When we talk about clear communication, what we’re talking about is looking at a communication style that nobody can argue with. In other words, it’s so crystal clear that the facts of the communication are indisputable. So in other words, what you’re trying to say lands on the person you’re trying to communicate with, with such clarity that there’s no misinterpretations or confusion. Now, where I’m seeing this, is when I talk to my clients. In fact, I was just editing a clients job description that he was turning in for one of his employees, and he asked me to review it. Now, when I looked at this job description, the sets of expectations that were there were very unclear. One of them was, “Maintain website and all aspects that have to do with that.” Well, what does that mean? This wasn’t a normal part of this job or this part of the job description, so I was unclear exactly what he wanted his staff to do.
And one of the things he talked about in this was, “Hey look, if you don’t meet these expectations, then you’re going to miss out on bonuses, and possibly lose your job.” Well that’s a very important thing, right? So as an employee, I would want to know exactly what my expectations are, what are my KPI’s, my Key Performance Indicators, so I know I’m hitting my marks each and every time. Set it up for me as the employee to be successful.
So I started thinking as I was reading this, “How often do I communicate to my team, my staff, in a way that allows them to win? Versus ways that allow them to really feel unsure, and on shaky territory?” So I asked them. I sent out a memo to everybody. It wasn’t really a memo, it was an email. A message just asking very bluntly, saying, “Hey look, I’m working on my communication skills. I want to make sure that when I’m communicating with you, things are crystal clear. Here’s what I would like from you. I would like you to let me know if something is unclear, and anytime that I give you work and you don’t understand how exactly you can win in this particular project, task, or outcome, let me know. That way I can improve myself as a leader.”
Now, I also started wondering, “Geeze, where else am I doing this in my life?” Right? Where you do one thing, you do all things. And as a business owner, you take these home. It’s just naturally the way it is. Am I communicating clearly with my family, with my wife, with my friends, with my neighbors, with my trainer at the gym I’m going to? Am I clearly communicating, or am I leaving just so much room for interpretation that I’m missing the mark? And now, the reason we do this as business owners, or as people going on the Author of Our Own Story lifestyle, is we’re trying to get an outcome, an outcome to get there.
So for my business, I might need somebody to embark on a complete marketing program, right? And home life, I might want to set expectations for how much I’m going to work, or how much I’m not going to work. Or, a trip that I want to go on with my family. Or, with my friends. Am I communicating how much I care about them, or that I want to see them, or the things that I want to do? Where is that communication? My trainer, am I telling them, “Hey look, these are my goals with my fitness. I want to make sure you help me get there, as my mentor.”
So, where am I doing this? And I noticed in all of these areas, I leave a lot of ambiguity in there. Now sometimes, I do this on purpose, right? So sometimes for me personally, I am actually telling people, “Hey, this is the outcome I want, just go get it.” Right? “Just go get there.” Now, if they come back and they get the outcome but they do it a different way, that’s fine. But they clearly understand the outcome that I was looking for. And, you know, I’m guilty of just firing off an email, or sending a link in a chat, or making a quick phone call, or a hip chat, or something along those lines, and just sending an article with the expectation that they’ll take the ball and run with it. But I didn’t clearly communicate it. So if it doesn’t get done, guess whose fault that is? That’s my fault, right? That’s my fault for not clearly communicating my expectations.
So back to this business owner, this client that I’m coaching. It’s the same thing. As we do one thing, we do all. So where is he not communicating correctly? And we looked back at the first few sessions I had with him, this was one of the first things I identified within his business that he needed to work on. And it expanded into his family life as well, communication. So what I’m going to encourage you to do right now, is grab your journal, and look at the way that you’re communicating with others around you. So I want you to start off with your business. It’s an easy one, it kind of removes some of the emotional aspects. And, are you giving clear, communication, or have you given clear communication in the last 48 hours, right? So, every email you’ve sent, every message you’ve sent to your team. If you’re not a business owner, maybe it’s to your boss or co-workers. If you’re a student, are you sending messages to other students, you know? Maybe working on a project together.
But, are those expectations and what you want clear and concise? In other words, can I read that email, can I read that text message, or listen to that phone call and know exactly what you wanted? Without a shadow of a doubt? Now, remember, when you’re looking at this, take off your roadmap of the world. Take out your blinders, and that way you can see this. And don’t put your own, think, “Oh, they should have known.” Well, you have to be clear in that communication. When you’re done with journaling about your business, see if there’s anything eye-opening. Maybe you’re like me and you notice, “Oh wow, this is more eye-opening than I thought.” Now what I want you to do is look at your family, do the same thing. Am I clearly communicating?
Now, communication, I’ve been very open about this. This is something I’ve worked on very hard. I was kind of your typical, stereotypical guy where I would communicate in grunts, or a few sentences here and there, and not really going into the detail. So, that’s what I’ve been working on. I’ve worked on it with my wife especially. So, I need to work on that a little bit more, and maybe you do too. So, a tip for the day, or call to action, is to go ahead, grab your journal. List your business and your family, and wherein the last 48 hours have you not communicated clearly and effectively. If you are like me and like most people I coach, identify those few aspects, and now clear up that communication. Set boundaries, and set barriers.
And I encourage you to ask your team, your staff, your family to keep you accountable, so you can become better as a leader, as a family member, and as somebody going onto the path to the Author of Your Own Story. That’s it for me today, I will see you tomorrow. As always, share this with three people that you know will get something out of this, and I look forward to talking to you. Take care.
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