By Bill Flint
Leaders complain about people being lazy or not doing their jobs right, or people complain about the leaders being so busy that they don’t have time to spend with their people. The workforce complains their leaders don’t set expectations, don’t ask for feedback and don’t really care about them. Then we wonder why companies have a gap between their vision and the results they are achieving. Everything in life and business revolves not just around communication but the “right kind of communication.”
Communication is the # 1 problem in almost all businesses
Why is communication considered as the main problem in many businesses?
- It keeps the people and the organization from reaching their potential.
- It’s not because people aren’t talking, but in most cases, it’s the “wrong kind” of communication or a “lack of the right kind.”
- People are talking at each other, but not getting through.
Servant Leaders and communication
What Servant Leaders have learned about great communication is:
- Setting Goals
- Helping people understand what is expected and why?
- What they will be measured by?
- Performance reviews—how they are doing, what are they doing well and the areas they need to improve on.
- Asking people for their ideas and suggestions.
- Providing, inspiration, encouragement and motivation.
- Conflict Resolution
- I’m your “coach not your boss.” I’m here for you.
Servant leaders know it’s their goal to “help both the people and the bottom line grow.”
It’s not an either or. You need both for a business and its people to build a sustainable competitive advantage.
Communication and Conflict Resolution
Servant Leaders need to realize about communication and conflict resolution:
• It’s what leaders do every day. If you’re not, potential is being wasted.
• A business thrives on communication with its people and customers.
• Communication moves the company forward, stops it in its tracks or slows it down to a crawl.
• It creates or removes barriers that prevent people from accomplishing their work.
• Without good communication decisions cannot be made, tasks cannot be carried out and goals cannot be achieved.
• Done poorly it creates stress and frustration between leadership and the people they have been called to lead.
• Silos are created if there is not open and honest communication.
• If done poorly mistakes and problems are hidden.
• If communication between leaders and their people is non-existent, often people’s minds are left to guess why things are the way they are.
• When times are bad or there is uncertainty, more communication is needed not less. Too many leaders hide when trouble comes.
• Actions must match your communication. If not it will make things worse.
Servant leaders have learned if you want to build relationships with your people, and help them grow you must “really get to know them.” What are their goals, their talents and skills, their potential and how you as the leader can help them grow. For this to happen, real communication needs to take place. Not just a hello in the morning or a once a year performance review.
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About the author: Bill Flint is the founder, president, and CEO of Flint Strategic Partners located in Goshen, Indiana. His firm provides servant leadership training, strategic planning and sales and marketing strategy and implementation. He is also the author of the best-selling book, The Journey To Competitive Advantage Through Servant Leadership.