Communicate Up, Down and Sideways

Communication is a skill that must constantly be refined and changed based on the desired outcomes. Yet, for communication to be effective; one must always communicate a whole 360 degrees (up, down, and sideways).

Communicating Up

What obstacles are in your team’s way that you need upper management to diffuse so you can effectively accomplish your initiatives? It is your responsibility to establishing a communication tool/frequency that clearly illustrates a high level need along with action items those above you must take in an effort to achieve the desired results.

Communicating Down

Communicating down means establish clear channels with those who report directly to you. It is essential to regularly communicate the goals, mission of your team along with creating an open line of communication so that those who report to you can inform you of better and more efficient ways of accomplishing initiatives.

Communicating Sideways

Communicating sideways means speaking with your peers. Check in with them frequently to bounce ideas off of and also help each other avoid common pitfalls and mistakes that have been made in the past.


Communication is an acquired skill that must constantly evolve based on your audience, environment and objective. By circling all stake holders (those above you, below you, and beside you) you will be able to ensure the team is moving in the same direction to reap the greatest benefits.

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