Creating a Culture of Communication … Sow What?
Poor Communication continues to be the single biggest factor that negatively impacts organizations. The sad thing is that it has been this way … for 100’s of years.
Poor listening skills, failure to communicate important issues, misunderstandings, and improperly trained leaders, are just a few of the negative factors adding to this epidemic.
The key to great communication begins when you simply “shut up” and listen in a way that the other person feels heard and valued. Effective listening becomes even more important when a generational gap exists between parties because it automatically qualifies you for a preexisting condition of mis-perception.
Yes this is basic … yes this seems sophomoric … and yet most leaders continue down the path of poor communication regardless of how many times they have read this, heard this, or attended a Communication Skills Workshop.
So many leaders (when attempting to listen) slide back into telling their people what to do instead of listening to what their people have to say. The paradox here is that after one of these types of interactions, the employee walks away feeling unheard, undervalued, and unmotivated, while the leader walks away thinking they effectively did their job.
So how does a leader begin the transformation of sowing the seeds to create a culture of extraordinary communication?
The Most Powerful Words To Improve Communication:
“So what I hear you saying is … (followed by a paraphrase of what they said) … (followed by) did I get that right?
Why? Because … it takes time, it seems redundant, and most leaders think their job is to tell people what, when, and how to do something.
Extraordinary leaders are great listeners. They know their job is to help their people discover their own solutions to their problems and challenges. They also know that you can’t help someone find their own solutions unless you understand what they think and you can’t understand what they think until you listen to what they have to say!
Effectively listening and reflecting back what you heard in order to understand what and how your people think may cost you a little bit of time in the short run. However … it will set a rock solid foundation for creating a high performance culture that will last a lifetime.
If you would like to go a little deeper into the topic here’s a link that has 12 great stems you can use in your future conversations. Take a look at the Reflecting and Listening Section here: 12 Great Listening Phrases
It’s been said that “What you reap is what you so(w)”.
If you want to reap a culture of extraordinary communication …
“So what I hear you saying is” … a great place to start!