One of the easier communication problems to solve revolves around our tendency to think that others understand what we mean when we use a term. Let’s take “customer service,” as an example.
If you have been tasked with improving customer service, what exactly does that mean? How is customer service being defined?
If you’re in leadership and have young people on your team, where might they have even experienced good customer service? They may be thinking “the Apple store” with its controlled chaos while you’re thinking “Nordstrom’s” with its classical piano playing in the background. Not only do different generations differ in their understanding of terms, individuals within each generation do, as well. So when you are delegating or being delegated to, find out whether the definitions of the terms being used match. This saves a lot of wasted effort and frustration.
The Golden Phrase: “As Evidenced By”
Years ago a nurse manager told me a story that has always stuck with me:
When I work with my employees on performance improvement, I make sure they understand exactly what is required. I cannot simply tell them to increase the quality of patient care; I must say, “Increase the quality of patient care as evidenced by an increase in positive patient survey scores and a reduction in the number of formal complaints.” (For example)
Giving people edicts to improve something without telling them what it should look like is unfair and sets up a “no win” situation.
Always answer the unspoken question, “How will we measure success?” and make sure everyone is on the same page by defining terms.
Change Your Focus; Engage Your Team!
|To schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation about how you can make your work communication more effective, call 480-560-9452 or email Silver@SilverSpeaks.com|
Whether it is Disney characters singing, “Whistle while you work,” or the Nebraska volleyball team featured in the October 9th Wall Street Journal article, A Team That Digs Deeper to Have Fun, the idea of applying fun to make hard work easier (and more successful) intrigues us all—unless you practice, or are in a culture of, fear-driven leadership.
PLEASE don’t miss the point by being put off by the word “fun.” If it’s more appropriate, use the phrase ”enjoying yourself while working.” The point is that, when people are enjoying themselves, they are not stressed and are more productive.
Remember that The Law of Attraction dictates that you get more of what you focus on. When your team members are focused on what stresses them then they will attract even more of what stresses them – like being behind schedule. When they are focused on enjoying their work, they will attract more of what is enjoyable – like being ahead of schedule.
I once had an attendee at one of my programs report, “When we’re laughing at work, we get into trouble. Our boss thinks we’re goofing off.” That made me sad, especially since not only was she and her co-workers negatively impacted by this, so was that fear-driven boss. He was missing opportunities for his team to increase productivity and lower stress.
More than ever, it’s important to pay attention to the impact of high stress/no fun on productivity WHY?
It’s so simple to allow people to enjoy their work. It requires leadership that is fun-driven as opposed to fear-driven. Asking yourself every day, “How can we make this more fun?” will pay off in ways you cannot fathom. Try it for a week. Just one week. And watch what happens.
By the way, that Nebraska volleyball team I mentioned earlier? Their motto is: Laugh Together, Win Together! In December 2017 they won their FIFTH NCAA title.
To schedule a FREE 20-minute phone call about how you can make your work environment more fun, email Silver@SilverSpeaks.com