top responses where: Time and Distance
Thomas Nielsen And with whom. We couldn't let any of the impacted colleagues down by 'missing' them, so to speak.
@PushPaulAnswers Thank you for the votes! Keep it up guys πŸ™‚
Thomas Nielsen Agree with Anna on the chunking up part.
Thomas Nielsen I'd carve out individual plans for those announcing and taking care of people.
Danae Helen Deverell now live over at
Danae Agreed, but it's important for people not to be 'slaves' to the comms plan. Relating back to what Perry and a few others have mentioned today about being responsive, agile, etc. We want to utilise the opportunities that come up as well, listen, and then plug any gaps in response to this.
Danae Thanks Helen for your storytelling tips! So, when do you all use storytelling the most? CHeck out the poll here:
handhadmin There is a question for Helen from @Dholden, Many leaders struggle with sharing human stories about themselves but we know as IC professionals its a great way to connect them to colleagues. Do you have any tips that offer small steps so leaders don't just shut down the idea of storytelling?
Helen Deverell Hi everyone, thanks for joining my session. I did receive one question during which was how to encourage reluctant leaders to tell stories. I think it is about helping them to understand the benefits. Understand what they want to achieve and help them see how storytelling can support that - and use examples of other leaders who have used it to great effect.
PabloAF Anyone else having trouble to connect Alejandro's presentation?
Danae @Thomas Nielsen - thanks for joining us Thomas, was a pleasure having your input - enjoy the rest of your afternoon πŸ™‚
Danae @PabloAF - just working through technical issues, if you refresh shortly, it shoul be all go. We'll keep you updated!
kristian hi all, Alejandro will be with us shortly. Coming live all the way from Columbia - stay tuned!
PabloAF Thanks @Danae!
MoniqueTsang Thanks for your talk, Helen. Your last point is spot-in - I've found peer learning very useful for this. For them to see what fellow leaders have done. So they don't have to look (up) to someone like Barack Obama!
MoniqueTsang Hi everyone, Iu2019d just like to say u2018thank youu2019 for the stimulating talks and discussion so far, and to H&H for organising this. The virtual conference format makes it work really well for people to participate. Iu2019m checking in from Berkshire, UK with my 5-month old baby girl u2013 so the virtual conference format has been brilliant as I can actually take part (!). Itu2019s been great to hear from everyone about your experiences u2013 definitely helps me to review and anchor what Iu2019ve done and think about new ways to do things. Iu2019m fairly new to internal/change comms (moved from external comms and journalism a few years ago). Before I took on my first change comms project I went in with a bit of trepidation, but actually I quickly found that many principles of leadership comms is the same as helping them work with the media u2013 just thereu2019s a lot more psychology!
PabloAF @Helen just to point out that something has worked for me before, was to use examples of leaders they already admire. Steve Jobs is not always the weapon of choice πŸ˜‰
Helen Deverell @MoniqueTsang Hi Monique, absolutely. It's whoever they admire and see elements that they could use in their own storytelling. Thank you for watching!
Helen Deverell @PabloAF Absolutely - that's plays into understanding their personality as well - help them identify leaders they admire for the style and approach not just the obvious ones everyone talks about - it doesn't have to be anyone famous. Thanks for watching!
Danae @MoniqueTsang - thanks Monique - we're so glad that you've been able to join us! Hopefully that baby girl of yours have given you a little peace and quiet to stay focused! Love your reference to external comms similarities regarding leadership. Unfortunately the UAE's internet connection stopped us from engaging in Alex's talk today about bring external comms principles to the inside, but you'll be able to check out his session as soon as we can record it and get it on the website!
Danae Turns out Columbia's internet connection isn't playing ball either... still having technical issues on Alejandro's end, but likewise, there will still be the option to engage with his talk on the website later... as long as you've scrubbed up on your Spanish!
MoniqueTsang @Danae Thanks! Baby Alba complained a bit in the morning but she's quite interested in the last half hour! Look forward to seeing Alex's talk later.
MoniqueTsang I'm happy to translate the key points of his talk into English if there's interest! πŸ™‚
Danae @MoniqueTsang HAHA, did it having anything to do with STORYTELLING per chance?!
Danae This is the part where parenting skills cross over into the workplace so perfectly!
Danae @MoniqueTsang Thanks for your translation offer - that's lovely! Still having a few technical issues with Alejandro which we're trying to resolve. The great news is, we have a wee break coming up, so we're hoping we can use it to get Alejandro live. Why not grab that cuppa now instead?
Alejandra Pinedo About encouraging reluctant leaders to tell stories, do you think starting small instead, with stories of regular employees to show them how it works could motivate them?
Helen Deverell @Alejandra Pinedo Yes, that's a great idea. Definitely start small and find ways to help them get more comfortable with the idea of it. You could also start with stories within a blog for example as they'll be able to review it and be fully happy with it before publishing which can help build up their confidence especially when they see the response they get.
PabloAF @Alejandra Plus you get the extra value of creating engagement through the regular employees and even turn the activity into something that other employees want to take part of
Helen Deverell @PabloAF Plus when you have a raft of employee stories you can use them in multiple ways so gives you a rich source of content.
Danae Hola to our conference friends who were looking forward to hearing Alejandro speak. Unfortunately the technical issues have meant we can't get him live in Columbia this afternoon, but we will absolutely make sure we get a recording of Alejandro's wise words on how leaders and the IC function should cocreate as soon as we can!
PabloAF @Helen That also adress the issue about internal media that takes yeeeeeeears to update because of a lack of information πŸ™‚
Danae Priya Bates now live at
Alejandra Pinedo Great!! Thank you all for sharing your points of view
Priya Bates I'm ready for questions!
Karolina Thak u, Priya πŸ™‚
Karolina In Poland (Europe) Employer Branding has its days. It is often placed near HR department and IC has often been limited to delivering the tools and content. IC is seen as a part of EB. It is even harder to talk about IC strategic position. How does it look like in other countries / regions?
Danae @Priya Bates - heya, Karolina asked a really good question - In Poland (Europe) Employer Branding has its days. It is often placed near HR department and IC has often been limited to delivering the tools and content. IC is seen as a part of EB. It is even harder to talk about IC strategic position. How does it look like in other countries / regions?
Priya Bates Hi Pablo - Saw your question. Agree - we should see ourselves as enablers, engagers and empowerers!
Priya Bates Hi Karolina - Yes - there is a lot of talk about Employer branding in Canada and North America too. I like to see more alignment - A organization brand aligned to the employer brand - there needs to be connection - What are we trying to establish on the outside and how do we create the conditions to get employees to deliver customer experience and an employee experience that is consistent. It should be a bigger table with HR, Marketing and IC there for support.
Alejandra Pinedo Please let us know how to get Priyas presentation, I defnitely will frame those I's and place them next to my desk.
Priya Bates Check out my website as well - - There is a visual of the five I's that I think you will like.
PabloAF @Karolina for Mexico is pretty much the same: IC is seen as an operative function dedicated to deliver graphics and content, based on previously taken business decisions made by mid-range managers and Sr. executives. This makes work hard as communication in many of those decisions had been taken based on what leaders assume communication is.
Danae Rufus now live at talking about the difference between corporate and military leadership comms
Priya Bates It's everywhere Pablo. On my website, there is a grid- I map business impact on the horizontal and then resources (effort, time, dollars) on the vertical. I then as Comms Pros to map their work on this grid. Anything that is high impact, low resources should be your quick wins. Anything that is high impact, high resources is your investment (2-3 per year- people, technology). Anything on the left is either a waste of money (high cost/low impact) or a waste of time (low cost/low impact)./ Show the grid to your leaders and have an honest discussion of what you can take off your plate to move forward.
PabloAF I will! Excellent resources by the way!
Priya Bates Thanks @pabloAF
Priya Bates It's called the IMPACT Matrix on
Danae Thanks Rufus for your chat! I find the differences you observe between military and commercial quite interesting actually - not the first place my mind would go.
Alejandra Pinedo Rufus I completely agree with you, I think it is necessary to make a formal effort to train and evaluate the communication skills of the leaders, teach them to communicate actively and efficiently
Danae One thing I've both experienced and observed is that often, IC team's own leadership can be the 'blockers' to shifting from the 'communicator' to the 'influencers and enablers'. Do you have any advice for people who know what to do, but can't seem to get buy-in from leaders on prioritising activity that trains and enables, rather than controls and 'does'
Rufus McNeil Thanks Danae, the military doesn't always conform to the stereotypes people would expect!
Alejandra Pinedo I also believe that the communication approach must be systemic, in the understanding that it is an articulated effort and any failure weakens the entire system
Rufus McNeil Thanks Alejandra, too right. It's amazing what even the smallest investment in some basic skills training can produce in terms of engagement
Rufus McNeil Agreed, although I think communicators need to be careful to make that a shared challenge with the leadership, rather than seeing it as just their problem.
Rufus McNeil Danae, the best way I've found is to follow the Japanese model and take leaders to the shop floor. Let the see and hear the challenges and many of them will then be looking for help to answer them. It is also rich input for communicators, who can start to show how the can be directly relevant to current business challenges.
Alejandra Pinedo Key concept there: shared challenge, much to ponder. Thank you
Rufus McNeil My pleasure. I think helping leaders understand that it is their job to communicate (and we are here to help) rather than their job to think of the plan and let others communicate it for them, is critical.
Alejandra Pinedo SO true
Haveyouhadyourweetabix Loved the cartoons Helen - really thought provoking!...... πŸ™‚
Danae Thanks so much for your chat Hel! Love the pictures!
PabloAF @Helen your talk was great! Could you please post the link to the Club again?
HelReynolds @Haveyouhadyourweetabix Thank you so much! Let me know how you get on with the challenges!
Danae Second the links, that would be fab. Let's all promise to brag about not working sometime this week hey?
HelReynolds @PabloAF Thank you! Will post it in one minute...
Danae For many of us here in the UK and on BST, that might mean very very soon!
Alejandra Pinedo It has been a wonderful experience to be able to meet new and avant-garde points of view on internal communication this day, thanks to all
PabloAF @Danae @Helen I'm doing the brag right now! Like I've spent most of my morning watching the talks
HelReynolds Here's the link to the Facebook group!
HelReynolds And for the newsletter, go to
Danae @Alejandra Pinedo - thank you - we hope you have enjoyed it all. What's been your favourite part?
kristian A big thank you to Helen, and all the speakers.
Karolina that's it? no more lives today? πŸ™
HelReynolds @PabloAF Nice one! It's good for your creativity!
Danae Hey @PabloAF! That's no NOT working - that's very much working and learning haha!
HelReynolds Loved being part of it, thanks everyone - especially H&H for organising. Massive thumbs up
Karolina I didn't manage to be here from the beginning, but the last three parts wery inspiring and refreshing. Thank you all for organizing this event and sharing your experince and energy (!) with me us πŸ™‚
Danae @HelReynolds - no, a big thanks to all our amazing speakers. I was having so much fun, I almost forgot to host....!
Karolina I hope another one is coming soon?
Danae @Karolina - thanks for coming along! No more Lives - we've been going for 9 hours straight! But all of the live chats are up on the website except Alex and Alejandro's, which we're hoping to get sorted very very soon!
Alejandra Pinedo @Danae This cafu00e9 actually!! So exciting to exchange opinions live and it was wonderful to see PabloAF here, also from Mexico
Karolina And I hope we will continue discussions here? On LI?
PabloAF So, that's it? What's next? I want more!! Count me for the coming events πŸ™‚
Alejandra Pinedo @PabloAF u00a1Hola Colega! πŸ™‚
kristian We were hoping to get Alejandro's video on the site and to give him some time in the chat room to answer any questions. If possible we'll do this if not we will share with everyone as soon as we can.
Danae @Karolina - we hope so too! We'll be getting in touch to see how everyone found the day, and what they might be interested in next. It's great to be able to get people from across the world connecting with each other and sharing ideas without the expense!
kristian Thanks to all of you who watched and joined in the chat.
PabloAF @Alejandra u00a1A la orden! Espero seguir en contacto πŸ™‚
Alejandra Pinedo Good day everyone
Danae And if everyone can give our amazing behind the scenes team for working through the logistics of 14 different speakers from all over the world, relying on all their won wifi connections... a massive feat!
Danae *wonderful
Karolina Bravo to your team! Perfect logistic and organization! πŸ™‚
handhadmin Hello All, big thanks to everyone involved today!
dennietheodore well done!
Danae It's a wrap for the live conference! Thank you all who came today, and who will continue to turn up over the coming hours and days to check out all the things our amazing speakers have said, and all the things our peers have contributed. Team H&H are signing off from the Chat Cafe now, but please do feel free to continue the conversation with each other!
Danae Check out all the session videos here:

Throughout the day we’ll be posting thought-provoking questions and polls for you to take part in. The results wll be visible as soon as you make your selection and correct at the time.. The final results will be shared in the chat above via @PushPaulAnswers.

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On the report

  • Destined to become the go-to place for many internal communicators looking for inspiration.

    Hamida Bhatia
    Digital Marketing & Communications Consultant, Google
  • Fantastic to see such a broad range of IC voices and opinions in this comprehensive reportabout leadership communications from H&H. A great read folks!

    Martin Flegg
    Internal Communications Manager, University of Bradford
  • Some invaluable insight from some incredible Comms people.

    Jo Bland
    Head of Internal Communications and Engagement, NHS Digital
  • Absolutely brilliant report, guys! Fascinating to hear so many different points of view - make it your weekend reading.

    The IC Space