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The 4 Truths of Workplace Communication

Audio Podcast (Click the link below to stream the audio recording, right click and select “save file as” to save to your hard drive):

The 4 Truths of Workplace Communication

After listening to the podcast please come back and leave a comment below to continue the conversation.

’til next time, Communicate with Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

 

 

 


The True Purpose of Communication

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. – For a list of all Power Words  in the Conscious Communicator Series click here


Creating Championship Performance in the Business World

The spring is a great time to be a sports fan in the United States as:

  • March Madness crowns the annual collegiate basketball champion.
  • Professional basketball and hockey leagues start the most interesting segments of their seasons with their extensive 16 team playoff tournaments in the NBA and NHL.
  • All Major League Baseball teams are in first place as April’s Opening Day kicks off the quest to become this year’s World Series Champion.

As the focus moves towards crowing champions in professional sports its perfect time to look inside your small business work environment to assess if your team of employees is performing at a championship caliber.

For small business workplaces to generate championship caliber results there are of five traits the leader of those small businesses should expect from their employees and workplace teams, while also incorporating the same five traits within the overall context of the workplace culture and, most importantly, their own behavior.

Those five traits spell the word C.H.A.M.P.:

C = Commitment: It takes a deep commitment from every team member to consistently perform at the highest level every day to win a championship. Are the employees in your small business committed to achieving that level of success, and is an inspiring “championship game” vision in place to foster that commitment? (What is your small business’ World Series, Super Bowl or Stanley Cup?)

H = Humility: Humility is a trait that is often in short supply in small business work environments. Small business leaders must foster the trait of humility within their company’s culture, and lead with it themselves, so that team members are also open to feedback, always looking for ways to improve. Athletes know they have to get better on the path towards the championship as the competition continues to get tougher every step of the way.

A = Accountability: The only way championship caliber performance is created and maintained is through accountability. Individual team members must be open to being held accountable to their performance and the small business leader must create a culture of accountability with systems in place to make it work.

M = Motivated with High Morale: Championship caliber team members are motivated for all the right reasons that include both personal and team rewards and want to contribute to a high morale team. Championship small business owners understand that rewards for team success must be part of the incentive package for achieving results that take a cohesive group or team effort and have in place processes that maintain high levels of morale.

P = Proactive & Positive: Team members committed to contributing to a championship effort know they must be proactive in fulfilling their role because their role impacts all others on the team, and the group’s ability to achieve desired results. Because they understand that high morale is important, all team members show up with a positive mindset and approach that supports the team’s collective efforts.

Imagine if the employees in your small business brought the five traits of a championship team member to the work environment every day.

Make it an expectation of everyone on your staff, and commit to it yourself to be the role model, and you and your employees will achieve great things together.

If you’d like other tips to transform your company, including my latest white paper report The Missing Ingredient to Improving Employee Performance” go to www.ImproveEmployeePerformance.com

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

’til next time, Lead Like a C.H.A.MP.!

skip-weisman-signature-smaller


Business Lessons from This Week’s Championship Football Games

skip weisman championship ring representing championship small businessesAs a business leader there are many lessons to be learned from the failure of the Green Bay Packers to win their League Championship Game this past Sunday.

Football, and most sports, are perfect metaphors for business success and Sunday’s meltdown by the Packers offer a couple of lessons regarding the necessary combination of strategy, tactics and execution that create champions in athletics and in business:

#1) Strategy Never fails in the design:
The Packers seemed to have an adequate strategy to beat the Seahawks, anytime a team has a significant lead late in a game; it is obvious the initial strategy was correct.

#2) Tactics – Never fail until executed:
The tactics identified to be part of the “game plan” to move the strategy forward all seem great on paper, but until executed in the field of play against real competition, you’ll never know.

#3) Execution – Ultimately determines success:
At least 90% of the time execution determines success on the athletic field. The investment in scouting the opposition to know tendencies provides more than enough information to create a strategy with a tactical game plan to ensure success. The difference between winning and losing is in how each team executes at critical junctures in the game.

As you look to build your “championship” company or project team in 2015 here are three questions you should be asking:

  • Have you and your company/team leaders invested enough time to create a “championship strategy” you’re confident will get you where you want it to be? Hint: Winging it is not a strategy!
  • Have you and your company designed the tactical game plan that will allow you to move consistently towards your objectives. Do those tactics include consistent performance management processes to track progress and make course corrections?
  • Are you confident in your team members ability to effective execute the tactics on the “field of play” that are necessary to successfully fulfill the strategy?

Strategy, Tactics and Execution, all three components must come together at the right times to create a championship performance in business and in sports.

The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots got all three right last Sunday, the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts didn’t.

Who will get all three right on Super Bowl Sunday?

Stay tuned!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Never Thought I Could Do This (it’s all about “Level 1 Leadership Communication”)

SkipGuitarCalgaryStageA phone conversation last fall led to a huge, unexpected breakthrough for me.

It came from the emcee of a large event at which I was speaking.

She called calling to get information about me for her introduction and a little humorous post keynote banter.

Towards the end of our conversation she asked, “Skip, what is your secret talent?”

I let out a nervous laugh and replied, “I have no secret talent, my older brother got all the talent in my family.”

I proceeded to tell about how my infatuation with rock and roll superstar Bruce Springsteen led me to start guitar lessons six years ago.

To which she suggested, “so you can play and sing a song for us.”

“No, I couldn’t do that, it would cause mass evacuation of the venue,” I said.

“You could just strum a few chords, couldn’t you?”

I agreed to that.

Deep down I knew strumming a few chords wasn’t going to be enough.

I hung up the phone thinking, “what did I just get myself into?”

Immediately, I sent a text that read, “HELP!” to my guitar instructor, with whom I had not had a lesson in more than 15 months.

For the next six weeks we rehearsed the song closest to being ready for “prime time.”

Six weeks later, in front of an audience of 800, I delivered a 50-minute keynote address.

Despite the audience size I was completely comfortable doing that.

Not so much with the guitar and singing.

But, there I was, with a guitar wrapped around my neck telling the story about how I had come to put myself in this precarious position and being totally uncomfortable in that moment.

It was the most intense “comfort zone busting” experience I’ve had in a very, very long time.

When it was all over, I was energized and excited having done something in front of 800 people my wife thought I was crazy to do. (to view my performance, go here)

I felt this way despite nerves taking me seriously off key to open the song. Plus, losing my place glancing down at the lyrics in the monitor I didn’t need.

I am now working on refining that song and incorporating four others to prepare for performing at an open mic night somewhere locally.

Our comfort zones hold us back in ways we don’t even realize.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda is the lament of losers. It’s all about our Level 1 Leadership Communication (aka “self-communication).

What comfort zone do you need to bust through in 2015?

What comfort zones are you committed to busting through in 2015?

Leave a comment and commitment below.

’til next time, Communicate with Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 


Fixing Another Workplace Communication Challenge, “A Lack of Listening” Isn’t Always What You Think

Last week a client wrote to me…

“What am I supposed to do if people don’t want to listen to me, which is a choice (I saw a clip of one of your seminars online), then they are not going to, right?”

It’s great when clients actual take to heart suggested strategies.

And it is very true.

As I say, “listening is choice, not a skill.”

So, what do you do if others are not “listening” to you?

Have you ever had a feeling others weren’t listening to you?

If so, you have two choices.

  1. Try other strategies to get their attention
  2.  Seek to understand the reasons behind the lack of listening.

The first option is dealing with symptoms.

The second option is dealing with cause.

Fixing a problem can only be accomplished by knowing the cause.

Therefore, if this “lack of listening” is a problem for you, which of the two options above would you choose?

There is a cost and benefit to each:

Option 1 costs include:

  1. Wasting time on strategies that will exacerbate the problem,
  2. Continuing to erode the relationship making it worse.

Option 1 benefits are:

  1. It can be implemented quickly,
  2. You may get short term compliance to move something forward.

Option 2 costs include:

  1. Investment of time and energy to understand the individual’s position,
  2. Having a difficult conversation about another’s behavior comes with uncertainty and fear, and it, too may make the relationship worse if not done properly.

Option 2 benefits include:

  1. Fixing a problem so you won’t have to deal with it any longer,
  2. Building a more positive, productive relationship and work environment.

It’s your choice, always.

Which would you choose?

What strategies do you have to fix a “lack of listening?

Please leave a comment below.

Next email in this series look for more specifics around addressing this “lack of listening” with Option 2.

‘til then, make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Do You Play the “This=That” Game in Your Small Business Workplace?

My apologies for taking two weeks to follow up on my last blog post where I introduced the concept of “this=that,” and promised a deeper explanation on the concept. Here’s where it came from:

Two weeks ago a client asked me for help with an employee she thought was acting passive-aggressively towards her.

In reviewing the email exchange upon which this small business owner’s claim was made, it was easy for me to determine she was jumping to conclusions and blaming her employee for acting in a passive-aggressive way.

She jumped to this conclusion because this employee has a history of passive-aggressive behavior.

In this instance, it was not the case.

I pointed out to my small business owner client my reasons why I didn’t see this as passive-aggressive behavior, but as a reasonable response to a situation outlined in an email from their boss.

Because of past behavior, this client was playing the game “this=that.”

“This=That” causes a lot of stress, mis-perceptions, mis-understandings, hurt feelings and numerous other issues, and possibly conflicts, in the workplace.

“This=That” is a short cut that the human brain uses to make connections more easy to explain what happens in our world.

This brain shortcut is usually effective. Often you can easily make a realistic cause/effect connection, such as, touching a hot stove burner will cause a burned hand, which is just like stepping barefoot on a loose hot charcoal in the backyard from a barbecue grill.

This is how we learn and works well when we’re growing up and when we’re learning a new skill.

It doesn’t work so well when we’re trying to understand human behavior.

When we apply ‘this=that” to human behavior, especially in the workplace, we are making assumptions, causing us to label and blame others.

Labeling and blaming others in the workplace can only cause problems and conflicts between co-workers, and between employees and their small business bosses.

Do you play “this=that” with your employees and team members?

Have you ever been the victim of someone playing “this=that,” making wrong assumptions as to why you’ve done something?

Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or experiences regarding the concept of “this=that.”

’til next time, Communicate with Power,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Overcoming the F.U.S. of Your Life

Today is recovery day.

Recovery from the first 55-mile bike ride I’ve ever participated in.

It was a wonderful experience, personally and physically challenging.

The 55 miles was not the challenge, though.

Over the 55 miles we experienced an accumulative climb of 3700 feet in elevation.Skip Weisman, The Leadership & Workplace Communication Expert, after recent 55-mile bike ride

That was the challenge. A 55-mile flat terrain would have been a breeze.

My day was filled with F.U.S. yesterday. Virtually on every significant hill.

I’m proud that rode the bike up every hill except for two.

One I had to get off and walk because I tried shifting gears too late into the hill, which put pressure on the derailleur causing the chain to come off.

The other occurred just shy of the crest of a hill when I suffered a serious cramp in my right thigh.

Overall, I was happy with my performance and feel pretty good today after an evening of icing my previously injured left knee that made it through the experience.

There was plenty of F.U.S. (Fear, Uncertainty & Self-Doubt) for me, though, as each successive hill presented itself.

Especially as the six hour journey wore on. Each successive hill got tougher, both from an actual incline perspective (or so it seemed) and from fatigue.

As you might imagine there was plenty of L.I.D. (Limiting Internal Dialogue) to work through that was driving the F.U.S.

What I used, and what you need to apply to work through the L.I.D. causing the F.U.S. in your world is P.A.D.

P.A.D. is the opposite of L.I.D.

P.A.D. is Positive Affirming Dialogue.

You know, it’s like that childhood story about “The Little Train that Could” reciting the mantra “I think I can, I think I can!”

Of course, I would suggest that using “think” is still stuck in L.I.D., don’t you? There is self-doubt inherent in that phrase.
Instead of “I think I can,” the phrase needs to be, “I know I can,” or “I believe I can!”

It wasn’t easy all the time yesterday, I have to admit.

My wife, who is a better, more natural athlete than I, was often between a 10th of a mile to a quarter-mile ahead of me, sometimes added to my F.U.S.

Often she would wait for me to catch up. We would start out together and it wouldn’t be long until she pulled far ahead.

I came to be comfortable with that and measure myself against myself, and not measure myself against anyone else.

Another important lesson, which I chose to apply by shifting my L.I.D. to P.A.D. in those circumstances.

Not sure when the next biking opportunity will present itself, I’m sure there will others this summer, just need a few days to recover and it’s back to the gym’s spin class for more training.

Feel free to leave your comments below.

“til next time, Communicate With Power,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Remove Your L.I.D. to Improve Your Results

There are two contexts of communication you need to be concerned with as you go through your day.

Yet, most of us are only concerned with one.

We think we’re only consciously aware of one.

But, I know we’re not.

We are consciously aware of both.

It seems, though, we just ignore one of them.

And, it’s more than just a shame.

It’s negatively impacting our lives, and the results we can achieve for ourselves, our family and our business.

The one context we focus on is our external communication.

You know, the stuff that comes out of your mouth intended (or sometimes not intended, oops!) for others.

The other context we don’t pay enough attention to is our internal communication.

You know, the little man or little woman inside of you that you talk to ALL THE TIME!

Most of what is called our self-talk is not supporting us in the best way, you know?

Most of our self-talk, or what I call our “internal dialogue” is just endless loop conversations that never move us forward.

It’s what I call your L.I.D. or your “Limiting Internal Dialogue.”

This concept and title recently came to me while coaching my clients in the Communication Power for Leaders virtual training, in which we spent more than 3-hours discussing how to lift their L.I.D.

Think now about your L.I.D.

How is your L.I.D. limiting your personal and professional results.

Your L.I.D. is keeping a lid on the results you could be achieving.

I’ll write more about this soon, for now, this is just a quick note to get you thinking about how your L.I.D. may be limiting your personal and professional results.

Leave your comments below as I’d love to hear about your biggest challenges regarding your L.I.D. and offer you some strategies for removing it.

’til next time, Communicate With Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Workplace Trust, What Is It & How to Get It

It’s been almost two months since I’ve written a piece here as I’ve been focused on developing deep content for, and now delivering my newly launched  Communication Power for Leaders group coaching program.

I under estimated how much time and energy it was going to take.

My apologies for leaving you over the least 7 weeks or so, and want you to know what I’m learning in the work I’ve been doing will be to your benefit.

One of those things is the work I’ve been doing to help the organizational leaders in the Communication Power for Leaders learn how by applying “The 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication” it can help build high-levels of trust between individuals and teams.

When the subject of “trust’ comes up, I get all sorts of questions about what it is and how to know if you have it and in what contexts.

Trust is a nebulous concept, isn’t it?

One thing I know is that the one thing that influences trust in the workplace more than any other is the level and quality of leadership and workplace communication.

When we think we have it someone’s behavior causes us to question it.

When we think we don’t have it, someone’s behavior surprises us.

For that reason I’ve tried to quantify it for my audiences and my clients.

Trust can be defined in many ways depending on the situation and context.

For workplace trust, I’ve defined it this way:
“The absolute belief that when communicating with someone, both sides have the other’s best interest in mind and the best interest of the team/organization they serve, and that the other individual will follow through to do what they say they are going to do.”

Clients and seminar attendees also often ask how they can assess the level of trust with those in their sphere of influence.

To answer those concerns I’ve identified three workplace behavior and performance contexts that must be taken into account when assessing one’s level of trust:

  • Relationship – do you have the same values, beliefs, commitment to a common vision and what specifically within those components of your relationship are “musts” and deal breakers, what are the “shoulds” you can live with if not in sync, where can you “agree to disagree” to work together at the highest level.
  • Competency – can the person effectively fulfill their role at the level necessary to be successful. There may be people you have a great relationship with but you may not trust them in their competency to do the job (for example, I have a high-trust relationship with my wife and trust her with my life but if I needed heart surgery she does not have the competency in that context that I would trust her to do the job).
  • Follow Through – will the person, based on past experience, do what they say they’re going to do and follow through on their commitments in the time they commit to do it. Do they stay in touch and communicate proactively along the way keeping you engaged and in the loop without you having to chase them for updates.

That’s one powerful way to assess trust in your workplace and if it’s not at the level it needs to be, you need look no further than the quality of communication by the leaders in your workplace and the tone they set for communication across their work environments.

Best Regards,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


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