Why Can't People Do What I Ask........
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………to what was being said and then do what’s been asked of them. Everything would be a lot more efficient and easier around here.”
I probably said this a lot in the early days of my leadership career, looking after a busy sales and service team. I know I work with clients who utter the same sentiment, if not exactly those words, however, in all reality is it really that simple!
Well, no surprises that I think not, but I do believe that it’s hugely important to get communication in any organisation running as smoothly as possible. Statistics are quoted all the time about how we can increase productivity, efficiency and customer experience, by making sure the internal communication of our companies are working the best they can.
But where does it go wrong:-
• “we told them there’s an open door policy they don’t use it”
• “what more can we do, they are asked for their input, but they still moan”
• “we sit in the same weekly meeting for hours, no one says a word or inputs anything I might as well have the meeting on my own”
• “at the meeting we discussed at length the way forward, and now I find they are all doing their own thing”
Just some of the frustrated rants of those in a leadership role, in most instances the message gets lost in translation or isn’t translated in the same ‘language’ by all concerned.
All would agree that communication in leadership is vital, but few of us stop to think about it, think about not just what we’re saying but also how we’re saying it, when we’re saying it and where we’re saying it. All of these elements are the bits that stop the ‘translation being successful’
Let’s take a simple scenario of a positive nature.
Anja has worked really hard on fixing a customer’s problem, she had to liaise with a number of departments and in particular the packing department who made a mistake. It’s taken a lot of effort on her part but she’s delivered a solution, the customer has provided some excellent feedback - a great turnaround of a difficult situation.
As Anja’s manager you are delighted with her, this could have been really tricky, your boss thinks she’s amazing for sorting this out and Anja has been the talk of the management meeting. So it decided that her efforts should be acknowledge and rewarded, to provide an example of what can be done when people put in the effort.
The plan is that at the next monthly team meeting, your boss will pop down and say a few words to everyone about Anja’s efforts and thank her and present her with a gift voucher and flowers. Also the incident will be mentioned at the next meeting of the board to highlight the great people we have working for us.
On the face of it this is amazing, what a chance for you as the manager to do something nice, to celebrate in public a member of your team, to get her up in front of everyone and for them to celebrate with her. It’s just what the team and you need some good vibes.
But..lets consider Anja for a moment; will she like this, is this her sort of thing? Is she the sort of person who is comfortable with a show of appreciation like this? Will the action proposed motivate her going forward to do more.
Well of course she is, who doesn’t like some praise and appreciation and everyone knowing they have done a good job?
• Maybe Anja, hates this public limelight and it will actually de-motivate her rather than motivate.
• Maybe she needs to know what she did which was so brilliant,
• Which part of what Anja achieved did people feel was most effective.
• The act of all the razzmatazz might not be seen as sincere or of value
The question to be curious about might be: that if communication of such a positive nature has so may If’s and But’s around it, what happens when the messages are more complicated or of a less positive nature.
Which is why in leadership we need not just communicate but make sure our communications hit the right spot for people as often as we can. In effect we need to work at communicating, not take it for granted, not fall in to the trap of telling it the way we would want to hear it or can assimilate it. But, truly appreciate that for many our ways simply isn’t there way.
Understanding more about how people like to be communicated with and why for someone delivery works and for others it falls flats, makes us not just more effective as leaders. But leaders with greater influence, higher achievers and with less problems and more time.
Want to know more about how we at The Business-Box can work with you to develop this understanding then we’d love to talk to you.
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