Elevate Your Team’s Performance
“Nothing decays employee moral more than a leader who doesn’t know his or her own mind.”–Peter Drucker
A manager’s primary goal is to bring out the best in people and inspire positive, accountable action. A manager’s words reflect her clarity of thought, or not. Vague, muddled, contradictory communication crushes initiative and invites cynicism and confusion.
The antidote is purposeful, redundant over-communication that can end up sounding, well, routine, yet potent.
Examples of routine, yet focused, leadership communication:
“Number one, cash is king…number two, communicate…number three, buy or bury the competition.”–Jack Welch, Former CEO, General Electric
“We put customers at the center of everything we do. We listen intently to our customers’ needs.”–Mary Barra, CEO General Motors
“Fewer things done better.”–Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn
Engage your team in these three routine, yet potent, communication techniques:
#1 Unified Purpose – Conduct a rich conversation about your organization’s, or department’s, reason for existence. Or, answer your big “WHY.” Passion and alignment are predictable outcomes when clarity of purpose is identified and committed to. Contrarian leaders appreciate that this routine conversation is often, paradoxically, inspiring and motivating.
#2 Roles and Responsibilities – Nothing frustrates employees more than vagueness surrounding who is responsible for what and how performance is evaluated. Work ambiguity is a productivity killer. Often, one routine conversation to understand causes of misalignment and a forward path of action will result in big performance payoffs.
#3 Autonomy – Once lanes of authority are agreed upon, shift the conversation to empowerment. Autonomy is a primary driver of employee engagement, and is a highly prized condition for attracting and retaining a talented workforce. Progressive managers are vigilant about inviting team members into routine conversations about how work can be organized to bring out each individual’s greatest contributions.
The quality of managers’ communication directly affects employee morale and performance. Commit to speaking with more clarity – be purposeful, be redundant, and be just a little more routine.
Keep it simple. Keep it focused. Definitely keep it inspiring. -Steve
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