Mit „klaren Ansagen“ die interne Kommunikation optimieren

Der Aufgabenbereich einer Assistentin umfasst immer auch die firmeninterne Kommunikation. Aber nicht immer funktioniert die einwandfrei. Störungen können Sie vorbeugen, wenn Sie von vorne herein klar und unmissverständlich formulieren, auch in Ihrer Fremdsprache Nr. 1. Lesen Sie hier, wie Sie das schaffen.

In vielen Fällen sind Sie als Sekretärin oder Assistentin das Sprachrohr Ihres Chefs, Ihrer Chefin. Er oder sie erwartet von Ihnen, dass Sie auch unangenehme Dinge erfolgreich kommunizieren. Das ist einfacher gesagt als getan. Weil wir dazu neigen, bei negativen Nachrichten vorsichtig und zurückhaltend zu formulieren, auf jeden Fall nicht direkt, offen und klar.

Hinweise für schlechte Kommunikation

There are several clues that something might be wrong with communication within your company. Please answer these questions:

  • Do customers call quite often to get additional information?
  • Do staff members complain about a lack of information?
  • Are there many enquiry (BE)/ inquiry (AE) calls after meetings or e-mails?
  • Do you get customers’ complaints about bad service?
  • Are colleagues often unsure of what to do next on a project?

If you answered more than just one of these questions with a “yes” it is rather obvious that your company has a communication problem.

And even if you answered all questions with a clear “no” it is worthwhile reading on because you will learn how to communicate more effectively with both positive and negative messages.

Negative Botschaften nicht verschleiern

Some bosses avoid delivering bad news themselves and prefer to make their assistant ”do the dirty work” by sending out messages like “Our company will offer a night-time telephone hotline – starting next week!”

Maybe your first reactions are:

  • This will cause conflict among those staff members who have to work longer hours.
  • How can I avoid problems between colleagues who have to work longer and those who don’t?
  • I can’t tell this to Mr Schleifer. He is a single parent and can’t leave his kids alone!

And you might look for a reason not to tell the whole truth at once. But that would just postpone the problem.

So be clear and concise about the message: “From next Monday onwards our company will be offering a telephone hotline from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.”

In this special case it is highly advisable to leave out the usual British politeness like “I think”, “I would like to tell you”, “We would like to inform you …”, “We would appreciate if you would …”. Such formulations could be taken as invitation for a discussion or challenge. Your boss wouldn’t be “amused” with either outcome; he or she just wants the new marketing procedure implemented as soon as possible.

Wählen Sie genau den richtigen Zeitpunkt für Ihre Botschaft

Another important advice for the communication of such new and challenging marketing tools that require a lot of individual commitment from members of staff, is timing:

Don’t tell the staff too early, because somebody might take the opportunity to try and postpone the action or question its viability.

Die nächsten Schritte klar und eindeutig benennen

Passing on information is only the core of the communication process. To make things run smoothly staff members have to be given all the relevant details. Name them – and make the staff members involved sign the paper, contract or just the time table. By doing so you get their agreement in black and white – and can come back to this later if necessary.


If I had to sum up in a word what makes a good manager, I’d say decisiveness. You can use the fanciest computers to gather the numbers, but in the end you have to set a timetable and act.

Lee Iacocca

Here are some suggestions for memos or e-mails. You can use them for verbal communication as well, slightly changed.

  • Attached you will find the first operation schedule. Please print it out for your information, sign a copy and hand it back to me by … (date).
  • See the operation schedule on the bulletin board. Please sign it by … (date).

Widerspruch vorwegnehmen

In many cases of “bad news” as in our example “night hotline” you will be sure to meet challenges, even if you try to avoid them. When it comes to overtime the families are affected and everybody will feel disadvantaged. Therefore it is important to show that the plan is fair.

  • Every staff member has to take a shift to keep the individual overtime equal.
  • Please note that everybody has to work overtime.
  • In the case of justified exceptions a fair compensation will be applied (e.g. a weekend shift).

Insider tip from your American editor Jennifer Hohensteiner

If you have to communicate information that might cause challenge think about the best time for a meeting. The company party or right before the weekend are definitely not good times! 

If you keep these tips in mind the internal company communications will improve in both critical and non-critical situations, get more effective and reduce superfluous questions.

Vocabulary Box
affected                – betroffen
apply                    – anwenden
bulletin board     – schwarzes Brett
challenging         – herausfordernd
commitment       – Einsatz
core                      – Kern
definitely              – auf jeden Fall, unbedingt
device                  – Hilfsmittel, Instrument
viability                 – Durchführbarkeit
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