One of the biggest flaws that I’ve seen hold leaders back, possibly more than any other, is the flaw of not communicating well enough.
How clear are you as a leader? Do the people under you really know what you expect of them? If they don’t, things can get nuclear! I’ve seen it happen.
It usually starts with the leader not communicating clearly what they want and when or how they want it. Expectations aren’t met and BOOM … the leader explodes.
If the people under them are strong leaders, they explode. And like a room full of bombs, a chain reaction of explosion ensues. People get hurt. Relationships suffer. Morale sucks and productivity and vision evaporate into the mushroom cloud.
It’s a nuclear reaction from simply being unclear and falling short in communication!
As a leader, I’ve learned that you can sometimes overstate something, but you can never overcommunicate something.
When you overstate things, it means you’re doing a LOT of talking. Communication is a two way street of talking and listening. I can’t properly communicate to people unless I know what they need to hear. I can’t know what they need to hear unless I know where they are. I can’t know where they are unless I listen to them.
Al Pacino once said that listening is the most important aspect of acting because it determines your reaction. For a leader, when you listen to your people, you will, in turn, know how to respond to them.
Communication happens when everyone, including the leader, is listening and responding in order to complete the task at hand. Communication has the power to clear things up like no other.
Ninety-nine percent of the time that productivity and participation is low, it means that a leader is not clearly communicating the purpose, process and vision of what needs to happen.
So, as leaders, we need to evaluate our own communication, and then we need to seek the evaluation of those under us.