Let’s be honest, there are more than three communication mistakes that leaders make, but for this series, we’re distilling it down to the three biggest. So let’s get right to it.
One of the biggest communication mistakes (if not THE biggest) that leaders make is QUANTITY.
Whether intentional, a result of being too busy, or simple procrastination/avoidance, most leaders simply don’t communicate enough.
CEOs and business owners get mired in running the business, strategizing, problem solving, and directing the vision of the company. These are all important things, but what they fail to do is communicate these things with the rest of their team.
Taking the time to intentionally communicate about these things can have a dramatic impact on the company in terms of motivation, culture, buy-in, and the bottom line.
Think about it.
Communicating about vision and strategy keeps everyone rowing the same direction and in sync. When everyone in the boat is rowing in sync and in the same direction, that momentum propels the company to reach its goals faster.
Communicating about problems and solutions helps prevent future challenges by coaching the team to look upstream toward systems and processes that can be improved to prevent the issues in the first place.
The problem with under-communicating is the gap it creates between the leader and the team…and we all know what happens when there’s a gap. People start to fill the gap on their own … making wrong assumptions and starting rumors. A perfect downward spiral starts to form. Once that happens, it hard to turn around.
So, as the leader, how to do you communicate more often when you have such a busy schedule already?
If you don’t put it on your schedule, it likely won’t happen.
For more informal communication, schedule time on your calendar each day (or each week) to walk around the office and talk to your people. Ask them how it’s going, what they are working on, how you can help. If you are in virtual team mode, pick up the phone and call a team member or have a Zoom call. As you build this into your schedule, it’s likely you will uncover things about your company, processes, and culture that may surprise you. It’s an opportunity for you to learn from your team, as well as an opportunity for you to coach.
For more formal communication, schedule time during your staff/team meetings to teach and coach. The teaching and coaching revolves around the strategy, mission, vision, or problems/solutions you worked on the previous week. There’s no doubt that if you aren’t doing this now, your company will see a dramatic positive impact when you start.
If you’re ready to take your business and leadership skills to the next level, and if you think your business could benefit from more insights like what’s offered in this article, let’s start a conversation. LXCouncil may be the perfect next step!