Running a business brings about all sorts of challenges and it goes without saying that communication is one of them. Finding the right language to use to get your point across and convey the impact of certain situations that arise within your company isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
Whether a meeting needs to be had about important changes happening in your business, or a long-time client is on the line and you need to act quickly to prevent losing them; conveying that information in a way that creates a common and coherent understanding amongst employees can be a bit of a pain in the ass, to be brutally honest.
Naturally, your favourite bearded business coach has a special trick up his sleeve to go about doing this in a straightforward and uncomplicated way:
Similar to the DEFCON (Defense Readiness Condition) system that the US Armed Forces makes use of, this approach is about creating a method of communication around urgent and important situations that pop up in your business – which can be helpful in developing an efficient and clear form of understanding between both staff and management.
This is a DEFCON 1 situation, so you’d better pay close attention.
Listen Closely. Your Job Could Depend On It!
If I ask you to think about the situations that surface in your business and how you go about informing others of those situations, then the use of effective communication is a massive priority in getting your message across and understood.
If something serious is happening and the life of the business depends on certain actions to be taken; if you’re implementing a new strategy and everybody needs to be made aware of it; or if there’s a new rule, regulation or law that needs to be adopted by employees – starting a system of language that your staff understand and are aware of will help you gather them much quicker than an email that they might not read, or a lengthy statement that might spread confusion.
When I coach clients, I remind them that using the right communication tools are important in creating awareness around the defense conditions within their business.
The use of strategic language is a crucial tool to develop a sense of understanding around these conditions and it allows for a level of brevity when trying to get an important message across to staff.
Knowing whether it’s an existential problem that the company is facing (like the threat of a shut down), or if it’s something that can be dealt with at a later stage (like the implementation of new policies), it ultimately helps create a clear picture that everybody in the organisation can understand.
Reworking The DEFCON System Into Business
The DEFCON system is basically a prescribed set of terms that highlight the urgency of dire situations being faced during war through the use of strategic language. It helps to ensure a sense of readiness so that the correct actions are taken and so by using it, everybody involved in the defence of a country will be informed of the severity of those situations, ensuring that certain measures are in place to deal with them.
When breaking it down, the ranking starts at DEFCON 5 (least severe/minor) and works its way to DEFCON 1 (most severe/serious) – and It functions extremely well when communicating serious and minor issues that need attention.
That’s why it’s such a great tool to adapt and implement into your business.
By creating a similar ranking system in the workplace, you’re able to quickly communicate a situation and ensure that the most appropriate responses are given by both management and staff. This speeds up action and creates a common awareness amongst everyone.
Instead of using long-winded and tedious statements like, “everybody, we have an urgent meeting at 5 o’clock and you all need to be there,” you’ll make use of a much quicker term or phrase, such as, “I’m calling a DEFCON 1 for 5 o’clock”, or “it’s a Defcon 5, when can everyone make it?”.
Obviously, you need to make sure that everyone in your business is aware of this terminology and that it’s taught in a way to be used in the right context.
If you abuse the language, then people will attach less importance to the severity of the situation that each term entails and it might be rendered useless. Do you remember the story of ‘the boy who cried wolf’? Well, the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t give an alert for danger when there is no danger, otherwise nobody will care about what you have to say when danger actually presents itself.
Make your DEFCON 1 known to be a serious matter and that employees should act accordingly. Perhaps you indicate that it refers to the risk of losing an important client – everybody needs to take that indication seriously, shift gears and take necessary action.
You also don’t have to use that particular ranking system in your business – I have clients that use a Bronze, Silver and Gold system or an animal-based system (zebra, rhino, snake) to differentiate the levels of severity.
Whatever imagery you choose, remember that it needs to be understood in a logical and applicable way.
Other than the fact that it creates ease-of-communication between management and staff, it can help bolster a stronger organisational culture; employees are essentially connected through a common language, allowing them to have a shared form of understanding. It creates a deeper bond within teams and forms a common-ground for everybody involved.
With this system, you will come to find more appropriate responses given when problems come to surface and that everybody is on the same wavelength when having to face difficult circumstances.
Come up with a set of terms. Train your organisation to react according to those terms. And get shit done properly through effective communication.
I’m calling a DEFCON 2, so you need to pay some serious attention right now.
Sources tell me that your business needs some TLC and that your time is far too scattered for you to make improvements in your strategies, communication and the overall operations of your business.
So in doing you a solid, I’ve called in some backup:
An experienced and well-balanced business coach, armed with powerful weapons, enough ammunition and the most superb strategies to take on any challenge that your business presents.
That business coach is me. So act fast, make the call (an email or Whatsapp will also do) and don’t be shy to reap the rewards.
+2783 253 3339