Return On Investment

Had last week not been quite as packed as it was, we would have wrapped up this final response to Why is Effective Communication Important? and now be starting digging into Communication Skills in the Workplace. I could run through the list of craziness that’s packed the last 10 days or so but that wouldn’t get us where we need to be - and I doubt you care… So let’s work through one last response to Why is Effective Communication Important? so we can turn the page!

We started by looking at how the message we send can be so much different from what we intend if we’re not incredibly intentional about crafting it to specifically match the communication style of the other person. Then we looked at why effective communication is absolutely critical for anyone with leadership responsibility; “Leadership is influence. Nothing More, Nothing Less!” Those two reasons alone should make a strong case for why effective communication is important! But just in case you need one more reason, let’s think about how communicating the right message to each person around us really impacts the results we achieve…

Periodically, Cindy and I offer a complimentary webinar called Building Buy-In Around a Clear Mission & Vision, a message we’ll be tailoring for the folks who join us at the 2021 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg Experience on Oct 22, where we share several ideas a leader can apply as the communicate their vision with their team in a way that earns genuine buy-in from every single person they interact with. I recently read a Harvard Business Review article that suggested “increased commitment can lead to a 57% improvement in discretionary effort. That greater effort produces, on average, a 20% individual performance improvement.”

Let me be VERY transparent with you here: I’ve never felt like I had any natural talent in any area. That said, I’ve worked as hard as I know how for more than 20 years to develop my communication skills. I’ve been very intentional about developing relationships with everyone I possibly can wherever I’ve worked and within each team Cindy and I serve. I believe I saw some of the results of that this past Saturday, and at least a 57% improvement on discretionary effort!

Cindy and I have lived in our home for over 21 years. It was a small starter home when we had it built in late 1999. As with any home, there comes a time where the roof needs replaced. I’ve helped put dozens of roofs on in my career, but ALL of those were about 100 pounds ago and I had only been a crew member. I needed help for this task!

I spoke with a friend we do some work for who owns a construction company to see if he would be OK with me approaching a couple of his team members about doing the roof as a side project since it wasn’t something his company normally did. He was. During the time I’ve worked with his team, I wanted to add as much value to each of them individually as I possibly could and that yielded some good friendships in the process. To keep this example as simple as possible, two of the foremen from my friend’s company - who typically work 10-hour days Monday through Friday - showed up at my house around 7a last Saturday and put the entire roof on by 7p. My son and I helped where we could but we knew enough to stay out of their way when we needed to!

Effective communication didn’t pay the entire bill, I was more than happy to cut the checks for the amazing job they did, but I do think effective communication paved the way for it to even be possible! When we invest the time and effort into delivering a message that matters to the other person, we show that we value them and we begin earning influence with them. Over time, that influence compounds into a relationship that produces results. Whether it’s with the people we work with on a daily basis or our family members who count on us, that additional discretionary effort we see from working to communicate effectively pays huge dividends!

Next time, we’ll start looking at how we can use communication skills in the workplace to improve our entire culture. Until then, I’d like to invite you to check out the Super Early Bird Specials that just opened for the 2021 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg Experience! I realize the event is still more than five months away but at least half the seats are already spoken for and I expect it to be completely sold out by the end of July...

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