May 9, 2022

Last Updated on January 15, 2024

Could successfully hiring and retaining scarce cybersecurity talent be as simple as how people talk to each other at your company?

Pretty much. At least according to cyber talent expert Deidre Diamond, Founder and CEO at CyberSN. On a recent episode of The Virtual CISO Podcast, Deidre summarizes 8 steps to talent retention, applicable to any job/role.

Watch your language

Deidre’s “8 steps” help orgs create what she calls an “inclusive” culture. In inclusive environments, people feel mentally safe and cared for, especially by their managers and others responsible for their career success.

Her step #8 to inclusivity is: Win-win communication.

“It’s one of the biggest problems I see constantly—how the language around how we’re solving things just turns people off big-time,” offers Deidre.

It’s not just for sales

Many of us are familiar with “win-win” as a negotiations strategy. Its classic role is in a selling context, where a solution needs to emerge from a pile of problems. This is why “win-win” is sometimes viewed as form of subtle manipulation—trying to get people to feel good about something that’s not actually good for them.

“Win-win communication says you gotta have the ability to work with teams, and not everybody gets what they want, but they feel like they won,” Deidre summarizes. “It’s the art of language, solution-making ad listening combined. Such that you’re able to solve problems and people still feel good even when they didn’t get all they wanted.”

That often comes off better when participants have more of a team orientation, or are seeing a bigger picture for the organization as a whole.

Everybody needs to think win-win

It used to be that mainly salespeople needed win-win communication skills. But these days, with people working in teams more than ever before, everyone needs to think and talk win-win.

Likewise, aiming always for win-win takes care of a lot of the communication issues on the path to becoming an inclusive, diverse organization that successfully retains talent. Consistent win-win communication also makes it easier for everyone to enjoy working together.

What’s next?

You’ll find the podcast episode with information security talent expert Deidre Diamond here.

Looking to break into a new cybersecurity role? Here’s a podcast you’ll love: EP#70 – Gerald Auger – How Simply Cyber Helps People Pivot to a Cybersecurity Career

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