June 01, 2022 / by HuckleBe
Ready, (mind)set, go! Does your organisation have what it takes to move to the next level of impact?
Providing direction, inspiring action, gaining buy-in, driving organisational change. If those are on your daily to-do list, exceptional communication skills are essential. They’re what can propel your organisation from little-to-average impact to actually leading the way on tackling sustainability challenges. How? By enabling your highly knowledgeable team — be they scientists, data analysts, NGO workers, or impact-driven start-up entrepreneurs — to share insights, strategies and solutions with the wider world.
Communication takes more than a skillset. It requires a deliberate mindset shift, creating a foundation that empowers us to evolve from habitual ways of working towards more effective, inclusive and purposeful communication that can shift behaviour change.
The Inner Development Goals initiative has made this concrete. It acknowledges that achieving the SDGs requires us to develop personal, inner capacities to meet the vast and varied challenges the world is facing. It sets out a 5-category framework covering the 23 skills and qualities that are crucial, and very possible, for us to develop; many overlapping with the ones we’ll touch on here.
In the words of philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau, “Things do not change; we change.” We hold the potential to move beyond inflexibility and risk-averseness to embracing qualities that allow us to become authentic, impactful communicators. So let’s explore the mindsets involved.
Top 7 communication mindsets for elevating impact
Mindset shifts require egos to be dropped and respect for external opinions, for which humility is key. A humble, down-to-earth approach lets you tap into and cultivate insights around your target audience motivations and aspirations, challenges and pain points, where and what behaviour changes need to happen, emerging trends, process inefficiencies and cultural sensitivities.
Effective listening is key here as this ensures that your messaging not only continues to land but that it also achieves the desired impact, priming you to rework and refine as you go. Fundamentally, humility guides us away from relying or acting on assumptions, to instead seeking the truth.
How can you keep evolving, adapting and iterating if you don’t remain curious? Curiosity is our number one ingredient at HuckleBe. It ensures you’re asking the right questions and building awareness among both your teams and clients, as well as applying new approaches to evolving contexts.
We recently worked with a systems change consultancy to inspire fresh, innovative ways of delivering their projects to clients more creatively and effectively. Curiosity drove our exploration of compelling communication examples, aiming to enhance the consultancy’s future outputs and boost engagement with its valuable findings across diverse sustainability transition topics.
Remaining receptive to different viewpoints is vital, particularly when we’re (re)framing challenging conversations and concepts, such as climate change. Openness supports you to recognise and respect where people are coming from, enabling you to better frame your messages and connect on an equal level. This positions you to meaningfully engage your audience on key topics, as does remaining open to constantly evolving situations, leaning into change and trusting the process.
Closely aligned with openness, empathy enables us to connect with others on a deeper, more authentic level; through genuine appreciation of their unique experiences, backgrounds and perspectives. This mindset also calls for deep listening, which is second nature for us at HuckleBe. So much so that we’re creating a listening deep dive training for both our clients and the wider public.
To meaningfully engage your target audience, you’ll need to translate technical terms in, say, climate science or biodiversity financing into creatively delivered messages that meet people where they are — literally. Through exploring possibilities for offline engagement, perhaps taking a leaf out of the creative sector’s book, impact-driven people in impact-driven organisations can help their target audiences build memorable, emotional connections with the sustainability topic at hand.
In the fast-paced, disruptive impact sector, flexibility is vital. From pivoting gracefully while delivering results to keeping your finger on the pulse with your communications, flexible thinking breeds creative, innovative outcomes. At HuckleBe, pivoting is what we do best; we know things change, so we’re here to help you navigate your sustainability communications evolution, with impact and finesse.
Effective communicators are courageous communicators! These are people that hold within them the bravery to see that things must change; to guide others along that path; to commit to bringing change into reality through evolving methods, taking risks and — yes — potentially failing forwards.
It also takes courage to reimagine sustainability topics and the language associated with them (often English). This is key to ensuring topics become accessible, relatable and inclusive, especially for those in the Global South, and include their voices, too.
Why putting these mindsets into action is key
Weaving these communication mindsets into your daily life creates a solid foundation for boosting your communication skills. It will support you to remain present, actively listen, ask the right questions and gain the agency you need to move your organisation in the right direction.
Adopting these mindsets will also help you elevate the accessibility, believability and relevance of your organisation’s messaging. This is crucial to engage your target audiences and sustain their attention on the impact goals you’re striving towards, whether that’s improved system thinking around food, influencing climate-smart policies, or sharing the latest green finance reporting.
Are you ready to shift your mindset?
Guiding your sustainability transformation journey, HuckleBe is all set to boost your impact through creative, meaningful and relevant communications.
To find out more, explore what we offer, sign up for HuckleBe insights, news and more, or Book a free consultation disovery consultation with our co-founders to assess your strategic communications needs.