Communication is THE defining success factor on teams of any kind.
Communication gets blamed for all the ills of society from the current government shutdown in the United States to virtually every married couple filing for divorce.
Whether your team is 2 people in a very small business, two human beings in an intimate relationship or a multi-matrixed global team for a multi-national company, this communication model holds true:
Communication leads to trust, trust leads to positive influence, positive influence leads to high performing results.
There is also no guarantee high-performing results will be the outcome of this model. There are too many external factors impacting those results, but the opposite IS true.
There can be no high-performing results from your team if this model breaks down.
This model breaks down when communication does not support the building of trust. This is especially important to understand because there are only three potential outcomes when you communicate and two of them (or 66%) either slowly erodes trust, or instantly destroys trust, with those with whom we’re speaking.
As a leader for your company, here’s a great way to accelerate the development of higher levels of trust:
- Bring your team together for a meeting where you facilitate a discussion on improving communication. Everyone will agree it can always be better.
- Shift the gravitational pull of the conversation away from the flow of information regarding who gets what information from whom and when, to impersonal communication and how individual team members can communicate more effectively between each other to build higher levels of trust.
- Introduce my model of “The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins.”
- Tell them you know you, personally, can improve your communication skills in each of these seven areas and you’d like their help.
- Have the team each identify just one of the seven that they think would be best for you to start working on.
- Have them answer for you, either in writing or in person (non anonymously, promising no repercussions or negative impact) these 3 questions:
- What must I stop doing?
- What must I keep doing?
- What must I start doing?
7. Review the feedback, decide where to start, then tell everyone on the team you want both positive reinforcement when they notice a change for the better, and you want them to point out
times when you engage in communication that fails to meet the new standard.
This activity will have an immediate impact on the level of trust between you and each team member in specific three ways:
- It will give you direct feedback on ways you can become an even better communicator and leader.
- It will show a humble, vulnerable side of you that will transform your relationship with them forever.
- It will open team members to accepting appropriately presented constructive feedback from you when you need to offer it because you have led the way
Your ego is going to resist this exercise.
It is going to be hard.
It is going to stretch your comfort zone like few other activities.
It will make you a better leader, it will bring your team closer while building the higher levels of trust you need create outstanding results together.
To build more power communication skills and habits, check out Communicate to Influence Up, Down & All Around 2.0, my newest tele-class training that launches soon.
‘til next time, communicate with power!