As a communication scholar, I recognize that significant change can happen through the way we talk with one another. We are in a time of vocal and visible attention that calls for action to honestly address racial inequality. Whether you own a small business or lead a Fortune 500 company, every leader has a responsibility to set the tone and demonstrate action that is both mindful and healthy. If you don’t, you run the risk of workers and customers seeing your silence as perpetuating racial inequality.

As leaders grapple with how to speak wisely in messages, I found a recent email from the CEO of Under Armor, that demonstrates actively leading his staff and stakeholders wisely. I’ve noted Mr. Frisk does the following seven principles well:

  • A personally written email from the CEO, not a committee
  • He shared personal feeling and let readers know he was actively listening
  • He humbly stated what UA already does, and then said, “we can do better”
  • He articulated the company values and highlighted equality
  • He was clear and articulated a plan for improvement
  • He connected the messaging to reflect unity with Black Lives Matter

While you may confidently believe you’re communicating well and with the best intentions, I’ve found in my professional coaching practice, there is always room to improve. Now, especially in these turbulent times it’s essential to write and speak wisely. If you’d like a confidential review and collaborative guidance on crafting one or several types of communications, I’d welcome an opportunity to help you and your team respond wisely.