4 Tactics for Leaders to Successfully Communicate with their Team

A prospective client recently asked me to help him become the best "leader, mentor and person possible," and it brought a lot of lessons to mind from couples coaching.  

Given how hard it is to make one relationship between two people work, how do you get to this nirvana as a leader?

From a place of curiosity, practice the following:

  1. Listen to your team (or spouse).  Genuinely listen!  It's hard

  2. Acknowledge what they say and make them feel heard.  This can be a simple "uh-hum"

  3. Validate their emotions, their fears, their feelings: "it makes sense you'd feel that way"

  4. Ask questions that let them work through the problem themselves, and refrain from question that are statements of your opinions or advice

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Everything in life is relationships. When you treat your staff with the empathy that you would show to your family, you make them feel human and connected to you. Even though you will have to make some hard decisions that are upsetting or unpopular, if you've laid the groundwork and consensus that you're human, everyone will work with you to create the best possible outcome, rather than struggle against you.

Just as at home, you work to inspire your children to explore, thrive and achieve, you similarly want to encourage your employees to participate and make them feel like they matter. No one likes to feel dismissed or put down. Yes there are limits to how long you allow people to carry on, but take the first step, and reveal your humanity.

If you have some bad habits or aren’t the paragon of this leadership, good news is -- with your buy in -- I can help you see what’s causing you to behave this way. We will slow down the video tape, look at the X-rays together, and help you practice a management style which will change people's opinions of you overnight.

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Will you get paid what you're worth this year?

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It's Review Season. Will you get what you deserve? You've killed yourself this year and accomplished some amazing things for your firm. Now your fate is in the hands of the "annual 360 review process." Your peers, supervisors and HR will determine your bonus and position going into next year.

Maybe your heart is beating quicker as you read this. Maybe you're holding your breath. It makes complete sense you'd feel this way. The anticipation of getting or not getting money and title is intensified because it materially affects your well-being, and -- from a caveman perspective -- it creates uncertainty around your survival. When we feel at the effect of others' judgments, which we may or may not feel are fair, we instinctively feel on the defensive, which eliminates much of our ability to learn from feedback and see possibility ahead.

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Use this review season to your advantage. Yes, your peers may get you wrong: their perceptions may be out of sync with your good intentions. This year is 'in the can,' so accept where you are, and let's focus on what's next. When you recognize and release your instinctual, protective / defensive psychology, you enable yourself to use Review Season as an opportunity and be seen as someone with high EQ, who can evolve and adapt. With this shift in mindset, you will already begin to shift the misperceptions of you.

In my work as a career coach, I have seen that my most intelligent clients often have a hard time understanding feedback, and specifically what they're doing that's preventing them from being in a bigger role. While the review process reveals so much valuable information, it's often communicated in a way that doesn't make any room for you, your emotions, or allow you to use it to evolve. I've worked with tons of great people who were once passed over, and I understand the emotional toll it takes. I can help you see a path to shifting your mindset, and getting on a path to getting what you want. If this resonates with you, and you'd like to learn more, contact me (justin@levelupwithjd.com) and we can set up a 30 minute call to help you navigate this part of the year, and begin to vision what's possible.