Results Driven CommunicationMay 16, 2022
Strong communication from managers enables them to better instruct and inform their employees on particular tasks, goals, and general performance expectations. This, in turn, minimizes the risk of mistakes being made and reduces the likelihood of confusion amongst employees.
The benefits of effective communication in the workplace are endless. It should be a primary focus for managers of all organizations, regardless of industry and size.
Communication is often the basis of any healthy relationship, including the one between an employee and their manager. Gallup has found that consistent communication is connected to higher engagement, whether it occurs in person, over the phone, or electronically.
For example, employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers do not hold regular meetings with them.
Gallup also found that engagement is highest among employees who have some form (face to face, phone, or digital) of daily communication with their managers. Managers who use a combination of face-to-face, phone, and electronic communication are the most successful in engaging employees.
But mere transactions between managers and employees are not enough to maximize engagement. Employees value communication from their manager not just about their roles and responsibilities but also about what happens in their lives outside of work. The Gallup study revealed that employees who feel their manager is invested in them as people are more likely to be engaged.
A good communicator will seek to provide consistent feedback to their staff, advising them on areas for improvement and giving praise when warranted. Even if your organizational structure operates with a long chain of command and control, delivering good communication throughout layers of the hierarchy can still be an effective way to improve employee management.
Unfortunately, most managers tread water in communications that directly impact the organization's results. And even more, challenging is that these managers have no idea that their communication skills are a challenge for them. Most rate themselves very highly in the skill, yet their direct reports and results say otherwise.
These managers have plans but, all too often, fail to make them happen – either in part or solely due to inefficient communications. They are not in touch with their employees and, thus, miss out on employee suggestions and feedback that could be invaluable.
Start Improving Your Communication Skills
In contrast, highly effective managers have a habit of Results-Driven Communications. Making these habits part of your work DNA will help you transform your work life, work relationships, and work results to a higher level of positive impact on your organization. The methods will provide you with a comprehensive, refreshingly genuine, and practical approach to communications needed to bring about the work results you desire.
Here are 6 Key Vital Best Practices for Results-Driven Communication
1: Build Trusting Two-Way Communications with Your Team members
Too many managers mistakenly assume that, just because they are the boss, their team members will automatically achieve the results they want. Often, they utilize one-way communication to get across those things that need to get done.
Results-Driven Managers know that one-way communication is poor; at best – they choose to use two-way communication with their team members. This fosters a healthy relationship between manager and team member and encourages them to be proud of and enthusiastic about their work.
True Results-Driven Communication must occur in two directions—not just one. What exactly do I mean by two-way communications? I mean the free, respectful exchange of views and opinions—in both directions. Without two-way communications, your highest impact will not take place. The moment two-way communication stops, Results-Driven Communication begins to wither and die.
2: Two-Way Communications with Your Team members
One-way communications involve communicating down in the organization, with no return communication coming up. Most managers give far less information than is needed by those who report to them to be their most effective. It is vital to provide these team members with all the facts to do their jobs at the best possible level.
Never leave out the "Why" in your information. We've heard so many disengaged team members share their frustrations with us along the lines of "Why are we doing this?" or "This is so dumb and makes no sense, why are they making us do this?"
However, these same team members completely change their attitudes and perceptions the minute they understand the "Why" behind all you ask them to do. As a Results-Driven Manager, the better you are at consistently covering this one vital step, the more successful you will always be.
This step always allows for two-way open discussion between the manager and their team members. When you have them clearly dialed in on the "Why" the rest of the communication becomes much more open, accepted, and understood.
Don't keep your people who do need to know in the dark.
Two-way communications must have communications coming up from team members, ultimately getting to you. Unfortunately, in many, if not most organizations, unguarded suggestions and feedback often don't make it up through multiple levels of team members for a few reasons.
Often good ideas never move up the organization because team members do not want to approach their immediate managers with their ideas or suggestions. This is a learned behavior based on previous experiences. There are a couple of common reasons for them holding back on sharing these ideas.
3: Engage in Dialogue, Not Monologue
To bring about a genuinely high-performing organization, you and your team members need to reach that required level of trust and connection where having a dialogue is a common way of communicating. Dialogue means you share relevant information in an open, timely, thorough, and, of course, honest manner.
This helps both you and your team make better decisions and higher-quality contributions to the organization's success. To achieve a dialogue, your communication must be collaborative. At least one other person with whom you're communicating must contribute something that constructively affects the direction of the conversation.
Once you have established trust, never betray it.
Dialogue does not always come naturally, but high-impact results are simply impossible without it. "Monologuing" kills high-impact results! Results-Driven Managers tend to mean it when they say they want a two-way dialogue. Unaware managers think they are supporting a dialogue communication when, in fact, they are sabotaging it because of the barriers they put up, even if they are doing so unconsciously.
4: Criticize in Private and Praise in Public
For some of you, getting used to not giving public criticism will take practice. Few people respond positively to public criticism. If this kind of attack has ever happened to you, it will help to recall that you probably took the humiliation personally and felt a long-term resentment towards the person who criticized you publicly.
If you become aware of something done wrong by a team member or when someone other than the team member who has messed up can hear what you have to say, it’s not the time to criticize. This is particularly true if your emotions are getting out of hand during the meeting.
Hold your criticisms until after you close the meeting, and then talk in private. If your stress level is too high, delay your private meeting for 24 hours.
We call that the 24-Hour Rule!
5: Create Awareness and Support Through the Use of Best Communications Channels
Awareness and support for what you want to achieve from your team require that you take the time to select and use the communication channels most likely to be an effective way. Select the best and most effective communication tools based on the particular situation.
For example, don’t communicate with someone through email or text messaging when that person feels that email or text messaging is too impersonal a way to communicate. Don't ever give developmental feedback or complaints via writing. It is a gigantic mistake many make regularly.
Don't mistake efficient for effective!
6: Conduct Effective Team Meetings
If you manage more than one person, you are going to be responsible for holding team meetings. Results-Driven Managers produce and conduct team meetings that make significant use of their team member's time and get high-impact results from the meetings. These meetings involve an atmosphere with a high level of openness and interactivity.
Quit Leading Ineffective Meetings
- Always have an agenda that is distributed 24 hours before the meeting to allow participants to have time to think about and bring their opinions well thought out. Don't spring things on your team!
- Every meeting must have a purpose. Never end a meeting without clear expectations and next steps. In short, Who Will Do What by When.
- Always have a notetaker who is not you! Send the notes to the meeting out to all participants after the meeting
- Follow the 80/20 rule of creating a Dialog and not a Monolog. Ask questions and get all participants involved. Don't bore their pants off by downloading on them for 50 minutes.
- Keep your meetings to no longer than one hour. Studies show that humans' attention span decreases at the 42-minute mark. After that, you have diminishing returns on the meeting time spent. However, you extend this if all participants are involved and are contributing to the meeting. Not just sitting there listening to someone drone on and on.
- Use eye contact and attentive body language while leading these meetings.
- Prompt quiet attendees to participate by asking them specific questions. This is one of the most important techniques you possess in making the meetings productive
- Get those attending the meeting to build on one another’s thoughts to ensure that the ideas represent collective thinking.
- Present your points in a concise manner
- Start and end your meetings on time. This shows respect for the time of your Team members, as they may have scheduled other meetings or activities around the meetings you ask them to attend.
For the Knowledge Skills and Tools all managers and leaders need for communication with their team, peers, and boss.
"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
George Bernard Shaw
Here is a checklist for Results-Driven Communication
- Do you know what your employees are thinking? How do you know?
- What methods do you use to get your message across?
- What do you do to make learning fun and easy?
- How do you go about including all employees in decisions?
- How do you feel about giving critical feedback?
- Does your organization have a leader who supports you?
- What do you do to provide continuous employee feedback on their efforts and performance?
- Do you encourage employees to provide suggestions for improvements? How?
- How do you give praise?
- What kind of listener are you? Do you need more practice listening?
- Are your employees ever surprised by something you say? If yes, what can you do to change that?
- How do you make sure your employees know what you expect?
Listen To Our Podcast On Results Driven Communication
About the author:
Vaughn is the co-founder of Results-Driven Leadership. He is a leadership development expert, podcaster, and author. His methods are brought from his real-world experience working on the front lines and living the role of being a high-impact leader and manager. There was no theory, just common-sense advice, and direction. He is a former executive with CarMax the world's largest and most respected company in the auto industry and is a Fortune 100 Best Places to Work.
Vaughn's mission is to improve the impact of executives and other managers by increasing their knowledge, skills, and abilities.
His motto is "No matter what business you're in, you're in the people business."
Learn More About Our Online Training Courses
Contact [email protected] for a Free Consultation
Stay connected with news and updates!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.