In our office our daily meetings include client updates, task sharing and sometimes a good giggle on something that a client told me or something that happened at home. We do 30 minutes prior to “opening time” so we aren’t interrupted. I started noticing that our meetings were becoming less productive and so I started asking some hard questions.
Are you communicating really?
You can be working all day long but if you aren’t really saying what’s on your mind there is a lot of room for assumptions. Assumptions lead to bad feelings and then well you have a very unhappy workplace.
I am not DISC (a behavior assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston) expert but I have everyone in the office take an assessment usually before I hire them. I have done this since 2008 and usually it helps me to understand who I am really getting but as Dr. House says “Everybody Lies”. I don’t think people mean to, I just think a lot of the time people are afraid or just want a job so they pretend to be whomever they think you want them to be.
So, hopefully, if you are doing assessments you have had a pretty good conversation first about what people want and who they are so you aren’t blind-sided by a personality you had no idea existed.
Bottom line: Everyone Communicates Differently
I am a direct person and I’m becoming more and more direct everyday. I don’t want to beat around the bush and I don’t want to walk around a problem for a week. I want to know what it is and figure out how to fix it.
This is scary for some people and I have to understand that not everyone operates like I do. My demeanor feels threatening to some and hurtful to others. As a leader we have to evaluate who we are talking to and try to speak their language.
For business owners it’s the same thing. Your customers may not understand your lingo. They want plain English. They know you are smart but if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. That’s a quote from Albert Einstein clearly one of the smartest people ever.
So in leadership and business, make sure you are saying what you mean to say and that the receivers of this information are really hearing it too. This takes asking clarifying questions and being willing to be direct.
Communication doesn’t have to be weird and scary. Ultimately everyone wants to get the same things accomplished. Leaders want to help push the business forward and your staff wants to also. Business owners want to help their customers and customers want good people to work with that understand their goals.
This requires great communication!
As you can see communication also requires vulnerability. I have to tell you about my personal experiences. I have to tell you about me because I am pretty sure there are some of you struggling with the same issues. You are not the only the one and there are great opportunities to make small tweaks to our communication style along the way.