Entries tagged with “communication”.


The basic reason for communication is to prompt some behavioral change or action. We know that when we communicate, we do NOT transfer a precise bit of information. Even when we accurately use the correct words or gestures to express what we want to, there is no guarantee how it will be received, because they do not have meaning themselves, but rather people give meaning to the words and gestures. Effective communication is only accomplished in a two way relationship.

When communicating, we know how we feel about other people’s ideas, and we also know what we BELIEVE other people feel about our ideas. We do not know how other people feel about our ideas, and what other people believe they know about your ideas.

Understanding this emotional component will facilitate mutual understanding. Other people engaged in conversation with you are first gauging how they think you feel about what they are saying, and then evaluating your ideas. When you put all these pieces together, and attempt to understand others, you can begin to have empathy for them.

To improve the likelihood that the your communication is being understood, follow these principles:

  1. Be logical. Our minds function in an orderly fashion and can only concentrate on one thing at a time. It may be helpful to develop a list of key points first.
  2. Be alert. We interpret the words we are hearing into pictures. If there seems to be a disconnect between you and those you are communicating with, ask questions to understand the picture they are creating. Do you need to change the way you are communication in regards to pace or detail?
  3. Be brief. When it comes to words more is not better. Choose your words carefully.  Many times we use an excessive number of words and increase the likelihood of misunderstandings.
  4. Listen for understanding

As you develop your ability to expressively communicate, you will gain the respect of those you work with.

We help individuals and organizations make changes that are significant to their staff and leadership growth and communication. If we might be able to help you, let us know.

If you would like to learn more about us, go to our web page, like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, check out our LinkedIn page, or You Tube channel.

 

I Stock Photohad a series of meetings scheduled with small groups at a client of ours. This is a client that we are going on our third year of working together. Still though, there is so much more to do. Here’s a story that shows why:

The timeline was set up in July for our ongoing work.

The groups were verified in the beginning of August with the final dates and times confirmed the middle of August.

First group was scheduled for the second week of September.

I called and emailed to confirm the Monday meeting, Friday before got no response, called a participating manager who knew about the meeting, but had a different listed agenda.

We showed up for the meeting. CEO was there, one Director shows up, then the others. Fjallraven Kanken 20L Also present were the staff from one department. sac a dos kanken fjallraven We waited, the short of the story after some conversation is that no one invited the staff from the other department. nike air max goedkoop They are rounded up from their pressing work and join in.

In the end, the 1.5 hour meeting ended up being closer to 45 minutes.

Because of difficult communications, less information was able to be gathered to add to their strategic planning that will cover the next couple of years. Employees did get engaged, and the conversation had to be cut off because of timing constraints. air max 1 pas cher I suspect employees felt they had more to contribute than they got the chance to.

We see this so often. chaussures nike pas cher Most often we find that it starts with assumptions, as it did in this case. The second manager assumed that someone else was sending out the invites. Not to be dramatic, but simple things are often the ones with the most unintended consequences.

We know the CEO apologized to us, and wonder if the department manager did to his employees.

Communication is the exchange of ideas or information between two people. It is not just “telling”. It involves words, intonation, gestures that are designed to prompt a behavioral response. It also involves active listening, and feedback. If you cannot communicate well, you have no power to influence others.

Because we all bring our history, biases, and style to any attempt at communication it can be difficult.

To improve your communication, practice these skills:

  1. Actively listen, that means to stop talking, be present, demonstrate with body language that you understand, keep an open mind, be patient, pay attention to your body language, control your emotions, don’t use the word but (it negates all you said before) use and instead.
  2. Use questions to stimulate feedback. Do this to both know if you have been heard, and if you have understood correctly. Do this to assure you have all the information you need.
  3. Rephrase and summarize. Demonstrate what you have understood by stating it back. Ask for agreement or clarification.
  4. Display empathy. Putting aside our lenses and truly seeing things from someone else’s view is difficult, however when you can do that, your communications will be more successful.
  5. Pay attention to their body language. Dr. Mekrahean of UCLA concluded that words are only 7% of a successful communication process, our tone is 38% and our body language is 55%. We also know if the is a conflict between the verbal and nonverbal, the nonverbal will be what is communicated.
  6. If you know their preferred communication style, try to match it, rather than use your preferred style.

Effective communication is important to the success of any relationship. It is impossible to cultivate productive relationships if you cannot communicate your ideas and thoughts to those around you, and hear the thoughts and ideas of others. If you would like to take the communication assessment we use and often recommend click here to take it at no charge. The results will be emailed directly to you. Begin today to cultivate your communication skills.

If you would like to learn more about us, go to our web page, like us on Facebook, check out our You Tube channel or follow us on Twitter.

Hospital Chief Executive Officers continue to leave their facilities at a rate higher than other CEO’s, averaging 16-17% as compared to 13% in Fortune 100 companies according the American College of Healthcare Executives chief Thomas Dolan. The trend is for Chief Executives to stay less than 5 years. In my immediate area in the last few months, the CEO’s of two of the hospitals have resigned and the chief of one of the larger networks has resigned. They are all committed to a “national search” to find the best candidate. In the meantime, there is a high level of unease inside the area healthcare facilities, and in the communities.

Turnover in this critical position can be devastating. There is a missing link in driving plans forward, there is fear on the part of staff not knowing what change might bring, and there is often a mass departure at other management levels. If the departure is similar to the 5 year CEO trend, positive changes that might have been initiated may go by the wayside.

Boards and Senior Leadership can do some things to minimize the impact.

  1. Make sure as much information as possible is communicated prior to the CEO’s departure
  2. Clearly identify the roles and expectations of remaining staff
  3. Clearly identify the roles and expectations of the incoming CEO
  4. Provide early and frequent opportunity for communication between the incoming CEO, leaders and board.

The incoming leaders should consider:

  1. Following the boards lead for a couple of months
  2. Communicate frequently across the organization
  3. Seek to understand the styles and strengths of the leadership team.
  4. Learn the history of the organization

Transition of any leader can be devastating; however we have seen health care organizations moderate the risk through careful planning and exceptional communication.

To learn more about us go to our web page, like us on Facebook, or follow us on twitter.

I was participating in a discussion two days ago with five other people in which we were talking about the conversation that we had a few days prior. It was made particularly difficult as we were on the phone and sometimes missed what was being said by each other. Today, I received some email from one of the participants asking for clarification about something that was said. I did not quite recall it as she asked it, but tried to reply anyway. Her response back again seemed even more like she had been involved in a different conversation than I had. Wow, how easily things could get confused,  misunderstood and then further miscommunicated going forward.

Some good reminders for me from this conversation:

  1. Face to face verbal communication allows for the best possible outcome. Remember communication is not about talking or sending a message but rather conveying information to another so they understand and often take some action.
  2. Our memories fade fast. We each were sure that we heard was said was part of the interaction. This is true even though we were saying very different things. We do not have transcripts, so best to take action and clarify when the information is still fresh.
  3. Pay attention. It is easy to wander when on a conference call on the phone.
  4. We all come to the exchange with our biases. In this case, I assure you there are people I know better, and admire more than others. Since we meet primarily on the phone, I need to be acutely aware of these biases and I know they color my interpretation. I am not alone.
  5. We forget that we most often do not understand. Begin each conversation understanding that you do not understand and be open to having new lights go off when you do truly get another’s perspective.

Communication is difficult at best and needs to be given focused attention all the time. Take one step to improve your skills!

The basic reason for communication is to prompt some behavioral change or action. We know that when we communicate, we do NOT transfer a precise bit of information. Even when we accurately use the correct words or gestures to express what we want to, there is no guarantee how it will be received, because they do not have meaning themselves, but rather people give meaning to the words and gestures. Effective communication is only accomplished in a two way relationship.

When communicating, we know how we feel about other people’s ideas, and we also know what we BELIEVE other people feel about our ideas. We do not know how other people feel about our ideas, and what other people believe they know about your ideas.

Understanding this emotional component will facilitate mutual understanding. Other people engaged in conversation with you are first gauging how they think you feel about what they are saying, and then evaluating your ideas. When you put all these pieces together, and attempt to understand others, you can begin to have empathy for them.

To improve the likelihood that the your communication is being understood, follow these three principles:

  1. Be logical. Our minds function in an orderly fashion and can only concentrate on one thing at a time. It may be helpful to develop a list of key points first.
  2. Be alert. We interpret the words we are hearing into pictures. If there seems to be a disconnect between you and those you are communicating with, ask questions to understand the picture they are creating.
  3. Be brief. When it comes to words more is not better. Choose your words carefully.  Many times we use an excessive number of words and increase the likelihood of misunderstandings.

As you develop your ability to expressively communicate, you will gain the respect of those you work with.

In one of my LinkedIn groups, someone asked the question “what is the one most important quality required to be a good leader?” Tough question, one required quality.

Here are some of the answers:

  • One word- AUTHENTIC. Leaders need to inspire, lead and energize the troops but everyone can smell a rat.
  • One quality that is required by a Leader is INFLUENCE…a Leader who has the ability to produce effects on others in a positive mannerthrough their position is a great leader!
  • INTEGRITY is the greatest leadership quality and without integrity nothing matters.
  • I propose COMMUNICATION as that one requirement to be a good leader.
  • The one quality that is required for a good leader is the ability to establish and guide the team through a CLEAR VISION.
  • If I have to pick one its HONESTY because it provides the foundation for the single most important element in leading effectively – generating and sustaining trust.
  • LEGITIMACY
  • All of the characteristics cited by others are important but in my view the most important is “follower-ship” or thequality of being the kind of person others want to follow.

We ask many of the people we work with to define a good leader, and we get many of the same answers, and more. I agree that those are all important qualities of a good leader. Additionally, I would also propose that a good leader is one that gets exceptional results that are important to them or their company, while staying within the bounds of identified values. It is not a win at all costs, but rather a win supported by integrity and ethical behavior.  I also would agree with the gentleman who said that communication is a requirement, and also know that communication is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice and coaching.

We have given hundreds of leaders a profile that allows them to understand and improve their communication skills and talents. If you are interested in understanding more about yours, click here for the complimentary profile.

In talking about communication, the subject of email inevitably comes up. Everyone has a story. Some tell stories how they first found out about major changes in their work via email. Others tell stories about inadvertently sending the email to exactly the wrong person. We also hear from others about how a misunderstood tone or misplaced punctuation started unintended disagreements.

Here are some basic rules to follow:

  1. Write a clear subject line, and if the topic changes, change the subject line too.
  2. Start your email with a greeting and end it with a closing. Manners matter.
  3. Use proper spelling and grammar.
  4. Use email to relay facts, rather than have discussions. This is especially true if a number of people are involved.
  5. Do not use email to relay important information for the first time. This is best done in person, or if that is not possible, on the phone.
  6. Do not send email when you are highly emotional. Take time to cool down and consider if a conversation might be better.
  7. Respond to email in a timely manner. This may vary from organization, so learn what is expected and be prompt.
  8. Keep email brief. If it is a long email, consider a conversation.
  9. Do not use emoticons in business email.
  10. Have a signature with your contact information. Make it easy for others to find you to improve communication.
  11. Be thoughtful about who you cc on an email. Make sure that the people really need to have the information.
  12. If you are cc’d unless you know otherwise, consider it a FYI and something you do not need to reply to.
  13. Before you send an email, reread the email, check spelling and grammar one last time, check the subject line to make sure it corresponds with the information in the email, check the people you are sending it to to make sure you have the correct people involved.

While email has made communication easier in some ways, it lacks tone and body language and other important components of face to face or verbal communication. We would love to hear your thoughts about email etiquette.

When you use email, use it appropriately and professionally, but not as a substitute for good communication.

As business owners, we are a reflection of our company and represent our brand. A number of times over the last few weeks, I have been struck by the way that some business owners are not paying attention to their brand. I do not know if it is a knowledge deficit, carelessness, ignorance, or something else but the result is the same; a potential tarnish to their and theirs companies reputation. At times it is as simple as consistently being late for or missing or rescheduling appointments. At other times, I have heard comments in public forums that bordered on maligning or slandering others or behavior, actions and words do not match.

How can you positively impact your brand?

  1. Be a great communicator. Communication is one of the most complex things that we do. If you are not a great communicator do what you can to improve your communication skills. Read about it, practice. Ask for feedback. Work with a coach.
  2. Figure out your personal purpose. In doing so, clearly identify your personal values, those things that will drive your decision making and consciously make choices to act in accordance with your values. Think about those times that you felt great and life was easy. You were probably acting on purpose at those times.
  3. Make sure your organization has a clear strategic plan and values that guide its decision making, and steps towards the future. Define your culture. Consistency is important in building a brand and without that consistency across your company you will not have a brand. If you are unsure how to develop a strong strategic plan, get help in doing so.
  4. Support organizations, causes, and events that are consistent with your company’s brand and values.   Those you work with closely and align with,  say a lot about your brand.
  5. Be conscious all the time that as a business owner or senior leader, you are your brand and your potential customers are everywhere. Develop yourself to your full potential.

Your brand’s integrity is priceless. Vigilance towards it is important. What is your company’s brand and how is it perceived by others?