In recent Monday Moments with Monica, we’ve looked at your leadership brand and why you need to identify top performers. In so many ways this boils down to your communication: of your message, what you want, what they need and so on. Thus, in order to fire on all cylinders, improve communication in the workplace and truly become that better leader, we have to address this communication issue. Here are 10 tips to improve communication in the workplace that your high performers crave and your leadership brand demands.
Define (out loud!) what higher performance looks like, sounds like, and feels like so they know YOUR direction and can executive what you envision. This alone will improve workplace communication on your team ten-fold.
Ask employees what they’re performance barriers are and for their suggestions on how to remove them or work around them so that all can increase their work performance.
Request feedback from those who lead YOU on ways they would like for you to improve employee performance. (yep, that means asking your boss for their input on something they may not have clearly defined yet themselves)
Correspond with colleagues outside of your industry to learn of their best practices for improving employee performance and identifying high performers. We are all blinded by our own professions and the way things normally get done. Who’s to say a process that works in a body shop couldn’t be the next innovative solution in a hospital.
Conduct regular gatherings of all your direct reports and seek to be the one who says the least in those meetings. Listen and learn.
Show respect and appreciation for the input of others. Even if you think their idea is the dumbest thing you’ve EVER heard, you can still respond with “Now that’s interesting. I’ve never thought of it from that perspective.”
Look for the traits toughest to teach when you examine employee performance. Were their results poor but their intentions and drive spot on? Communicate the value of their drive and intent and give them the resources to improve the results.
Ask your high performers what they LOVE doing the MOST other than accomplishing goals and then give them as much of that as you can in recognition or as motivation to achieve even more.
Find reliable methods outside of the office that help you to reduce your stressful reactions in the office. Unless you want your personal leadership brand to be one where people play the “flying monkey music” from Wizard of Oz when you’re having a bad day, develop a brand that gets you known for being pretty even keeled and one who takes care of yourself so that you can more effectively lead others.
BE TRUE TO YOU. It sounds trite, but the more authentic you are in how you lead, how you communicate, and how you do things, the less stress this creates from faking it all the time. Be yourself and those who like that will follow. Those who don’t will leave. Neither of those are bad things.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.