For effective communications, use RELISH

Great service management starts with effective communication. Effective communication provides the foundation for strong relationships with your customers, team and suppliers. In recent years, there has been a strong focus in service management on process and yet service management is essentially founded upon relationships and communication. Service management provides the interface between the customer and the service provider. Any provider can demonstrate value for money and provide services as required. But a great service provider goes beyond that, and can suggest solutions for a customer before a customer realises that they have the need (or problem to be addressed). This can only be achieved with a strong relationship, underpinned by good communication. 

I reflected on this topic in a communication workshop based on Neuropower’s RELISH method to structure business communications. This method suggests that "you align the communication in line with the way the brain functions leading to maximum clarity and engagement". In this method, effective communication should cover off on the following six points:
  • Purpose and Belonging
  • Emotion and Identity
  • Objectives and Benefits
  • Team connection
  • Important detail
  • Outcome/Moving Forward

To achieve these six (6) points, you can apply the RELISH method as a form of pre-delivery checklist:

Relatedness – having clarity on the purpose of the communication. What is the readers’ role in receiving this communication?
Expression – build an emotional connection in the communication. Consider what key emotions have there been in the past around this subject?
Leading the Pack – having clarity on the objectives and benefits of the communication. What action is needed or problem to be solved?
Interpersonal connection – build emotion or connections with the audience. How will this initiative/solution create a sense of shared identity in the team/organisation/relationship?
Seeing the Facts – explaining the critical information or required. How will the initiative/solution be implemented and how is success measured?
Hope for the Future – show how the initiative will bring a more positive future. What outcomes do we anticipate from this? What opportunities will open us for us?

There is much more to building a strong relationship than just good communications but providing clear communications lays the foundation for a positive relationship with any stakeholder. I’m sure you have experienced at least one situation where poor or rushed communication has been misinterpreted, diluted trust and/or unnecessarily wasted time and effort. Establishing an effective method of communication will help avoid this and the RELISH method is one suggested approach.


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