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If you have participated in a meeting between members of the c-suite and risk management, you almost certainly have observed two groups struggling to converse with each other.

CEOs, CFOs and COOs oversee multiple disciplines, each with its own lexicon, and successful risk management teams bridge these communication gaps by appropriately staging meetings before they begin.

While there are plenty of ideas circulating in the risk management community, here are four key takeaways you can use to ensure your next interaction with the c-suite is not lost in translation:

  1. Set the context for the conversation
  2. Be cognizant of terms that have multiple meanings
  3. Use examples and metrics that resonate with your audience
  4. Prepare useful explanations & analogies for more complex topics

Specialists who can translate their subject matter into terms senior management immediately grasp are enormously valuable to an organization. With these tips, you will not only get your point across, but meet the need of every c-suite for someone who speaks their language.

Read my full article that appeared on for further information on tips such as avoiding terms with multiple meanings, repeating definitions of terms during their initial uses, and using meaningful metrics.