Here’s a common complaint: “Senior managers never read their emails.” Senior managers sort through a great deal of input from a large number of people every day and may overlook emails from those that they don’t hear from on a regular basis. According to a recent article published in Money, entitled How to Talk So Your Boss Will Listen, changing your approach may be key to changing the results you receive.

At Insigniam, we often tell clients —especially those who want to leverage communication as a conduit for enterprise transformation—that both sides are equal partners in getting their message across and ensuring it is understood. Therefore, rather than griping about who does or doesn’t answer emails, both sides should continue asking themselves these questions.

What channels are senior managers tuned into?

If you’re the one trying to contact a senior manager with an idea, proposal, problem—or something entirely different—and that manager is not one of your regular email contacts, you shouldn’t expect a speedy response to your email. In fact, you might consider not emailing at all.

Much like listening to a radio, different managers can tune to select frequencies on their “communication wavelength,” and tune out others completely. Perhaps a particular manager prefers meeting in person, or even a phone call, as opposed to an email. Either way, identify the channel your manager is tuned to and broadcast on that frequency.

What do senior managers want to hear?

For some senior managers and executives, it’s not which communication channel is most important, but rather, being sure to engage them when they’re listening carefully.

To make sure your broadcast resonates, prime the conversation for success ahead of time. According to Money, staying attuned to how much information your manager wants, or even keeping your emotions in check — especially when approaching a senior manager in regards to a conflict resolution—can carry as much weight as the selected channel on which you choose to relay your message.

In short, the way someone delivers a message to a senior manager—and the steps they take to ensure concerns are fully comprehended by all parties—is as critical as the context of the message itself.

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