Wednesday, October 17, 2012


When I meet with the employees and leaders who work in the organizations I consult with the major common denominator is usually the need for improvement in communication and resolving conflict. Not because people are bad or don’t want to; it's because they haven’t been taught how or they are always too busy in the “fire drill mode." Why are they too busy, they aren’t communicating or resolving conflict.
Leaders complain their people are lazy or not doing their jobs right, or they the leader is so busy they don’t have time to spend with their people.  The workforce complains their leaders don’t set expectations, don’t ask for feedback and don’t really care about them. Then we wonder why companies have a gap between their vision and the results they are achieving. Everything in life and business revolves not just around communication but the “right kind of communication.”
  I believe that communication is the # 1 problem in almost all businesses:
•      It keeps the people and the organization from reaching their potential.
•      It’s not because people aren’t talking each and every day, but in most cases, it’s the “wrong kind” of communication or a “lack of the right kind.”
•      Talking at each other, but not getting through.

Servant Leaders have learned that great communication is about:
Ø  Setting Goals
Ø Helping people understand what is expected and why?
Ø What they will be measured by?
Ø Performance reviews—how they are doing, what are they doing well and the areas they need to improve on.
Ø Asking people for their ideas and suggestions.
Ø Providing, inspiration, encouragement and motivation.
Ø Discipline
Ø Conflict Resolution
Ø I’m your “coach not your boss.” I’m here for you.

Servant leaders know it’s their goal to “help both the people and the bottom line  grow." It's not an either or. You need both for a business and its people to build a sustainable competitive advantage.

Leaders need to realize that communication and conflict resolution:
•      It’s what leaders do every day. If you’re not, potential is being wasted.
•      A business thrives on communication with its people and customers.
•      Communication moves the company forward, stops it in its tracks or slows it down to a crawl.
•      It creates or removes barriers that prevent people from accomplishing their work.
•      Without good communication decisions cannot be made, tasks cannot be carried out and goals cannot be achieved.
•      Done poorly it creates stress and frustration between leadership and the people they have been called to lead.
•      Silos are created if there is not open and honest communication.
•      If done poorly mistakes and problems are hidden.
•      If communication between leaders and their people is non-existent, often people’s minds are left to guess why things are the way they are.
•      When times are bad or there is uncertainty, more communication is needed not less. Too many leaders hide when trouble comes.
•      Actions must match your communication.  If not it will make things worse.

Servant leaders have learned if you want to build relationships with your people, and help them grow you must “really get to know them.” Their goals, their talents and skills, their potential and how you as the leader can help them grow. For this to happen real communication needs to take place. Not just a hello in the morning or a once a year performance review.
Thought Of The Month
As A Leader You Will Achieve Most Of What You Need In Life If You Help (Right Motives) Enough People Discover And Reach Their Potential