Let me now share with you the elements in the formula for Results-Driven Communications:
Element 1: Build Trusting Two-Way Communications with Your Direct Reports
Element 2: Engage in Dialogue, Not Monologue
Element 3: Use Effective Communications Channels
George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Too many managers mistakenly assume that, just because they are the boss, their direct reports will automatically achieve the results that they want. Often, they utilizeone-way communication to get across what needs to get accomplished.
High Impact Managers know that one-way communication is inefficient, at best. So, they choose to useÂ two-way communicationÂ with their direct reports. This fosters a healthy relationship between manager and direct report and encourages the direct report to be proud of and enthusiastic about the work they do.
Build Trusting Two-Way Communications with Your Direct Reports
Real Results-Driven Communication must occur in two directionsâ€”not just one. What exactly do I mean by two-way communications? I mean the free, respectful exchange of views and opinionsâ€”in both directions.
Without two-way communications, your highest impact will not take place. The moment two-way communication stops, Results begin to wither and die.
Before your direct reports agree to support you, they have to know about what they will be supporting. There are different techniques you can use to bring this about this awareness.No matter how you do it, you must be open to hearing their suggestions and contributions. Once they know that their challenges and opinions are welcome, they will feel a greater sense that they are doing their part in making the organization succeed.
It’s effortless, and takes hardly any effort at all, to start a monologue.
But we shouldn’t be under the impression that we are communicating every time we do.
It is better to be “too direct or too specific” about what you want than not to be direct or specific enough. Don’t use phrases like “you know what I mean?”, expressions like these may have positive intent but often turns out that your direct report really had no idea what you meant.
Oh, they may nod their head and give you affirmative responses. don’t let that fool you into the false assumption that they heard you and are bought into what you are asking to be done.
To overcome this?
Verify that the message you think you are sending… is the one being received.
I learned to simply ask the question at the end of meetings or one on one interactions. “What have we agreed to do?” Or, “Please repeat to me what we agreed on.”
One way to increase your chances of getting your message across is to adapt your communication style to each particular direct report. This is because how your direct report responds to your communication is very dependent on the personality or behavior of the direct report. If others are operating with only part of the knowledge of what you really want, it is unlikely that you will be able to access their full cooperation in maximizing success.
Engage in Dialogue, Not Monologue
To bring about a genuinely high-performing organization, you and your direct reports need to reach that needed level of trust and connection where having a dialogue is a standard way of communicating.
Dialogue type communication means you share relevant information with each other in an open, timely, thorough, and, of course, honest manner. This helps both parties make better organizational decisions and higher-quality contributions to the success of the organization.
Your communication must be collaborative to achieve dialogue. At least one other person with whom you’re communicating must contribute something that constructively affects the direction of the conversation.
Avoid sending signals of imminent disapproval or disconnect when you hear feedback you don’t like.
Use Effective Communications Channels
Awareness of what you want to achieve in communication requires that you take the time to use the communication channels most likely to get what you want to be heard or the information shared.
Select the most effective communication tools based on the particular situation and the options available to you.
For example, don’t communicate with someone through e-mail or text messaging, when the situation requires multiple responses or dialog. As soon as you realize the situation is either going to create multiple email or text messages…STOP.
Regroup and have the discussion either in person or via Zoom or Phone.
Always remember the 24 Hour Rule!If you become emotional or if someone triggers you to the point you are not fully in a rational and professional mindset (you’re pissed) … STOP
Especially if it is in the form of email, IM, or Text.
Wait until tomorrow. You know you will come up with a much more productive response that will not add fuel to the situation. Or, create documentation that will put you in a bad light.
Communicate in the way needed to get the results you want.
The problem with using oral communications as the only channel is that some words mean different things to different people. Too often, what you say will not be clearly understood.
AND, we have very short attention spans today.
Following up in writing will help to nip miscommunication problems in the bud before misunderstandings get to a point where they disrupt or even destroy what you are trying to accomplish.
Results Driven Managers know the approaches to best deliver their message and create collaboration. It is your responsibility to decide what best way to communicate what you are trying to accomplish
You may even decide it is better to split the communications responsibility between you and other people. Sometimes the team approach to communication has the potential to be more effective than you doing the communicating on your own.
Want to learn more, contact us today!