How Does Communication Influence Success?

In June, Matthew L. Mosely -- a communication strategist, author, speaker, and world-record adventure swimmer -- published a highly important book entitled Ignition: Superior Communication Strategies for Creating Stronger Connections. Essentially, this book is a collection of dispatches from the frontlines of communication strategy, and the author investigates the link between success and effective communication.

When I spoke with Matt this past week, I asked him a series of questions about his book and the topic covered. Here is a transcript of our conversation:

Tell us how you came to write a book on communications?

Throughout a life spent moving from one organizational challenge to another, I’ve noticed that one thread has woven the whole experience together: The unbridled power of effective communication and storytelling in successful people.

But one question persists: If communication is so important, and we are more interconnected than ever before, then why are most managers and leaders so bad at it? 

In business, or in any relationship, communication is everything with team members, investors, customers, vendors, and everyone in between. Ineffective communication results in lost moments and squandered opportunities. 

Why is this important? Why now? 

Our ability to develop complex languages and thoughts and relationships is our secret sauce. This capacity to think outside ourselves, to create businesses, constitutions, stories, myths and art is our most cherished gift. This ability paved the way for humans to organize into large groups and connect by way of a common purpose and meaning. Because we could collaborate for the greater good, we could survive.

This skill is in greater demand more than ever if we are to survive – thrive – on this planet. 

Communication is how we relate to our world to build common connections and manage the environment around us. However, as we know from our experience, the art of communication is many times lost.

You write a lot about the importance of being proactive having a plan. Tell us more?

I’ve found that working with CEOs, senators and in everyday personal relationships there are three simple questions to ask yourself before blurting something out. 

Strategies for Communication Planning:

• What are you saying? Messaging. All of our context and history.

• Who are you saying it to? Targeting audiences. What do people expect of us?

• How are you saying it? Tactics. Of all the myriad ways to send a communiqué, what is the best?

Now you have a Communications Plan. Even if it is on the back of the napkin, it’s much better than none at all. 

What do you think of Matt's points? Have you experienced a lost business opportunity because of ineffective communication?