Leadership in Context Episode 50 Show Notes
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
What does communication improvement mean? Being nicer? Talking more? If we are going to lead people, our communication has to be efficient, effective, and meaningful. People need to know that we are listening to them and processing their words.
I have spent the past few years trying communicate with, and primarily listen to, young people. Mainly people who are half my age—the millennial group. (A lot of books written about the Millennial generation are out of balance and off sync because not everyone thinks alike.) There are some trends that I have discovered (not just with millennials, but others as well) as I have talked with them.
One of the trends I have found in these conversations is that most have been frustrated by a lack of response. In other words, they bring an idea to their boss, and their boss says he will think about it, but they don’t hear anything back.
In the church, we have a different phrase, a religious phrase—I’ll pray about it. I really wonder how many times when we approach people with things and they say they will pray about it, and they really do? I think this has hurt our integrity and, unfortunately, given prayer a bad rap. If at all possible, when someone comes to you with something and the issue of prayer comes up, pray right there on the spot. You can pray about it more later, but also pray right then.
Here are 5 good communication response practices:
1. Get back to people.
My wife got frustrated with me for not responding to a text she sent one time. When she asked why I didn’t respond, I told her it’s because she didn’t ask me a question. But response is always good. Why? Response affirms the value of the person who communicated, even if the information seemingly doesn’t have a lot of value.Be a good responder. This affirms people and opens up the airwaves of creative thinking and potential problem-solving. When people drop information on you, get back to that person even if you don’t have an answer. Let them know that there is a process that is going on.
2. When you call or text someone, use these words: “Is this a good time?” Or, “When is a good time that you can give me 5 minutes?”
Many times, people will call and just blast into a conversation. It’s not that it isn’t important to whomever they are calling, but they might not have the time then to be focused. For certain conversations, I need my brain to be fresh and uncluttered. This is a good practice to train your team to do by doing this to them when you call. This kind of courtesy begins to set a culture for effective communication.
3. Double-check your messages.
I scroll back through my text messages on a regular basis (not every day, but a few times a week). I’ll go back and make sure that I did not forget anything. Usually when I do that, there is something that I did forget about or have left hanging that I need to check on. Same thing with email. Check and see what is left hanging—waiting on you to do something or waiting for someone to get back to you. Follow up on those things.
4. Give people permission to follow up with you.
I tell people all the time—it’s a code issue with me—if you call me or text me or email me, and you do not hear from me in 24 hours, there is a good chance that that message escaped my notice somehow. Please do not feel bad about getting back to me and asking for my response or resending that message. That’s just how life works. Sometimes things escape you. Sometimes there are technology glitches, and messages don’t get through. Giving people permission to follow up with you is a good policy to have, and the people around you should know about it.
5. Build in a code.
Make it a policy if you are leading, that you return calls/emails/texts within 24 hours. Make that part of your team culture. Recently I reached out to someone via text, and I have not heard back from them yet. It has been a week since I initially sent the text. Don’t leave people hanging, waiting indefinitely for a response.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!