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Book review: Communicate to inspire: a guide for leaders by Kevin Murray

Bob Bullivant

I was intrigued, therefore, to read Communicate to Inspire by Kevin Murray.

In his introduction he mentions two things that have always been very dear to my heart – empathy and the ability to “truly” listen. This gave me the incentive to probe further and I am pleased to have done so.

There are a number of well made points that particularly resonated with me, but my favourite – which again comes early on – is that “whatever you promise people outside your organisation will never be delivered unless you are able to convince and inspire the people inside your organisation”. There are many financial services companies that would benefit from adopting this as an objective.

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The book then moves away from communication toward leadership and has some useful things to say about values. These connect helpfully to the concept of treating customers fairly and the culture of the organisation, which the FCA is rightfully concerned with. This leads on to the brand promise and how to communicate all of this effectively to employees.

The book looks at other aspects of communication, in particular non-verbal communication. We can all talk a good talk when it comes to body language, but there is a section in this book that gives pause for thought on how you can be a good verbal communicator and then let yourself down with the signals you send out.

Like many readers, I did a presentation skills course many years ago that had one real message: prepare. The book takes you through how to do this effectively and makes some interesting comments about PowerPoint that I wish many presenters I have heard in the past had read.

Having taken you in a very readable and thought-provoking way through many aspects of communication the book comes bang up to date with helpful comments about social media and their uses.

I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to build his communication skills with both internal and external stakeholders. It is highly readable and practical and will no doubt repay its cost many times over.

Published by Kogan Page

Bob Bullivant is director of Annuity Direct