Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Five tips for being a great mentor (and four traps to avoid)

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 1/22/2018

Have you ever had a mentor? Someone who took you under his or her wing to show you the ropes? Someone who freely gave their time and shared their knowledge and experience to assist you in your own growth and development?

I can think of a couple of really good mentors I have had over the course of my career. These individuals helped shape my view of leadership and created my belief that a leader’s job, in part, is to develop future generations of leaders. They provided a safe space for me to be vulnerable, ask questions and explore ideas without any fear. They freely gave their time, insight and experience to help me be successful.

No Comments

Lack of Communication?

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 10/11/2012

Over the last 16 years, we’ve conducted a myriad of assessments for our clients. Whether 360 degree feedback, culture studies, team assessments, or employee opinion surveys, we often hear about a “lack of communication” within the organizations we work with. My guess is within the organization you work you hear that there is a lack of communication as well. But what does this actually mean? Does anyone in your organization know?

No Comments

Increase Resiliency in Your Employees

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 2/28/2012

It is no secret that the pace, speed and complexity of change is greater than ever before.  According to some sources, the estimated rate of change doubles every 10 years.  This accelerated pace of change requires more adaptable workers and nimbler organizations.  Resiliency has become a core competency for employees at all levels.  It is important to recognize that as a leader, you help create an environment which contributes or detracts from employees’ ability to be resilient.

Employees are more resilient when they work in environments characterized by support, trust, and open communications.  What do you do to create this environment?

No Comments

3 Tips to Overcome the Illusion of Communication

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 2/7/2012

Do any of these comments sound familiar?

• “I thought you were going to follow-up on that?”
• “But she should know how to do it; we’ve talked about it at least five times.”
• “That’s not what I heard in the meeting.”

If there is a hint of familiarity in any of these comments, you are not alone. It seems like communication (or lack thereof) is at the heart of many work place conflicts and team challenges. George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” And it is this illusion that creates many difficulties for leaders, team members, and bosses (not to mention the trouble it can cause in one’s personal life!).

No Comments

Close the Loop

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 10/11/2011

In our assessment work with organizations we often provide recommended next steps following the completion of a project. One of the most basic steps that can hinder change initiatives following a project is what I call “failure to close the loop.” This is a lack of communication which often leads to a misunderstanding between leaders and employees.

No Comments

People are Watching

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 9/13/2011

Like it or not, as a leader your behavior is under scrutiny. And that scrutiny increases the higher up the hierarchy you go. Employees are watching (and evaluating) your word choice, actions and behaviors. So it is helpful to ask yourself:

• “How inspiring am I?”
• “Am I demonstrating positive or negative energy?”
• “Do my actions match my words?”
• “Am I behaving in a way that is consistent with the organization’s culture and values?”
• “Am I modeling behaviors that I want others to follow?”

No Comments

Intent vs. Impact

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 3/29/2011

In the course of our work in leadership development we are asked to develop programs for our clients. One of the most popular development areas focuses on communication. While there are a variety of topic areas and assessments we cover, a common kick-off point for our introduction is the difference between impact and intent.

In a group setting we ask participants to name the communication-related behaviors they perceive as problematic or annoying in their workplaces. Most lists include behaviors like: “don’t share their opinions,” “dominate conversations,” “whine,” “don’t ask questions”, “don’t want to hear varying viewpoints.” These would be our examples of impact – how others’ communication style impacts us.

No Comments

How Open Is Your Door?

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 3/15/2011

“An open-door policy doesn’t do much for a closed mind.”
–Bob Nelson, Author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees
Open Door_illustration
During a recent conversation with a client, I was asked, “How come employees don’t come into my office and ask questions or share their thoughts and concerns? I have an open-door policy.”

I think Bob Nelson’s quote provides the answer in a nutshell. The door may be open, but if no one is listening it slams shut very quickly.

So, how open is your door? Is it open in name only; or, do you create an environment where people are comfortable expressing their concerns, asking questions, providing feedback, and even venting.

No Comments

Heated Debate Versus Constructive Dialogue

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 1/18/2011

Heated Debate_imageCivil discourse.  Vitriolic language.  We’ve been hearing and reading a lot about the state of American politics and our ability to discuss and debate.  I don’t want to risk a comparison between our work lives and the Arizona tragedy.  Except in cases of violence, a comparison would be silly.  That being said, the concept of how we communicate with each other transfers from politics to our work lives each and every day.  Just how civil are we at work?  What does our organizational culture support?

I have worked in and been witness to work environments that have been quite heated—quite vitriolic.  In recent months, I have had individuals tell me (or have observed):

No Comments

How to Build Credibility

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 1/11/2011

For those trying to establish credibility with co-workers, focus on the 3 C’s:

1. Competence – the technical, managerial, or leadership capabilities of an individual (e.g., knowledge, skills and abilities). Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to be productive? How do I know?
  • Do I execute? Do I hold myself and/or others accountable for getting results?
  • Am I efficient and productive? Do I deliver in a timely fashion?
  • Are others convinced of my competence? How do I know?
No Comments