How to Communicate: Ensuring Security is Everyone’s Business in Your Organization

Engaging people within the organization when it comes to all security related things can be a challenging task. Employees tend to get mixed messages about what their priorities should be from all the different corners of the organization, and even though the safety of the whole business should be near the top of the priority list, this is often not the case – or at least, not for everyone. 

However, as people are often the weakest link in ensuring overall security, it is crucial to empower all members of your organization to be proactive in identifying and mitigating security threats. This not only bolsters your organization’s defences but also fosters a culture of vigilance and responsibility that helps you further ensure the safety and continuity of your business.  


Excuse me, do you have a minute? 


But how can you do that? Everyone is busy and sacrificing their precious time to focus on security is not always particularly appealing. This may leave you feeling like a vacuum salesman, who is desperately trying to make people focus on something they do not care about in the slightest, which is extremely demotivating.  

However, in a world overflowing with information, grabbing people’s attention and communicating effectively is the key. Only then you can facilitate understanding and try to influence others. The tricky part is – this soft set of skills has virtually nothing to do with security. Instead, this is something that can come to some people naturally, or you must develop it with time. And this is the good news – it is possible to get much better at connecting with people in an authentic way with a bit of practice and a couple of golden rules in the back of your mind.  



1. Be Clear


  • Avoid the security jargon 


If they can’t understand you, they won’t care, it is as simple as that. No one has the time or mental capacity to try to decipher what you mean. Tailor your message to your audience, understand their position and adjust to resonate with them. Try to speak the language your audience is familiar with, otherwise, you will just alienate or confuse them. 

  • Keep it simple 


Less is more – keep your message clear and concise. Avoid unnecessary complexity and use simple language to convey your ideas. If something can be explained in fewer words, avoid the temptation of getting into the nitty-gritty details unless absolutely necessary. Get straight to the point and try to focus on: Why is this relevant? What does this security policy mean for your audience? What are the practical implications of it? What are your expectations?  


2. Be Compelling


  • Tell a story 


Storytelling is a bridge between information and emotion. It takes your message and wraps it in a compelling narrative that captures attention, evokes feelings, and leaves a lasting impression. Moreover, if it is a true story, it makes you more relatable, while at the same time showcasing security in action and highlighting why it matters. It can make people care about things they did not even consider before, therefore helping you make security more significant in the minds of others. 


  • Use visuals 


According to Larry Cuban, a professor of education at Standford, a whopping 83% of what we learn comes from the sense of sight. Forbes reports that not only the majority of us are visual learners, but that good imagery is absolutely necessary to grab attention and create lasting impact. The takeaway is simple – use visuals! Don’t send a boring wall of text or a plain email that will be read and immediately forgotten. Visuals can make for a great aid and help people understand some security concepts easily. Leverage it to your advantage – use pictures, infographics and videos when possible.  


  • Start with a bang 


If you have a funny anecdote or engaging story to share, don’t wait with it until the very end. You can also begin with a thought-provoking question that piques curiosity and makes your audience think. Tell a startling statistic, share an intriguing fact – do all you can to capture the attention early on. Starting your communication with a bang is a powerful way to immediately capture your audience’s attention and set the tone for the rest of your message. It should serve as a bridge to the main content and set expectations for what your audience can expect to learn or gain from the rest of your presentation, speech, or message. 


  • Engage emotions 


Connect with your audience on an emotional level. Don’t be afraid to use humour, inspiration, or empathy – all emotions are powerful motivators that can not only make people care about security, but also help them remember the key takeaways. This can be achieved largely through storytelling that evokes some emotional response. 


3. Be Authentic

  • Show your passion 


Communicate with genuine enthusiasm and authenticity. If you’re passionate about your topic, it’s more likely to resonate with others. Moreover, passion can be contagious. When you’re passionate about your topic, your energy can captivate your audience and draw them in, making it easier to convince your audience to take action. 


  • Be empathetic  

Understanding and acknowledging your audience’s perspective and feelings fosters a sense of connection. When you validate the emotions of your audience and acknowledge what role security plays from their perspective, you are more likely to establish mutual respect and gain trust.   


4. Be Interactive


  • Ensure two-way communication 


Talking to, or at, people, can only get you so far. Siloed security is weak security, and in order to truly embed it into your organizational culture, you must open the communication channels to flow both ways. Encourage interaction and participation. Ask questions, seek feedback, and create a dialogue. And then make sure to listen actively and pay attention to your audience’s reactions and feedback. This will open the door to continuous improvement, as you will be able to adjust your communication based on the received cues. Learn from your experiences and continuously refine your communication skills. 


By communicating the right way, you can ensure that security becomes relevant to all the stakeholders and employees. Even though it is not an easy feat, once you get into the habit of phrasing your messages in an engaging way, it will become easier to truly make it everyone’s business.  



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