Improving Team Communication:
We developed the Six Keys to unlocking Leadership Genius in order to create independent, accountable teams. To do this, we researched current and past clients. We assessed their experiences with coaching and what they gained from it. We also ranked the issues they faced in business.
First and foremost, by a wide margin, is “communicate.” It is the first key because there is no shortcut to getting everyone in your organization on the same page. Everyone needs to be rowing in the same direction and committed to open, kind, direct, and timely communication.
We are never done learning. We do not learn all there is to know in a single dose, book, or conversation. In that spirit, here are four books that will help you improve communication in business, in leadership, and, likely, in life.
Fierce Conversations by Dr. Susan Scott
When I skip meals, I overeat; when I skip conversations, I overreact.
If you’re a reader of my blog, you’ve seen this recommendation before – and there’s a reason for that.
Susan Scott is a personal hero of mine in our mutual industry of business and leadership coaching. In her book, she addresses what nearly every coach has encountered: conversation avoidance.
Many act out of concern for others. However, avoiding, being circumspect, or sugar-coating messages is not an act of kindness.
I have coached and led many teams. I reiterate to them that a safe environment is the goal, not a comfortable one. In fact, growth is inversely proportional to comfort.
Dr. Scott will help you understand the value of “fierce conversations.”
These conversations allow people to speak their truth and create remarkable moments. This is much different than simply using a buzzword like ‘transparency.’ We need to explore the root cause of the issue through conversations. We should focus on solving it instead of endlessly discussing the symptoms.
The Fearless Organization by Amy C. Edmondson
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
You likely recognize the quote from Innovator-Extraordinaire, Steve Jobs from his virally successful commencement speech.
That’s what came to mind when I first came across this wonderful read by Amy C. Edmondson. It’s billed as the “practical guide for teams and organizations who are serious about success in the modern economy.”
I learned a framework from this book. It is a way to use conversation to access each team member’s unique genius.
Questions, ideas, concerns, challenges, and brainstorms need to be heard. This may take time, but it has a great return. It leads to innovation, reduces risk, and increases trust.
This is the environment that is necessary for any company, organization or team that is determined to move out of ‘average’ or ‘mediocre’ and toward ‘advanced’ or even ‘elite’ status within their industry.
Leaders are usually hyper-aware of determining the ROI of monetary investments, yet lack a process for determining the ROI of time. In this book, you will know why it is worth your while to use your leadership team meetings to talk it out.
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
Does compromise mean a loss for everyone?
Former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, offers clear, concise advice for constructing conversations in a negotiation based on the methods he has used in the field countless times to great success.
This is not about manipulation but rather acknowledging how the human brain processes word choice, how emotions affect judgment, and how counterintuitive some of his principles may seem on the surface. You will enjoy jotting down his nine principles of negotiation and then applying them to various situations.
Whether you are one-on-one with a team member or discussing a merger, using Chris’ tips, tools, and truths will help you lower the emotional temperature and move forward in a thoughtful, measured way toward a successful outcome.
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
I know you aren’t listening when you roll your eyes like that.
Former Google and Apple executive Kim Scott brings her recipe for productive guidance: care personally and challenge directly. Her recipe is one that we consistently coach here at Leader’s Cut when offering the equation: people + process = profits.
When one aspect of that equation falls short, the other variables must make up the difference. However, when you are strong in each variable, the result is substantial.
As you hear Kim detail how she has succeeded and failed at leadership, you will come to appreciate that much of her wisdom comes from attending the school of hard knocks that so many of us appreciate.
A commitment to lead, care, challenge, and help others grow in appreciation for the times we may have fallen short in the past. You will walk away with a simple, though not easy, method of achieving this level of directness with your team – or what Kim Scott calls our obligation as leaders.
Improving Team Communication
Building a process for open and effective team communication is a challenge worth its time. By practicing, improving, and helping others become the best communicators possible, you will crack the code to move past being ‘average’ to building an elite organization.
As a Business Strategist, Executive Coach, and former Fortune 500 Executive Leader, I’ve seen the difference that business coaching and well-devised business communication strategies can make.
If you’d like to learn more about how executive leadership coaching can help you strengthen and develop your team communication or find out if activating our Making the Cut strategy is right for your business, let’s get together and chat. Schedule a free 15-minute meet-and-greet conversation with me here to get started.