Communication is vital
Our weekly staff meeting begins as usual with important dates of upcoming activities happening on campus. Staff members are slightly attentive as they check off discussed topics from the agenda provided. Then leadership shifts the topic to reminders for the staff. During this part of the meeting the entire staff is being addressed for the mistakes or policy violations of individual staff members. From time to time these reminders can be helpful as everyone gets into the whirlwind every now and then. However, as you look around the room there is something unfortunately clear. The staff member (or members) who made the mistake or violation(s) almost never suspect the message was addressed because of them. Although a blanket statement was made to all staff it did not seem to resolve the root of the issue since a few meetings later it’s Deja vu as we are reminded about the reminders. It’s obvious that the necessary crucial conversation with individual employees about issues weren’t happening.
As a leader it is vital to have excellent communication skills. In allowing communication to be open and highly effective discussions where stakes are high, emotions run strong and opinion vary must not be avoided. I am prepared to lead utilizing the important “soft” skills needed to hold tough conversations and individually differentiate my approach. Recognizing and reflection of my emotions making sure not to hide them but to act on them employing strategies such as thinking them out. Holding myself to the same high expectations that I set for my team will assist with a cadence of improved communication.
Dialogue will be intentional and purposeful by prioritizing mutual higher goals. Assumptions or misunderstandings need to be brought to the forefront of the conversation to create clarity on intent along with purpose. A safe place can be created for tough dialogue to take place and progress to be made. At the core of each stage in the development of my overall plan is communication. Without successful and consistent crucial conversations my why statement, innovation plan, influencer strategy and 4DX would all fail to create impactful change.
Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2012). Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High. Columbus, OH: McGraw Hill.