Mis – Communications. Have you ever been in a business situation where you were having difficulty understanding why staff and customers, superiors and subordinates, even co-workers were having difficulty understanding each other?
In these situations did you notice changes in their body language and attentiveness, those non-verbal communication cues; as well as the tonality and emphasis in their verbal communication to sense if there was alignment and whether there was a solid groundwork for true interpersonal communications to occur?
Sometimes, just sometimes, did you ever wish that the idea presented by another person was your idea? How important was it for you to take credit for that great idea?
Effective leaders and managers don’t have these issues for a reason.
Oftentimes the lack of communication alignment occurs because people are just not tuned in to listening to, and understanding, each other.
Personalities, individual drive, agendas – these can all get in the way, and these are most likely why miscommunication and misunderstandings occur.
Each person is the sum of all his parts. Each organization is the sum of all its employees and its customer’s parts.
How Coaching & Counseling Work
Effective leaders and managers enable effective business communication through coaching and counseling. Coaching in this context is the ability to apply effective communication and training techniques in the workplace, and counseling is using effective communication to assist the employee in becoming more effective.
In most situations I have been in, employees want to look to their leader and manager for the leadership, vision, and direction they can provide through the effective use of their talents, strengths, values, and behaviors – and these same employees also want their leaders and managers to recognize that they too have talents, strengths, values, and behaviors that can positively influence the direction and growth of their company.
I believe that the more a manager can understand each of her employees’ talents, strengths, values, and behaviors – and the more she can help them to achieve a higher level of performance to those strengths – the more productive and profitable her business will become.
This is a simple, understated formula for success. Call it the “power within,” “5th level performance,” “your genius,” or your other personal favorites.
The level of personal excellence that employees attain is up to them – and it is through their leader and manager, serving as their coach and counselor that they can attain it.
Related: Myths about Coaching
Coaching for Success
Consider that as a leader and a manager, most of your employees do want to be successful in their role, they want to be valued, and they want to be respected. Consider also that you have taken effort to understand what they want in their role, how they want to be valued and how they want to be respected.
As the leader and manager as coach and counselor then, is it better to tell them all you know about how their particular job functions and tasks need to be performed – or is it better to elicit from them how they think these particular job functions and tasks need to be performed, (e.g. John, how would you approach solving this problem?)
Related: Manager as Coach
Whose “One Best Way” is Better?
And when employees are in need of learning more effective methods to perform those functions and tasks, is it better to help them take ownership of your ideas as their own instead of telling them what you know?
Let me ask you?
- How important is it for you to take credit for everything that is done in your business?
- How important is it for all your employees to perform their functions and tasks according to your “one best way”?
- What does your own level of self-awareness and authenticity say about the “one best way”?
I know how to paint a house – but I don’t know why certain paints or stains work better on one surface over another. I know a good marketing campaign when I see it – but I don’t know how to develop a great marketing strategy from scratch. O.K, one last example – I know how to change a light bulb (although some may argue that point) but I don’t know how to install an electrical circuit to the electrical outlet. I am a jack of all trades and master of one; I am a leader and a manager. What are you?
My “one best way” over the years has been to elicit from those with whom I work their own ideas and their perspectives. In instances where it was necessary to “tell someone what to do” I found it more effective to ask a question with the solution to the task in the question. (e.g. “John, does it make sense for you to analyze the steps to this process before you develop a solution”?)
Is it clear that I was trying to impart to John the need to conduct a step by step analysis? Also, doesn’t this approach help to understand, by John’s responses to the questions what his thought process is? What can that insight into his thought process tell you about his problem-solving ability? Is that attribute crucial to John’s success? Did you hire for that attribute?
Effective communications, when augmented by focused coaching and counseling can improve the leadership and management process. Leaders and managers certainly know a lot – but do they always know how to lead and manage effectively?