Principled Persuasion in Employee Communication  book cover
1st Edition

Principled Persuasion in Employee Communication

ISBN 9781472475060
Published February 4, 2016 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

Principled Persuasion in Employee Communication highlights a new but significant dilemma for organisational leaders. Will they continue on the same track that, since the nineteenth century, has led them to exert increasing control over their employees? Or will they take another path, one that leads towards a new type of working environment where the culture encourages freedom of communication and movement? This book argues for an approach to employee communication that sets out to liberate employees from the stifling constraints that organisations continue to impose on them. Principled Persuasion is so-called because it uses persuasive techniques, based on clear principles, to create new, forward-looking organisational cultures. It sets out to increase employee happiness and minimise the harms done to employees at work. It grounds itself on a strong ethical base composed of fundamental, universal principles. It introduces a new approach to the use of language, not only calling for more clarity and meaning in organisational communication, but also for a more conscious use of rhetorical techniques to change vocabulary, metaphors and internal dialogue for the better. Make no mistake, most organisations have totally underrated the strategic importance of employee communication. Principled Persuaders understand that the key to dealing with the unpredictable events about to unfold in the twenty-first century will be a new way of communicating with the workforce. The flexibility, adaptability and innovation that will be needed to survive and prosper in coming decades can only be achieved by liberating employees, not imprisoning them further in established systems and processes.

Table of Contents


Part I A Continuing Journey

Chapter 1: Pathways from the past: the evolution of employee communication;

Chapter 2: Pathways to the future: five converging forces shaping the future of work;

Part II Signposts for the Road Ahead

Chapter 3: Changing minds: the basic principles of principled persuasion;

Chapter 4: Happiness at work: the principles of hedonic persuasion;

Chapter 5: Harm at work: the principles of mindful persuasion;

Chapter 6: The good life at work: the principles of ethical persuasion;

Part III Making Conversation along the Way

Chapter 7: Watch your language: the principles of meaningful persuasion;

Chapter 8: Say it with feeling: the principles of rhetorical persuasion;

Chapter 9: Tell the truth: the principles of truthful persuasion;

Part IV Next Steps

Chapter 10: Make the right moves: practical steps towards a progressive organisation nurtured by principled persuasion.

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Mike Churchman has spent over 40 years as a practitioner of persuasive communication, for nearly half that time in top London advertising agencies, and then as partner in his own consultancy specialising in internal communication. He’s an Oxford graduate in English Language and Literature and was elected Fellow of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in 1989 and Fellow of the Institute of Directors in 1994.


’I’ve consulted with many large household name enterprises over the years and seen both highly effective and ineffective styles of internal communication. This deep and erudite book sets out to persuade you to rethink the old approaches and communicate creatively with employees, so they can better contribute to common goals. I strongly recommend all senior executives to read this book!’ Graham Tomkinson, CEO Performance Brunel; formerly COO of IBM’s European Management Consulting Division ’Wonderfully disturbing and inspiringly constructive, Principled Persuasion is both a critique of current practice in organisational communications and a vision of its possibilities. Informed by history, philosophy, psychology, ethics, science and technology, Mike Churchman offers a provocative and compelling argument for why the price of engineered, top-down communication is no longer worth paying and needs to give way to more dynamic, progressive and collaborative patterns. Principled Persuasion is a manifesto for the long-awaited revolution which could see organisations finally combine both productivity and humanity.’ Alan Robertson, Director, Business Cognition Ltd ’This is an interesting analysis of developments in the way that organisations are managed and the impact on internal communication. It presents a well-argued case, steeped in references to psychology, for a new open, truthful and ethical approach to internal communication and a good life at work. An excellent guide to help internal communication practitioners and operational managers make organisations a more meaningful place for people to work.’ Kevin Ruck, Co-founder, The PR Academy