Last month’s Energy Leader Webinar featured EnergyCAP’s own SJ Bergman, one of our senior implementation engineers. As an energy manager who meets regularly with her peers in the field, SJ shared 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers. Tactic #6 was all about communication, and we thought we’d share her perspectives (and some of our own) in today’s blog.
Communication is an important task for today's energy manager. Employers across the country are looking for communication and presentation skills as part of the energy management skill set. It’s not enough just to superintend the data. Now you have to be able to share it with proficiency, in ways that are meaningful for multiple audiences.
Whether it is project management, reporting, or budgeting, your communications are opportunities to spread your energy conservation message across your organization. Here are two tips to help you improve those communications:
Invest in Primary Stakeholders
At a certain base level, everyone in your organization is a stakeholder because all are impacted by your energy management decisions. So it is important to work on building relationships at many levels.
But there will be other key players, often in the areas of accounting, sustainability, IT, or planning, with a vested interest in the same energy-related issues as you. Time invested in these important relationships will pay dividends when collaboration is needed on integration and/or company-wide initiatives. The first step is to identify your primary stakeholders, no matter where they are on the chain of command. Then work on improving your accessibility to these stakeholders. Can you share lunch or committee work, or provide a regular report that offers real value? Make sure to make yourself available to offer information, education or assistance.
And don't be too exclusive. The more people you know in your organization, the more effective you will be.
Second, always look for ways to simplify complicated topics. Many of the issues that you deal with as an energy manager are very complex, so the more you can simplify and make them readily understandable by all stakeholders, the more buy-in you will be able get for your plans.
In general, keep the discussion on broad topics. Many energy managers tend to “get into the weeds” because of their love of data and detail. Instead save the technical jargon for those who are really interested. Always be prepared to provide backup documentation if you are asked, but not before.
This month’s Energy Leader Webinar will offer help and hope to energy managers who are interested in sharpening their communication skills. “Practical Tips for Powerful Presentations” will feature Chris Heinz, EnergyCAP’s Vice President for Marketing. You won’t want to miss this content-rich presentation!
This webinar has been recorded. Watch the recorded webinar.