Communicating well vs communicating effectively

Communicating well vs communicating effectively

~ Maria Ford

All of my clients communicate well. That is, they are literate and educated. Most are very articulate and would not be excellent leaders otherwise. If their spelling and grammar are not perfect, they know how to use tools and other professionals to improve it.

Despite being able communicators, these clients bring me a common communication challenge disguised in various costumes. The challenge is: “Our message is not getting across!”. The problem’s various disguises include (but are not limited to):

  • People don’t get what we do.
  • We communicate openly and frequently but people still don’t seem to know what’s going on.
  • We’ve said it a million times, no one seems to be listening.
  • All our leaders know who we are/what we do but we can’t seem to agree on the same words to explain it.
  • We have to keep changing our message for every audience we speak to, but we are just one organization doing one thing.
  • We do several things and haven’t figured out how to explain how it all goes together.
  • Project X is stuck because we can’t clearly articulate/convincingly talk about it.

What’s going on here is not a failure of any leader, organization, or company. It is simply the case that communicating well is not the same thing as communicating effectively.

  • Communication is a skill, talent, and discipline—most well-educated or otherwise successful people in the business world are very capable at it … AND,
  • communications is a profession that involves training, experience, special skills and a unique way of thinking. Read more on this here.

Communicating well is not the same thing as communicating effectively. That’s why you need a strategic communications professional on your side.

The work we do at Phrase Strategy builds strategic communications foundations that ensure the energy, effort, and excellence that our clients put into communicating well will achieve the outcomes desired.

That is the definition of effective communication.

Talk to us to chart the path there.