Communicating for Results

Communicating for Results

Have you ever talked to someone and thought you all walked away clear on what needed to happen … and then it didn’t happen?

We can all probably think of a time like this.

As you are working to hit your yearly goals, we have Coach Steve Schmitt with us sharing some tips on how to communicate more clearly with your team!

Thanks, Steve!

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 1.05.58 PM.png“The key to achieving performance personally and professionally is repetition.

I think the best quote to illustrate what we all know to be true but sometimes don’t full acknowledge is by George Bernard Shaw that says, “the biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has happened.”

Just because we said something does not mean that they heard, understood, or agreed specifically. What’s the solution? I have three tips for you:

1) Communicate your messages many times through different methods. This can be through different mediums, in different venues, or with different words. This is where Leaders really get a chance to make a difference.

When you communicate your messages about your goals and results, be sure to be very specific, succinct, and simple.

2) Make sure to lead with what’s in it for them (why should they care or want to listen?). It’s extremely common to lead our conversations with what we want and the fact is – people take action when they know how they will benefit from it!

A helpful lens to use when we communicate our goals and desired results is that we are actually marketing. The essence of marketing is getting people to take the action we desire, and good marketing communicates the benefits to the buyer. Another way of looking at this is we’re getting buy-in. Let’s motivate our Team to produce the best results they are capable of by getting them to want to.

3) Our biggest and best communication medium is our actions, Your Team is listening to your actions (many times more so than your words), so let’s act in congruence with our marketing messages (oops, I mean business communications). To modify a saying from Ghandi, “be the action you wish to see in the organization”. Your actions are your words, your appearance, your expressions, your mannerisms, your behaviors, and oh yeah, your actions.

Let’s think of it this way, three simple words caused shampoo sales to skyrocket – “wash, rinse, repeat”. Do you think maybe we can cause performance to skyrocket if we “communicate, act and repeat”?”

This week, try out some of Steve’s tips and let us know what worked for you!

The Slump

The Slump

You’re over half way there!

To where, you wonder…

You’ve almost made it through the January 2nd — Memorial Day SLUMP.

Have you even noticed that in March (and sometimes April too) you and your team feel a little on edge, and you are just longing for a day (or week) off?

WE HAVE!

And, we call it “the slump”.

You are on the longest stretch of the year where you and your colleagues don’t have a common day off. So even if you’ve taken a day (or two), everything else in the organization kept rolling.

So, what can you do to keep morale up?

Change it up!

Need some ideas:

  • Bring in bagels and coffee one morning
  • Create a count down for SOMETHING (even if it’s a small, common task that all of your Team has), and then celebrate when you hit it!
  • Let everyone go home early one Friday afternoon

It doesn’t have to be fancy. It is the little things that bring everyone’s experiences back together and say “I see you … thanks for ALL you do!”

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go

Over the past week and a half, we have seen a unique collision of the childhood of Millennials with the digital age of 2016.

Pokémon Go, the app based off of the Nintendo videogame, has had over 7.5 million downloads in the U.S. alone since it’s release at the beginning of July!

This app has taken the video game that was popular when Millennials were in elementary school, combined it with augmented reality, and created the “next big thing”.

What is amazing about this game is that it encourages you to go out, explore your surroundings, “catch ‘em all”, and even pay attention to your fellow Pokémon players!

As cheesy as it may seem, there is no denying how creating a cause or game unites families, friends, teams, and even strangers.

So, as your team may be taking their lunch break to walk around the city and try to find Charizard or Mewtwo (yes… those really are some Pokémon names) think about what you can create or do to unite your team.

Need some ideas?

  • Create a “pep- week” with days when you dress like a co-worker or have the most crazy socks
    • Maybe the winner gets a gift card to Starbucks
  • Create a sweepstakes to win 2 tickets to a local baseball game
    • And, you get to enter when you complete a project or do something to support a team member
  • Have a spontaneous team lunch
    • Choose to surprise your team with a long lunch
  • Sign up for an relay or cause to do together

Let us know what you and your team do!

Stop

No really… stop.

 

When is the last time you actually stopped to think about your direct reports?

I recently came across this info-graph below. Now, before you stop reading because it seems slightly cheesy, I’d like to challenge your thinking.

How to lead....

When was the last time you considered each of your direct reports individually and thought about the most effective way to empower them to be the best that they can?

As Managers, it can be so easy to just continue “doing”. When we bring someone new onto our teams, we focus on getting to know them. But once we’ve been working together for a year, or two, or five – it becomes much more challenging to s.t.o.p. and r.e.f.l.e.c.t and c.o.n.s.i.d.e.r what they really need.

We know you’re busy but this week, take 5 minutes for each of your directs and think about:

  • Where are they thriving?
  • Where are they struggling?
  • What is one thing you can do this week to support them where they are?

You may be surprised at how even just those couple of minutes can create a mind set shift in how you all interact this week.

Falling Into September

Falling Into September

The leaves are (almost) thinking about changing colors – and your comfy, fall clothes are starting to look mighty tempting.

With school back in full swing and the changing of the seasons at our doorstep , there’s an inherent excitement in the air.

How can you use that excitement to your advantage?

Fall is a GREAT time to build your team’s team-y-ness! Maybe have a fantasy football league and draft, or set up a time for you all to head out one Monday or Thursday and watch a game together!

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is coming back (thank goodness!) – take your team out for a surprise coffee run.

How about a team pie bake-off? Or just going outside for one of your team meetings – the fresh air always makes people more creative.

Think about ways that you can bring together what your team members would already be doing to keep them even more engaged at work and excited about what is to come.

The fall is the perfect time to bring everyone together!

Let us know what you love about fall- the boots, the flannel, the leather, the weather… we’d love to hear from you!

And, be sure to think about how you are going to re-engage your team this fall!

Your Team is Great… How Do You Let Them Know?

I Appreciate you!

Pressure. Deadlines. Meetings. More meetings. New ideas. Client calls. The list goes on.

Your team works so hard, pushes through all of it with a smile (well, most of the time!), and continues to perform fabulously.

In the craziness of the business, it’s hard to find the time to tell your team more than “great work!”. We have Coach Kathryn Haber with us this week, giving some tips on how to show your team you appreciate them.

Here what Kathryn has to say:

Kathryn HaberI show appreciation for my team by getting to know each person on my team as people. I know their styles – perhaps their Myers Briggs (tag site) and their Top 5 Strengths from the StrengthFinder (tag site) – and leverage this information in working with them.  

 

I know how they prefer to communicate and try to adjust my style accordingly. I celebrate our [my team’s] successes and am understanding of mistakes – we are all human.

 

We will learn from our mistakes and do better next time. 

 

I make sure we have frequent team meetings and 1:1 meetings and set clear expectations. I ask about their aspirations and provide them with opportunities to be successful. I remove roadblocks for them. 

 

We get together quarterly for team building and work session meetings. We get together out of the office quarterly, too. 

 

I give my team members the benefit of the doubt because I know them as people and know their intentions. I advocate for my team in other parts of the organization. 

 

Lastly, I tell them frequently that I appreciate them, individually and as a team.  I give them specific, concrete examples of their success and the impact they have had on the team and the business.  In addition, I ensure that our team members have the opportunity to share feedback with one another.  We all have development plans in place to help us be better professionals and team members.  As a result, we all improve our effectiveness and this ultimately betters the business.

Wow, Kathryn! I feel inspired just by hearing what you do! Don’t you?

We’d suggest you choose one of these things to start with!

So, what are you going to do this week to inspire your team?

It’s March!

It’s March!

March Madness always makes me a fan of the underdog.

Even if you have created the best bracket… when the 14th seeded UAB grabs the victory over the 3rd seeded Iowa State, there’s a thrill! It’s inspiring to see the way these players encourage each other and have to depend on each other to defeat a much higher ranked team.

These games and brackets are fun because even when you think you have it all down, another upset happens, and all you can say is “It’s March!”

So, as you are enjoying your next game, think about 1 way you can encourage your team to work together better to get that next score!

In the mean time… here is who our team is rooting for!  We’ll be sure to let you know whose team goes the furthest and make sure you let us know who your hoping will clinch the win this March!

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