CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?
You’ve got a business to run.
You’ve got problems to solve.
You’ve got profits to make..
What if you aren’t good at communicating your Vision to your team? What if you aren’t good at ‘bringing people with you’. How do you do it? How can you motivate your team to achieve the results you want, to achieve your Vision and Mission for you and deliver your company strategy as a team?
Previously I’ve spoken about making sure you surround yourself with people in your business who are smarter than you are. Collaboration and cooperation, not dictatorship, will yield results, but it is all about your communication.
Think about how you are communicating to your team. Humanising your approach sounds a bit trite, and it is all we are hearing about at the moment as we recover from the pandemic, but it is important. If it doesn’t come naturally, what do you do?
Ask yourself – Do you:
- Ask your team what to do – ‘What would you do if you were me?’ will make your team feel valued, and respected. Let’s face it – if they are at the ‘coal face’ of the business they will have a better understanding of what actually goes on than you do. They will feel valued, respected and that they matter. This will make them more likely to want to help you succeed. Saying ‘I don’t know’ will earn you respect. Ask questions, get the team involved in your business challenges. ‘Leave that ego at the door’!
- Say Thank You? – I heard a great story (I think it was from my ‘Disney University’ days. This business owner knew his shortcomings when it came to employee Recognition – he just couldn’t remember to do it, and when he did remember, the moment was often passed. In the days of managers ‘walking the floor’ he decided he was going to force himself to say thank you to 10 people each day, for a job well done, for coming in early, staying late, that great idea, that thing that they did yesterday etc etc. He made a point of putting 10 penny pieces in his left pocket at the beginning of the day. They were very noticeably present in his pocket, and every time he thought to speak to someone to say thank you or well done, he would move one penny from his left to his right pocket. By the end of the day his left pocket should be empty. IF YOU ARE NOT GOOD AT SAYING THANK YOU – find a way to force yourself. This is the key to great staff engagement and loyalty and you must make sure you do it as a leader. Think about what your ‘pennies’ are in a virtual world..
- Admit your mistakes? – Not admitting your mistakes in with your team will undermine your credibility as a leader. No-one is infallible. I have worked for people who have been defensive and simply denied things which have obviously and visibly happened – email trails make them a liar. Think of the impact. will your team ever trust you again? As Douglas Adams would say (sorry – another Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quote!) “…and then he proved black was white and gets run over at the next Zebra Crossing..”
- HELP your team? – Being there and visibly offering to support the team will make it easier for them to open up to you for help when they have challenges, and be more open to being more creative and more likely to problem solve when they meet those bumps in the road. ‘What can I do to help?’ Coming from the boss that is impactful. There are of course times when you should not step in, but on the whole, being available and supportive, and holding back on the criticism is a better way of being.
So think about how you can give yourself the tools to be a better communicator.
Use the (virtual?) pennies – and beware those zebra crossings!