Communication Secrets: 5 Ways to Reach a CEO
Surprisingly, it can be much easier to connect with your client than with your own CEO. Most executives are really hard to reach, and what’s even harder is to get their attention.
But it doesn’t mean that your CEO is not interested in you or your team. Executives are also humans, and no matter how highly experienced they are, they still may struggle to find the time and balance their relationships with the team and stakeholders.
Here are 5 tips that will help you persuade the CEO to free up their time to discuss burning team issues and work in progress.
1. Tailor your message
Executives often don’t have time to dig into the details of what your team is doing. That’s why it’s important to understand what priorities the CEO has and tailor your message according to the perspective that s/he is most interested in.
2. Be brief
No matter what communication style you have and how you communicate – face to face or via email – your message should be very brief and to the point. No professional jargon and abstract words – use concrete words and short sentences that are easy to understand and respond to.
3. Include a call to action
It’s okay to share the information with the CEO but what do you want as a result? Make sure you’ve included a call to action that explains why you are sharing these data and what actions you expect. It’s a good idea to mention benefits for the company and add an approximate time schedule.
4. Deliver your information with confidence
If necessary, practice several times before speaking to the CEO in person. Otherwise, if you don’t seem confident in what you are sharing, why should the CEO have confidence in you?
5. Try different options
It’s often hard to schedule a full-time meeting with the CEO. So try other options! For example, you can organize a short meeting for the team and the CEO with feedback and questions. If it’s hardly possible, opt for a 5-minute talk (it can be more useful than a 30-minute session!).
You can even meet your CEO “by accident” in the corridor or company café and ask for a minute to explain your issue. The CEO may say ‘not now’ but don’t take it personally and simply ask ‘when?’ to ensure that you can meet and discuss this question.