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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


Conscious Communicator Tip #35:A Communication Strategy to Instantly Build Trust With Your Team

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:

  1. Bring your team together for a meeting where you facilitate a discussion on improving communication. Everyone will agree it can always be better.
  2. 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.
  3. Introduce my model of “The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins.”
  4. Tell them you know you, personally, can improve your communication skills in each of these seven areas and you’d like their help.
  5.  Have the team each identify just one of the seven that they think would be best for you to start working on.
  6. 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, learn more and get a significant early registration discount at www.CommunicationPowerForLeaders.com/influence

‘til next time, communicate with power!

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


Conscious Communicator Tip #34:How to Respectfully Interrupt to Build Trust & Power Relationships

After my seminar at the Project Management Institute’s Austin, Texas Professional Development Day last week I had the privilege of meeting one of my seminar attendees, and his wife who met him after the conference.

A discussion ensued about the strategies in my seminar he 7 Deadliest Sins of Leadership & Workplace Communication” settling deeper into the topic of Lack of Focused Attention because my seminar attendee’s wife, a successful realtor in the Austin area, mentioned she has a strategy for respectfully interrupting people when she calls them.

Since I often learn from my seminar students I was very open to learning a new strategy to borrow for my trainings.

She proceeded to tell me, “whenever I call someone and I feel like I may be interrupting them I want to make sure I’m respectful, so what I say is…

“Did I catch you at a bad time?”

After hearing her suggestion, I said, “that’s a good way to do it, and I’m wondering if you would be open to an even better way?”

She said, “What do you mean?”

I said, “well, your approach is good up to a point and what it does is plant the suggestion that it is a bad time for them to speak with you. That language violates another of my communication sins, ‘A Lack of Desirable Behaviors.’

“What you want to say instead, to plant the suggestion that it is a good time for them to speak and allow them to feel more positively inclined to be comfortable with the interruption, is this…

“Is this a good time for us to speak?”

Basically, the same question, asked with the same intention, and focused on the positive outcome you desire.

Language like this is, positive focused, very influential and will lead your subject to fulfill your request much more frequently.

It will also build your reputation as an influential communicator, show yourself as a peer of whomever you are calling and build trust with everyone with whom you are trying to get their attention.

This simple shift in language is another strategy to make you a power communicator.

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, learn more and get a significant early registration discount at www.CommunicationPowerForLeaders.com/influence

‘til next time, communicate with power!

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


Conscious Communicator Tip #33:These Power Phrases Will Allow You To Communicate to Influence

Power Words also come in phrases and can be used to influence.

Our lazy communication habits undermine our ability to influence in ways we don’t even realize.

You have the power to influence stakeholders at every level in your sphere and you don’t even realize how simple it can be.

All you need to do is change your lazy language in the following manner:

  •  “I need this as soon as possible,” becomes “I need this before 5 pm Friday.”
  • “Get back to me on this when you can,” becomes “Please get back to me on this before noon Thursday.”

Communicating this way articulates expectations at the time of making the request to give both parties certainty and a framework for accountability. The fulfillment of the request becomes a building block towards a trusting relationship.

On the flip side, when others make a request of you, change these common phrases this way:

  • “I’ll try to get to it this week,” becomes “I’ll do it and I can get it to you by noon Wednesday.”
  • “I’ll get back to you as soon as possible,” becomes, “I promise to get back to you before 5pm  today.”

Communicating like this does two things:

  1. sets clear expectations on the front end so both sides know what is expected of each other.
  2. sets a standard you have committed to and need to live up to maintain your integrity.

One of my clients had a senior team member admit in a meeting I was facilitating that he couldn’t communicate this way because he didn’t trust himself to be able to live up to the higher level standard.

If you want to be a person of influence, with a reputation for getting things done and following through on commitments, its time to raise the bar by using more power phrases like this in your communication.

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, learn more and get a significant early registration discount at www.CommunicationPowerForLeaders.com/influence

‘til next time, communicate with power!

 

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


Conscious Communicator Tip #32:Communicating Like My New Toaster-Over


We recently purchased a new toaster oven for our kitchen and it was long overdue.

To toast anything with our old toaster-oven we had to stay in the kitchen monitoring the progress of the item because the sensor was broken.

If we didn’t keep an eye on the toasting, the item would burn and potentially cause a fire.

The old toaster-oven communicated with a lack of specificity with regard what we could expect from its performance.

Our new toaster-oven is a dream.

It communicates with specificity with regard to what we can expect from its performance.toaster_oven

It’s great.

As you can see from the photo it has a clock that sets the toasting or cooking time and shuts off when it gets to zero.

It also has a dial we can use for specific settings depending on what item we’re cooking or toasting (like pizza, a bagel, reheating something, etc.

I can put something in this toaster-over, set the dial, check the clock, hit start and walk away to come back in the expected timeframe.

Small business leaders need to communicate like my new toaster-oven with regard to performance expectations.

Few do. Do you?

This is important because so many small business leaders struggle with appropriately communicating to hold their people accountable to performance results.

They struggle with direct and candid communication that will influence their employees to fulfill desired performance results.

The reason is the lack of specificity on the front end communicating what desirable performance results will look like.

There are 3 keys to communicating to influence people to achieve the results you desire of them:

  • Having a trusting relationship (if you’ve ever tried to influence someone in a relationship with low trust you know it doesn’t work too well)
  • Being clear on the desirable results you are asking for
  • Communicating in language that connects with something important to the other individual

If you’d like to:

  • be better at communicating to influence,
  • learn specific strategies to incorporate the 3 keys above, and
  • actually practice to influence those you need to influence in your business,

Go to www.CommunicationPowerForLeaders.com/influence to learn more.

‘til next time, make it a great week!skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Conscious Communicator Tip #31″Behold the Truth, It Comes After the ‘BUT!'”

Yesterday, an employee of the convention center, whose name was Eileen, came up to me as I was cleaning up after my presentation at the conference I was speaking at.

She said she heard some of my talk while she was working around and beside the room in which I was speaking and she wanted to grab the list of my “7 Deadliest Communication Sins.”

As I was putting my things away I gave her one of the handouts so she could take notes as I went down the list.

When I got to #4, which is “A Lack of Respectful ReBUTals,” I explained to her that it meant we should  avoid disingenuous phrases that incorporate the word “BUT” when offering feedback to people or when in a discussion or debate on issues, such as “That’s a really great idea, but…”

She said, “that’s right, because ‘behold the truth, it comes after the but!’ She told me that was something a teacher told her many years ago.

That is so true!

What you really believe comes after the “BUT.”

Which means, whatever comes before is negated and worthless.

In applying those phrases, which we do to try to be supportive and non-confrontational, we create negative energy and feelings in the other person who does not feel supported when the other side of the statement hits them between the eyes.

I love that phrase, “behold the truth, it comes after the “BUT.” I will be using that in my future talks, for sure. Thanks, Eileen!

On Monday, at another training, one of my seminar participants was very familiar with this strategy,. He understood its power in communication and helped me in my discussion of it.

This workshop participant, whose name was Jeff, not only reinforced the strategy of replacing BUT with “AND” as the transitional word, he was very articulate in telling the rest of the audience of 50 business professionals that it is a very, very challenging communication skill to incorporate.

Jeff reinforced that it takes tremendous, conscious forethought to craft your language in such a way that it fits with the “and” transition to provide a truly supportive and reinforcing statement that builds trust and provides a foundation on which the conversation can move forward in a positive manner.

So, this is a “thank you” to both Jeff and Eileen for adding value to my work, and making my programs even better, plus a “thank you” to all my workshop participants for allowing me the privilege and honor of giving me their valuable time and attention each time.

’til next time, make it a great week!

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


Influence Your Organization Like Hamilton Influenced Washington & the 2nd Continental Congress

Alexander-HamiltonMy favorite of America’s Founding Fathers is Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury.

His is a great story of talent, action and perseverance overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.

An orphan at age of 11, his assertiveness showed talents other’s in his West Indies homeland recognized. They elected to sponsor his education in America.

Hamilton’s aspirations caused him to take directed action and get things done. His ability to get things done built a reputation others could trust.

It’s that trust he was able to leverage that led to his appointment as George Washington’s Chief of Staff during the Revolutionary War.

When it comes to leadership and leadership communication trust is vital.

Washington’s level of trust in Hamilton was such that Washington permitted Hamilton to first draft orders and letters for him, and then, actually allowed Hamilton to issue orders under his own signature as if they were coming from Washington.

This is the ultimate level of trust when it comes to leadership and influence.

I define trust this way, “the absolute belief that you have my (or our organization’s) best interests at heart, and that you are going to do what you say you are going to do.”

If you build a reputation in those two key contexts, you will gain high levels of trust with those at all levels in your sphere of influence.

As with Hamilton, those high-levels of trust will then allow you to influence those up, down and all around.

If you’d like to work on your ability to influence those around you and be more influential in the contexts of your job you need it most, you’re going to want to join me next month (Oct. 2013) for Communicate to Influence, Up, Down and All Around 2.0 a tele-class training series.

You can learn more at www.CommunicationPowerForLeaders.com/influence

‘til next time, make it a great week!

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


Let’s Rewrite “The 10 Commandments” to Focus on Desirable Behaviors Instead

I’m sure this post is going to get me in trouble with some of you.

As a reader of The Conscious Communicator  blog you are most likely familiar with the “Lack of Desirable Behaviors” Communication Sin #2, if not go here to read about it.

This weekend while making final preparations for my fall 7 Deadliest Communication Sins Speaking Tour I realized that 80% of the original 10 Commandments are written in “undesirable behavior” language.

That is absolutely true!

If you’re not familiar with the 10 tenets of Judea-Christian belief here they are:

The 10 Commandments…Thou Shall

  • Have NO other Gods before me.
  • NOT bow down to any graven image
  • NOT take the name of the Lord in vain
  • Honor the Sabbath and keep it Holy
  • Honor thy father and mother
  • NOT kill
  • NOT commit adultery
  • NOT steal
  • NOT bear false witness
  • NOT covet…

Hmm, something to think about?

Maybe the world would be a better place if we turned the language of The 10 Commandments into desirable behaviors statements.

Let’s try and see what happens.

Thou Shall Always…

  • Maintain me as your primary God.
  • Maintain direct focus on me as your God & pray directly to me
  • Invoke my name only in positive light
  • Honor the Sabbath and keep it Holy
  • Honor thy father and mother
  • Respect & support the sustenance of all life
  • Practice monogamy in the mind, heart and flesh
  • Respect and honor the property of others
  • Be honest and truthful when speaking about others
  • Respect, honor, and appreciate all that you have in your life.

I’m sure you can refine what I’ve been able to do on this first draft, and I’d love your feedback to make these even better so feel free to leave a comment below.

 

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


Leaders Need to Take Control of Interruptions (strategically & courteously, of course) (

An article in the Wall St. Journal the other day (see The Biggest Office Interruptions Are…) reminded that many of my clients who own businesses with employees to manage struggle with interruptions throughout their day.

These interruptions come in all shapes and sizes from handling a disgruntled customer to dealing with a personal emergency to answering questions about simple job responsibilities the employee was supposed to have learned to do on their own months ago.

As I speak about in my seminar on The 7 Deadliest Sins of Leadership & Workplace Communication “A Lack of Focused Attention” continues to create challenges with communication as people try to multi-task while communicating.

These interruptions kill productivity in the workplace. The Wall St. Journal article discusses both research as well as practical strategies for dealing with these distractions more effectively.

Great leaders, the ones that communicate to develop effective teams that generate revolutionary results, are masters of strategically and courteously addressing interruptions while also triaging them  so distractions are limited.

If you’d like help in this area, which includes building up your team to be more effective and confident in running your business at a level you can trust, here are two things you can do:

  1. Read the Wall St. Journal article, which has a couple of outstanding tips near the end, and
  2. Go here to request a Revolutionary Leadership Strategy Session with me where we can discuss how to take even better control of your employees’ behavior and performance.

’til next time, leave a comment below and make it a great weekend as I travel to Tampa, Florida and Buffalo, NY to speak at two professional development conferences for project managers (PMI Tampa) and human resource professionals (NY State SHRM)!

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


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