A Simple Change of Focus

What we looked at in the last post can make an immediate impact in nearly every scenario but if we really want to build a culture of effective communication skills in the workplace, we may need to make a simple change in what we focus on…

We live in a world of constant pressure to perform and achieve results. Truth be told, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing! I believe that’s how we build a strong self image and earn a fair wage. The challenge that comes with that lies in how this can impact our approach to so many of the most critical conversations we have with the people around us - the people we work with AND the people we’re responsible for leading!

When we adapt the pace we use to match the other person, we’ve made a big step toward putting together a message they can more easily receive. But depending on what we’re focused on, our pace may only play a small part in the overall result!

I don’t remember where I first...

Continue Reading...

Who’s Setting the Pace?

I closed the last post with a promise to share the two most powerful things I’ve learned over the past five years as I’ve studied the DISC Model of Human Behavior. It just so happens that these two are also incredibly simple to understand and just as easy to apply! Just think about how much more we could all get accomplished if everything worked that way!

Let’s start by digging into the one that we can almost always SEE within the first few seconds we’re around someone, even if we’ve never interacted with them before.

We’re all wired a certain way right out of the factory. In most cases, we can begin to tell whether a child is more Outgoing or more Reserved by the time they’re two or three years old. There are certainly some times where this isn’t just glaringly obvious and there will be some situations that cause each of us to respond differently than we normally would. But in the vast majority of the scenarios we each face on a daily...

Continue Reading...

Simple Action Beats Stagnant Brilliance

When Cindy and I received an invitation to contribute a chapter for Discover Your Team’s Potential: Proven Principles to Help Engage Your Team & Improve Performance, I was a little bit intimidated at first. Several of the others involved with medical doctors, PhD’s, and high level executives in large organizations. I initially wondered what a high school push-out with only hands-on experience in building teams and teaching communication skills in practical settings could contribute to a real book that was going to be printed - and eventually achieve best-seller status. Not one to pass up an opportunity, I agreed for both of us and the rest is history - kind of…

In the last post, we started looking at the importance of communication skills in the workplace. During the decade or so I was training people across North America on the principles of behavior-based safety, I studied a lot of different approaches to communicating more effectively. Not only did the way...

Continue Reading...

Communication Skills in the Workplace

We closed the loop on Why is Effective Communication Important? by looking at how quickly we can see the results show up with the team members around us. It’s rare for me and Cindy to have a conversation about the importance of effective communication with any of the business leaders we support and not reference the Salesforce.com study citing that “86% of the executives surveyed attributed lack of collaboration and ineffective communication as the primary reasons for workplace failure.” Couple that with the detail shared by the Harvard Business Review showing that an engaged employee contributes up to 57% additional discretionary effort yielding as much as 20% great individual performance and the reasons for building strong communication skills into an organization’s culture becomes far more than just a neat idea… Developing communication skills in the workplace rapidly turns into one of those things that can’t happen soon enough! 

Before I...

Continue Reading...

Nothing More, Nothing Less!

Whether it’s what we intend or not, the message we send someone is a huge part of why effective communication is so important! If we want strong relationships that yield overall happy lives, we have to be very intentional about delivering a message the person we’re interacting with can receive rather than just what we want or need to get across. As I shared with a few examples last time, this is often far easier said than done BUT it can become very simple when we apply the right tools

Effective communication is important to each of us every single day. But guess who has the most to gain (or lose) when it comes to answering the Why is Effective Communication Important? Question…

Since I’m not nearly as patient as Cindy wishes I would be, I’ll just answer that question for you! Anyone who’s accepted leadership responsibility has a tremendous amount to gain or to lose from the energy they invest into each message they share. For the last...

Continue Reading...

Why Is Effective Communication Important?

Since we recently worked through some of the most effective communication skills, including the critical part active listening plays in that, let’s press forward now and take a look at why effective communication is so important in everything we do.

If you read more than a few of these posts or you’ve been through some of the sessions Cindy and I have hosted, you’ve likely heard me explain the most powerful lesson I ever learned about communication - and you probably remember that I learned it from a veterinarian! I won’t take the time to detail that again here but it’s a great analogy so you’re welcome to reach out if you haven’t heard it…

Just a few weeks ago, Cindy took her dad to an eye doctor appointment. Those had previously been at a VA Clinic nearly two hours away but she was able to get an exception approved allowing him to be seen locally since he can no longer drive (safely) and she’s nearly always to one who takes...

Continue Reading...

Listening, Not Just Hearing...

In the last post, I mentioned one thing I saw mentioned in every article I dug into as being essential to developing effective communication skills; listening. There was certainly a point in time where I would have argued that idea but I’d like to think my head isn’t in that part of my body all that often anymore… In fact, Cindy and I stress how important listening for building influence is as a leader in multiple spots of our Emerging Leader Development course.

First, consider just how much effective listening can impact the influence someone in a leadership role earns with us… Here’s where we draw the line between a person who has authority over us and a person we’re willing to follow! The person who’s simply in charge can probably get away with bark demands without paying any attention whatsoever to what’s on our minds - at least for a little while. Sooner or later, most of us will have had a belly full of that. The one who...

Continue Reading...

Simple to Understand, Simple to Apply!

Over the last decade or so, I’ve heard dozens of pitches on how the latest, greatest thing will change my life! Watch any info-mmercial and you’re likely to feel like you’re losing money if you don’t buy in the 10 minutes - even if that fancy contraption has no place at all in your life… Along the lines of the example I used in the last post about how my plain old hammer drives nails far better than the most amazing cordless circular saw on the market, great features don’t matter much when they have nothing to do with the task we need to accomplish!

When it comes to effective communication skills, there are just about as many magic pills being pitched to solve that issue as there are info-mmercials! An internet search of the term effective communication skills yields all kinds of solutions - at a cost of course… You’ll see things like “Top 10 Skills to Learn...” or “5 Hacks to Develop…” and so on. ...

Continue Reading...

Effective Communication Skills

Effective Communication Skills is a frequently searched phrase on Google. But why? What’s the big deal? Shouldn’t this be simple to address?

I frequently reference a study done by Salesforce.com that showed “86% of the executives they surveyed cited lack of collaboration and ineffective communication as the primary reason for workplace failure.” That seems like a big deal to me! I read another study done by SIS International Research showing that “the cumulative cost of annual productivity losses due to communication issues alone were more than $26,000 per employee.”

If this were indeed something simple to address, would these numbers really be so high? At the risk of confirming any suspicion you may have about how dense I actually am, I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that it’s extremely simple - and that’s why so many individuals and organizations struggle mightily with it!

I began learning carpentry when I was around...

Continue Reading...

Soft Skills that Make a Hard Impact

I closed the last post by bringing up one of the biggest challenges I’ve seen organization’s struggle with in determining whether or not they make an investment into the new skills someone will need as they transition into a role with leadership responsibility. When we’re intentional about accurately defining leadership development, we can begin to identify specific areas that need to be addressed in our growing team members. This is also where we should be establishing baseline measurements for a few key metrics that tie directly back to effective leadership - in the lack thereof…

Over the last twenty years, the most common push-back I’ve seen to making an investment in providing the necessary training and development that can be so critical in helping new supervisors and managers lead their teams effectively has been the concern of not knowing if it makes any difference at all. In so many cases, those soft skills are viewed as intangible and...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4
Close

50% Complete

Let's Talk!

Complete this form and we'll be in touch soon to set up a time to discuss how we can serve you.