I work with a company in India who does some of the programming for our online systems development and management program called YODA. Many of you are familiar with it. Bragging for a moment, it’s actually pretty good with rave reviews from those who are actively using it. It saves massive amounts of time when it comes to documenting and managing your company systems, operation manuals and day to day employee tasks. Let me know if you’d like to know more about it. Okay…commercial over.
So last night I am on a call with the developers via Skype and I started to get a little frustrated. Although they speak English pretty well, they still have some rather thick accents. That coupled with a poor connection and delays in the signal back and forth, it was hard to communicate and share some of the improvements I would like to make to the program.
I believe they felt the same way because we had to strategize a different approach for me to get the information to them that they needed for the project.
Themes run rampant in my life it seems because yesterday morning, in a conversation with one of my Certified Level 7 Systems Coordinators, we had a conversation about effective communication.
Unless you live in a bubble, a hermit, if you will, you will be communicating with people. Communication is an art and a science. Few people consider the impact that poor communication has when it comes to producing results. Effective communication can make all the difference in ensuring that people have a thorough understanding of our perspective and expectations.
In business particularly, if we aren’t communicating well, there is a strong likelihood that people will not be operating effectively and efficiently. We simply won’t get the best possible results.
I find it funny how people take the skills of communicating for granted. In fact, few people even think of communication with intention. They just go on and on and on and never consider if people are even receiving and understanding their message.
Some people don’t listen with intention so they can fully understand.
They expect people to read their minds and then get upset when others don’t meet their expectation.
When it comes to communication, we all have responsibilities associated with it.
Yes, you have a responsibility when it comes to communication if you want to do it well.
It really comes down to 2 things.
1- Communicate well so others fully understand you.
2- Listen well so we fully understand others.
Communicating well requires that we understand and accept the reality that not everyone speaks your language. I am not talking literally, although that could be the case if you are talking to developers in India. People process and receive information differently. They have different perspectives. They see and hear things through different lenses.
You know what I mean. You’ve probably had a conversation with someone that you immediately clicked. Like you just got each other. Related. Understood.
And I’m sure you’ve spoke with others and it felt tortuous to engage in a conversation with them.
The problem is not you. AND the problem is not them. It’s just differences.
If you wish to communicate well, seek to bridge the gap, understand differences and discover ways to adapt and adjust. Once you’ve communicated, confirm your message has been received and understood.
The same is true with listening. I know I need to continually focus on listening with the intention of understanding. I ask questions. Seek clarity. Repeat what I’ve heard so I am sure I heard and understand.
Here’s my challenge for you. Ask yourself theses question as you engage others in all forms of communication with others:
“Am I doing a good job of conveying information?”
“Is the message being received?”
“Do I understand what others are saying to me?”
You might find it takes a little more work but the results that stem from building quality connections and clarity with others will be well worth the time and focus.
Years ago my dad was into horseracing. He loved to go to the track and bet on the ponies. He never spent too much. It was more about entertainment than making money. Although I think he made a few bucks most of the time. He had a system.
He was especially good at reading the racing forms. He was able to uncover the often overlooked details that revealed information about a horse that might suggest it was underrated.
I suppose it’s easy to pick a favorite. He especially loved to identify a horse that had strong potential to win a race that most others would underestimate. Nothing like picking a 5-1 or 7-1 and watch it blow by the favorites in the stretch.
One day my dad and I were discussing his horse selection strategies and he revealed a little secret to me.
He explained that horses have classes. Not like school…but more like social classes. He further explained that all things being equal, if two horses were racing and one came from better stock, the lesser horse wouldn’t or couldn’t beat the higher class.
I think it’s like the alpha dog or pack leader thing. I’m not sure that is an entirely accurate metaphor, but I believe it illustrates the point.
In only very rare instances would a lesser horse win given equal circumstances. If a lesser horse was significantly faster or more suited for a specific race it would usually win. But it was rare.
Personally, I found this an interesting phenomenon. In many ways, I have found this to be true about people. Especially about business leaders and the way they work.
People will only operate at a level they feel they are comfortable or capable of performing at. Despite providing them all the tools necessary to be effective business owners, leaders or entrepreneurs, they will still do the work they BELIEVE they are capable of doing.
- The construction company owner sees himself as a construction guy – not a leader – so he gravitates towards doing the tactical work in a construction business.
- The realtor sees herself as an agent – not an entrepreneur – so she goes out and sells homes, rather than building a real estate business.
- The accountant, doctor, lawyer, appraiser, chef, beautician all see themselves in those roles – not the role of an business leader – and so they engage in their craft and neglect running the race at a higher level.
Here is the most interesting point. They don’t even see it. They call themselves the business owner, entrepreneur, leader, but they don’t work at that level.
The race horse doesn’t consciously think – “Oh, wow…here comes Secretariat. His momma and dadda were a lot better than mine, I better slow down.”
Humans, until they become conscious of this phenomenon, will sabotage their own progress until they change one thing.
The Way You Think About Yourself.
We must reprogram our thoughts and beliefs and KNOW that we are effective, capable, deserving and successful business people.
Who you believe you are will massively influence your performance.
One of the first signs that you have belief issues – you will continue to avoid doing the work and activities of a leader.
Despite having all the tools. You won’t work on your vision. You won’t set concrete goals. You won’t focus on the future of the business. You won’t define and cast vision and values. You won’t take the time to listen to and engage your people.
As a result, your business simply will not advance. How can it without leadership?
By the way, the same is true about effective management. Whether it’s you or someone else in your business managing. If you don’t see yourself effectively doing it; it won’t happen.
How do you fix it?
It’s a steady and arduous process of mental management. The most effective and simplest approach it writing a reminder down.
Perhaps something like – I am a highly effective business leader that is crystal clear on the direction and values for my organization and inspires and engages participants to support in achieving that vision.
Commit to reading and focusing on this statement for 40 days. Nothing magical about that number. It just represents a time frame that requires some discipline, focus and consistency.
Watch what happens, you won’t even realize it but soon you will be passing up the competition and running at a whole new level in your business.
You will be the fastest odds on favorite to win the race.
If you are a business owner, whether you like it or not, you have the role and responsibility of leadership. Some are gifted…other’s need support, guidance, tools and encouragement to be their best.
Like the guy in this video.
Do you need a push? Are you capable of more and know it but just can’t seem to get to where you want to be.
Maybe I can help. I rarely do this but I am currently accepting a few motivated business owners who are ready to transform their business and their life – get more free time, reduce stress and build a scalable, consistent and predictable business that grows well.
If you would like to explore what working together might look like, cost, the outcome and benefit, without any pressure or obligation – (seriously I only work with people who really want it), then click the button below, fill out the quick form and let’s start a conversation.
Several years ago a good friend named Scott was visiting from out of town. My wife, Scott and I went bowling one evening for fun. There is no other reason for me to go bowling other than for fun because I am pretty bad at it. Kind of like golf too.
Anyways, at one point in the evening Scott threw a strike and proceeded to perform a rather silly little dance as he chanted, "Follow the leader, leader, leader." It became a running joke for several months.
We have had many conversations about leadership within the context of these Daily Messages. Becoming an effective leader is actually quite simple if you understand it's purpose and the work required of a leader.
What is the purpose of leadership? In it's simplest terms, leaders create followers. The difference between being an average leader and a great leader comes down to how focused, committed and enthusiastic their followers are.
The work of the leader is essential broken down into 3 parts.
1- Understanding the people you want to attract to your mission.
2- Casting a compelling vision for all involved.
3- Effectively communicating the vision to create excitement and focus.
Leadership is not a title. It, like any other work in your business, is a function. A person understanding the power and benefit of great leadership will engage in activities focused on the three elements listed above.
When you do that, you can't help but create an organization where people want to "Follow the leader, leader, leader."