In my last blog I shared a few tips on setting achievable goals. It’s all about being clear about the outcomes and benefits you want to achieve.
In this post I want to focus on the impact your decisions have on others – your team, colleagues, or another audience to whom you need to communicate a key message.
Once you’re clear about the outcomes yourself, it’s time to start sharing these with others. Your message might be crucial to the future of the organisation, so it’s important to land this correctly.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you communicate desired outcomes to your team but you’re not 100% sure if that message has landed?
Whilst your outcomes might be clear to you, sharing these with others requires a totally different approach!
Before you press ahead and arrange that meeting, take some time to consider these questions:
Who do you need to share the message with? These might not all be professional contacts. Will any of your personal relationships be impacted too?
When is the right time to start sharing with relevant people?
What method of communication will you use?
What will your message be? How will you structure it?
How long will people need to digest and process your message?
What support might you offer to enable them to do this?
The answers to these questions will help you to become a more efficient and effective communicator and leader.
A lesson in clear and effective communication
A senior leader is concerned that one of their team leaders is stopping the team from achieving their ambitions and those of the organisation. This team leader is a genuinely lovely person. They have the best interests of the team at heart, but they don’t have the vision to transform the team from good to great.
The team are keen and so full of ideas, energy and enthusiasm as to how their organisation can improve. The senior leader can tell they have the drive and determination to deliver more.
The senior leader decides to call a meeting for those who want to play a part in moving the team and organisation forward. They choose a relaxed setting so their colleagues will feel comfortable opening up and sharing their ideas.
The leader starts by sharing a story to demonstrate the good and not so good of what’s happening in the organisation, along with their vision of what the future could hold.
They then ask the team what they want from the organisation.
With focused discussion around ‘what could be’, the team select one idea they would like to pursue, setting a timeline in which to do it.
Everyone agrees to come together again for another meeting soon to report on progress.
Guess what happened at that second meeting?
The whole team ‘GOT IT’. They fully understood their leader’s vision, desired outcomes and how they would measure success.
The senior leader is excited about the possibilities, as are the rest of the team. Their visions are aligned. The next step is to ensure they keep on track and achieve what they set out to do. But that’s a subject for another blog!
It can take time for your message to land
Effective communication needs clarity and patience. To gain support you must allow your people time to digest the vision and desired outcomes; just as it took you time to gain clarity on them yourself.
One of the best ways leaders can do this is to break messages down into clear digestible chunks and then drip-feed these to your team. Accept that some people might not fully understand you the first time. But with consistency and patience your messages will land and you will all be able to move forward together and achieve the vision you’ve created.