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Truth Justice and Internal Communications


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Presented at Events by Design Small Staff Association Superheroes Workshop, October 16, 2012

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Truth Justice and Internal Communications

  1. 1. Truth, Justice and Internal Communications October 16, 2012 Richard Sheehe
  2. 2. Sociobiology 101• Social Interaction takes brainpower – Brain size in primates correlated to social group size – Interpret faces, process emotion cues, remember & manipulate relationships• Our brain is wired to make snap judgments on social cohesion & exclusion• Can outweigh conscious logic or ethics – Shunning the whistleblower• Social stress causes disease – Baboon research – Whitehall studies
  3. 3. Sociobiology 101• Biochemical basis for alliance or conflict• Research shows a friendly conversation can boost oxytosin (trust hormone) levels and reduce cortisol (stress hormone)• Linguistic research shows speaking styles (grammar, tone, slang) in strangers’ conversation align within 30 sec.• Mirror neurons dedicated to mimicry & conformity – Basis for EMPATHY
  4. 4. Applied to Internal Communications Convey: • Empathy • Common interests – “Zoom out” to find shared goals • Emotional balance – Keep your own strong emotions in check – Avoid urge to match rhetoric/tone of opponents • Sense of teamwork – “We” instead of “I”
  5. 5. Internal Communications• Understand: – various stakeholders & their concerns ( ) • including external & internal audiences – public mood and external pressures ( )• Develop: – Core messages for all stakeholders – Spur messages for specific stakeholder groups • Should align w/core messages • Should complement (& not contradict) other spurs – Tone to match nature & intensity of situation
  6. 6. Internal Communications Concerns and Pressures • Stay “human” amid inhuman/corporate characterizations by critics •Position efforts as responsible & measuredTools given context (ie: economy, regulations)•Internal •Consider multiple stakeholder groups withinsocial media employee base (ie: merit vs. seniority)•Memo tone•Fact checks • Fully leverage middle management as•Transparent ambassadors and sounding boards process•CEO access • Maintain close relations between communications, HR and legal personnel
  7. 7. Questions/Follow-up 202-527-2681