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Communication

Culture

As a leader, you have to encourage the right behaviors and make sure actions align with your company’s culture. The culture you create is the roadmap employees will use to make critical decisions. It is your job to create the unique environment where people can excel. It is the social and psychological connection where your employees will feel part of something bigger than themselves. If you create, support, or ignore the wrong culture, your business will fail.

A common purpose unites people together to accomplish goals, even with extreme personality differences. It is your responsibility to bring people together, communicate the vision, and drive the culture throughout all the departments.

Culture

The first thing you must decide is how you want others, internally and externally, to view your company. If collaboration and respectfulness is important, conduct brainstorming sessions, out in the open and invite participants. If trustworthiness and respectfulness are keys to your success, make the decision-making process out in the open with diverse groups of people. If driven and electric are the words you want people to use to describe your operation, reward speed and intensity.

Other descriptions for company cultures might be:

Friendly, Fun, Energy, Innovative, Loyal, Creative, Safe, Productive, Loyal, Competitive, Talented, Dedicated, Ambitious, Positive, Passionate, Growth.

Again, the idea is to determine how you want employees and customers to view the company. Culture tells your employees how you want them to respond. There are no blurred lines. Culture is their guide. The culture you foster help sustain employees enthusiasm and limit their stress.

Once you emphatically know what you want to stand for, you must communicate accordingly. Not just once, not just twice, but over and over and over again. This has to be ingrained into the core of each of your employees.

If you have a leadership team, it is critical they also over communicate the values of the company. They are your offense, if they have not bought in; the rest of the organization will have a difficult time adjusting. Make sure you have your management team’s buy-in first, and then you are ready for the blitz.

Size does not matter in this situation. Even if you are a one man/woman show, you are still creating a culture by the way you handle your suppliers, your customers, the Fed-Ex delivery person, etc. The larger your company, the harder it will be to change the culture if issues arise. The more people involved the more energy it will take to get cooperation. Yes, it is possible; it will just take more effort. You must stay connected and available to your staff and customers so you can address matters swiftly.

Culture

When you come to the realization you need to create or change your culture, you are going to need a lot of resilience, focus, and vision. You have to be fully engaged in the process and it will take every ounce of your leadership ability to get the results you need. The success of your business is in jeopardy if you do not take action.

Communication and feedback are vital pieces of this process. You have to be open to criticism and passionate about change. Nourish the culture.

You are going to find employees that cannot or will not transform to the new culture. In those situations, you need to determine how you will handle. Do not let them poison others and sabotage the outcome. If that is the case, there is no room for them within your environment. They will become toxic and will kill the culture.

When everyone adheres to the company’s values and corporate culture, there will be more team comradery. When you get your employees passionate about the values, you will find they become dedicated to accomplishing the goals. When you have full engagement, you can achieve extraordinary things.

June 22, 2017 1 comment
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Emotions

Why you Need to Remember to Inform your Face

Inform your face because you are wearing your thoughts and emotions all over it! Your facial expressions will expose you.  Do you really want to share these thoughts and emotions with others? If not, remember to inform your face. In order to understand what I am talking about, observe for yourself. Next time you are in a meeting, look around and watch all the facial expressions. You can determine how people are feeling and responding to the discussion based on their expressions. You may actually notice a pattern: some may be accepting by exhibiting a smile, while others seem confused by crunching up their forehead and nose.

There are six (6) basic emotions – Angry, Happy, Sad, Fearful, Surprised, and Disgusted. According to a recent article in The Telegraph, facial expressions cover over twenty-one emotional states. That is many emotions for you to figure out if you are leading a meeting. Therefore, it might be difficult to read exactly what someone is feeling or thinking, so be careful. I believe it is safe to say that someone may have rejected your comment/s if you are noticing a disgusted face with arms crossed. Those nonverbal signs are obvious. With over twenty-one facial expression to analyze, some may not be so blatantly obvious, which will require more exploring.

If you are going to be leading a meeting or a discussion, it is imperative you read the room. The way to do that is through facial expressions and body language. You will have a room full of many different personalities to contend with and you need to be sure that your message is clear and comprehended. The goal is to make sure people understand what you are communicating. Not everyone has to agree with what you are saying but he or she does need to grasp the material. You can bet that those who disagree will be wearing it all over their face.

A strong leader can read facial expression quite well and is intuned with their team’s emotions. He or she can sense issues based on reading expressions. Even though facial expressions are a universal communication method and used similarly throughout the world, intuitive leaders will create a baseline for each team member. Therefore, when emotions change, they notice quickly and can react. This ability gives them an advantage over other leaders. Being able to react and resolve situations quickly allows leaders/managers to create a healthy environment for their employees.

Healthy environment equals higher morale.

Facial expressions are a powerful, non-verbal, way to communicate without saying a word. Unfortunately, many people do not realize they are doing it and they communicate their emotions when they intended to keep it to themselves. You do not always want others to know what is inside your head. Without explanation, you can come off brash or rude, and depending on the receiver, this could be detrimental. Remember to inform your face if you do not want to share your true feelings at that moment. You never know who is watching.

 

January 18, 2017 3 comments
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UGH, Another Dreaded Meeting!

How many meetings do you attend a day? Too many, I assume. How many of those meetings do you actually walk away feeling a little smarter? Probably, not many. Why are they so damn boring?

Meetings are so damn boring because the meeting organizer is not prepared and he/she has invited too many people to the room. Most meetings can be done with less people and less time. Unfortunately, we like to pack a room and steal precious moments from the day.  We don’t do it on purpose, but we feel the bigger the audience, the more things we can get accomplished. Just the opposite is true!

Have you ever looked around the room to see who was actually paying attention? Next time, or you are probably sitting in one right now, survey the room and take a mental note what people are doing. How many people in the room are actually on their phones, probably looking at social media or hopefully reading this post? Chances are, and sadly to say, probably half of the room is completely disinterested in what is being communicated. That’s because they shouldn’t be in the meeting and their time is being completely hijacked.

Young businessman discussing work with his colleagues at a meeting room

If you are anything like me, sitting in a meeting like this will make your skin crawl. You know it’s a complete waste of time and you could be doing a million other; more exciting things that actually matter to your job.

My suggestion is to avoid unproductive meetings at all costs. If you can’t get out of it or you got trapped into one, try to make the most out of your time. Remember, you can’t get that hour (or two) back again so make the time as plentiful as possible.

Couple quick and easy suggestions:

  1. Steer the conversation so you can actually get something accomplished. Take charge. Many times you will have the right people in the room to brainstorm and lock in decisions.
  2. Bring a notepad so you can develop to-do-lists. As I mentioned above, you have a million things you could be doing instead of this meeting. Prioritize so you can bang it out as soon as you wrap up.
  3. Strategize your life long goals. Yup, I mean day dream a bit. Visualize where you will be in five years. How will you get there? What goals do you need to accomplish?

Relaxed young businesswoman with colleagues in meeting in background at the office

Don’t completely check out. You will be exposed. Don’t be disrespectful but try not to get yourself invited again. Have a talk privately with the meeting organizer after the meeting. Let them know you don’t feel you have much to contribute. If it’s a regular weekly meeting, provide agenda items that the meeting organizer can add to the schedule. If the meeting was set for one hour, it’s ok to announce at the beginning of the meeting that you will politely excuse yourself at the allotted time.

depositphotos_1386103_s-2015

Meetings have a tendency to drag on, especially when you have someone that loves to hear themselves talk. You know what I’m talking about, we all have them…The Rambler! Always remember you’re responsible for your performance, therefore spend time on what matters. Don’t get sucked in and fill your time with hot air! You have things to accomplish and these types of meetings will hold you back.

 

December 1, 2016 0 comment
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