“Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication” – Mike Krzyzewski
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This is the final part of the series, which is also my favorite because it improved my leadership skills with irreplaceable advice. I practiced these principles and boosted my confidence ahead of other leaders I was around. When I was selling cell phones, I used these skills to communicate and motivate my team to be top in the office. Former CEO of General Motors, Jack Welch, once explained that a leader’s main role is to motivate their team! If they don’t, then they have no business with their position title. So here are 10 tips to help you communicate better as a leader.
How To Be A Leader
1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation
It’s always easier to listen to anything unpleasant after we hear some praise of good points. One suggestion is to communicate through the famous compliment sandwich to help practice. You give a genuine compliment followed by the criticism, then followed up with another genuine compliment. When you do this, it communicates to the teammate that the action was not good. And that you are not attacking them personally. Like a dentist with Novocain. The patient will still get drilled, but it will null the pain.
2. Call attention to people’s mistakes directly
Don’t be passive aggressive. Many managers sarcastically say, “I see you did ‘XYZ.’ I wish you could’ve done it like this though. But it’s okay.” Passive aggressive statements are misleading and lack communication. It’s better to say, “You did an awesome job. I suggest next time you do it like this.” This way you’re giving your team a different mindset that shows how you think and what you expect. And your compliment also displays appreciation for their action.
Never use the word ‘but.’ Because it nullifies anything you said before the word, therefore eliminate it. An example is, “You did good, but if you want to get better, do it this way.” When you replace ‘but’ it sounds more comforting and direct: “You did good and if you want to get better, do it this way.”
3. Talk about your own mistake before criticizing the other person
I know, when someone criticized me, I immediately looked for something they did wrong that was similar. I did this because I felt that the person was looking down on me as if they were perfect. To avoid this feeling in the people I train, I am relatable to their fault. Being relatable and transparent opens the team’s heart to you because they have a sense of commonality with you. For instance, communicate the issue by explaining a time that you messed up similarly.
I remember, my manager took a group of us out to ride jet skis for putting up good sales numbers. Our time with the skis was almost up, so I wanted one more ride. Getting too ahead of myself, I violently crashed into another team member. My heart sank. The good part? we weren’t injured. The bad part? One of the skis was severely damaged. I paid $1000 for its repair. Did my manager scold me? Nope! He recognized my shame and told me the story of how the exact thing happened to him at a boat party with his promoting manager. He explained how a certain amount of money was taken from his checks each week for the cost of the damages.
My manager made the damaging situation more comfortable by communicating a relatable situation. Criticism before anything would have made the situation much worse.
4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
Questions spark creativity. Demands dilute it. Managers who say, “Do this” and “Don’t do that” give unpleasing environments. Suggest with questions like, “Do you think this would work better?” Or “Maybe if you did this, this outcome would happen.” Using suggestion phrases saves a person’s pride and turns rebellion into cooperation. It gives the team confidence and power to use their brain to help the goal instead of becoming mindless zombies.
“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life”
– Brian Tracy
5. Let the other person save face
Don’t hurt your team’s ego. Firing is not fun. Getting fired is even worse. So when you need to let a person go, let them go with as much pride as you can. Tell them all the positive actions they have done to help the company. Or when someone messes up in front of a lot of people, give them a good name. Everyone will be looking, so show the people how much faith and belief you have in them that they will do better next time. As a result, they will because you communicate that you believe in them and they don’t want to let you down.
6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement
Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” Build confidence in your team by giving them details on how they individually benefit the team. People want to know they do good. If you tell them, then they will do more good. Many of your team members will come into the job beaten in life from their past. Motivate them by boosting their confidence and encouraging their improvements. Look for improvements to praise.
7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
This ensures consistent performance that your team won’t let you down. You communicate that you respect them when you single them out. Your team won’t want to mess up that respect you honored them with.
8. Use encouragement
Communicate encouragement by making the fault seem easy to correct. Like the old saying: Never cry over spilled milk. Act like you know how to correct the fault even if you don’t. Experience in your field helps with this because you’ve already encountered some many obstacles. When a situation happens, the team is going to look at you to see how you react. Similar to a child, if the child hits their knee, cries, and ends up with a bruise. Depending on how you react, intensifies the situation. If you smile, the child will see that it’s not bad. Yet, if you react like the child will need stitches, the child will intensify the cry out of fear.
Same in business, situations will happen and depending on how you communicate your reactions, displays the level of your team’s reaction. So, give encouragement and hope to your team. Show them that the situation is all right and you guys will pull through. If the team messes up individually, then give that person encouragement then it will be made right. I remember a guy I worked with. Anytime I had an issue, I came to him. I brought a depressing look as I explained the situation. And every time, he heard me out and with a smile explained a solution. In addition, he showed me how to implement it. Sometimes he looked perplexed, but he always followed with a smile and a solution.
9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest
Do this with money (in the form of bonuses and cash prizes) or other compensations like metals and awards. Good speakers use their words to get the team hyped for battle. I also suggest giving a person an important title to strive for. It can be a promotion or just a name to envy, like ‘Greatest Salesmen’ or ‘Most Reliable’ and display it so others can see to show it’s importance.
10 . Know exactly what you want to the other person to do
The reason for most arguments is a lack of communication. The reason for a lack of communication is a lack of knowing what you want from the other person. Give clear and precise direction to avoid most miscommunication. In addition, communicate through the type of learner your team members are. If they understand better visually, like me, then write it down, draw a picture, let them take a picture with thecell phonesnes, show what’s in your mind and how its planned out. If they receive information better through auditory, then use your words to describe in detail. Paint the picture in words by explaining all the whats and hows.
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