Richard J. Avdoian, CSP is founder/CEO of the Midwest Business Institute, Inc., a business consulting and coaching firm located in Metro St. Louis.
Communicating with Impact Makes a Difference
Employees frequently list ineffective managers and poor communication as the top reasons for leaving a company. Employees feel there is a lack of quality and quantity of communication of pertinent information regarding the financial stability of the company, challenges, and changes that directly or indirectly affect them.
Employees share that management typically gives lip serve or minimal information and feel that is sufficient without really communicating. It isn’t sufficient to rely only on posting notices on bulletin boards, emails, sending memos and slips in paychecks to disseminate adequate information.
Ineffective and infrequent communication throughout the workforce often results in negative talk and dissemination of inaccurate information that spreads like wildfire. The by-product can be the departure of employees, decrease in morale and productivity, negative talk bleeding to the communities and customers served seriously impacting production and profits.
Patrick Donadio, Executive Coach/Speaker and author of the upcoming Leaders Communication book “Communicating with IMPACT” says, “In order for leaders to build deeper relationship they should communicate with employees in three ways: physically, mentally emotionally. Don’t just share information, think of how you can ask open-ended questions to get people to mentally engage and use compelling stories to help them to connect emotionally with you and the organization’s mission.”
Here are a few ways managers can improve personal and company communication.
Be approachable, don’t simply state you have an open-door policy. Make it a practice to walk throughout the company interacting with employees making you visible, and accessible.
Be attentive, effective communication is a two-way street. It is not simply the sharing of information but also an opportunity to elicit questions, encouraging feedback, and suggestions.
Give feedback, when questions are asked or a concern is shared acknowledge you understand and will investigate. Then be accountable to respond in a timely manner.
Ask, Ask and Ask, don’t assume they understand the instructions or information given. Lack of verbal or non-verbal affirmation does not assure they comprehended the specifics. Request a verbal response to confirm understanding. Most vagueness is caused by lack of specifics or unfamiliar terminology.
Sharing is unifying, adopting the mindset that the sharing of information throughout the ranks is providing a service to employees and not a position of power.
One to one and small group contacts, in addition to memos, posted notices and meeting minutes will help cement the understanding and adoption of changes and information. This will likely minimize delays and errors.
Be present and listen, give your total attention to the person your speaking with. It is not only being respectful but helps create a “we culture” where everyone’s opinions and concerns are viewed equally as important regardless of their position. Employees who are recognized feel valued and in turn will be more motivated, dedicated and productive.
Adopting these basic tips will not only create a “we culture” but more importantly position you as a leader who is credible and supportive. Establishing a workplace that is built on trust, respect and openness is paramount to effective working practices, motivated engaged employees and maximizing the efforts of the entire workforce.
Let’s face it effective communication takes an open-mind, patience and tolerance and is incredibly important in all facets of our lives. As you are well aware not everyone communicates or participates in conversations in the same way. This can negatively impact the outcome of a meeting, negotiation, family disputes and daily interactions with customers, colleagues and the general public.
These different approaches or styles of communicating are so different that it is no wonder misunderstandings and conflicts often occur.
Having an understanding of another individuals thought process, feelings and experiences require taking a moment to relate to their personal frame of reference. With is basic understanding it is imperative that we continually maintain an open-mind, be tolerant and inclusive remembering communication is a two-way process and this results in positive productive outcomes.
Investors are those individuals who are interested and actively engaged in the discussion. They are likely to ask questions while also trying to relate and understand the point of view of others. They tend to be the group mediator if the discussion gets out of hand and serve as the translator often offering a repackaging of an apparent misunderstood comment made by others. Investors contribute comments similar to, “I’m I correct in understanding what you mean, that you think the best course of action is…” or “I believe Mark’s comment is in line with the previous comment made by Karen earlier.”
Analyzers or Thinkers are individuals that are typically quiet and often overlooked. They are actively listening and observing until they have the full picture of the issue at hand. When they have digested the information and feel comfortable they will ask a few probing well-crafted chosen questions. Once it is apparent the questions are well received they will offer more detailed feedback and explanations of their opinion and suggestions. An analyzer may make a comment like “Does it sound reasonable …” or “Could this be what’s going on….”
Ambassadors, by contrast, tend to set the tone of interaction and communicate more often than most throughout a meeting. They tend to interject jokes and could draft frequently from topic to topic. They can consume vital time if not redirected. They can also be effective in drawing in all participates to a conversation.
Then there are those Take Charge individuals, who like to control and direct all communication. Typically, they take the reins of a conversation or meeting by communicating in short, blunt, task-oriented comments at the start to set the interaction in motion. Unlike the others they are concerned about the details, having a clear agenda and keeping the discussion on track and on time.
So if you really want to be an effective communicator and minimize conflicts, misunderstandings and stalemates invest time listening, and observing how others communicate. Encouraging and respecting the different styles of communicating will maximize the sharing of key solutions, needed feedback resulting in positive outcomes.
More about Richard Avdoian
When the skills of a speaker, coach, and consultant are combined with over three decades of behavioral medicine experience and real life, firsthand business experience into one dynamic person, you have Richard.
He works with corporations, businesses, and associations committed to recruiting, training, and retaining highly motivated productive employees. He works with individuals to complete an internal personal audit to recognize and own their strengths, weaknesses, and fears to establish a positive naked confidence in their abilities which elevates engagement, creative thinking and increased productivity. He believes that personal development is the single most competitive advantage any organization can have in today’s competitive workplace.
He is a nationally recognized speaker who offers keynote speeches, seminars & workshops that focus on enhancing human assets to increase productivity and profitability with the key being maximizing personal capabilities.
In July, 2003 he received the designation of Certified Speaking Professional (C.S.P.) from the National Speakers Association and International Federation for Professional Speakers, the highest earned level of excellence attainable in the industry and a distinction representing the top 10 percent of all members of the profession.
Richard has been a frequent guest on local business radio stations. His column “Smart Business” appears in the St. Louis Small Business Monthly Magazine. He authored numerous articles and has been a contributing author to countless publications throughout his career.
Clients include: United States Postal Services, American Bankers Association, Corning Glass Company, Illinois Innovators and Inventors, Peabody Coal Company, Associated General Contractors of America, Monsanto, Illinois City Management Association, United Meat Cutters Union, United States Air Force and Meeting Professionals International.
© Richard J. Avdoian, CSP (2017)
Richard J. Avdoian, CSP is founder/CEO of the Midwest Business Institute, Inc., a business consulting and coaching firm located in Metro St. Louis. Richard can be reached at Richard@RichardAvdoian.com.