If you believe that we as a nation more dysfunctional and unwilling to collaborate, compromise and cooperate, then I agree. Refusing to appreciate an opposing viwe is the hallmark of an insecure person and unworthy of any leadership poisition or authority.
As we gain knowledge and skills, it generally follows that our careers and levels of authority increase. Some leaders may first hold a position as a follower and then are elevated to a position of management for which they are not prepared. I often observe that when a CFO becomes a CEO or a long-term employee is promoted based on seniority versus merit. The skills and knowledge that made them a great follower are not the same competencies they need to be a leader.
Leadership is learned… they are not born. Attitude and behavior are more important at the top. Technical skills are 10% of what a leader needs; while people issues make up 90%. It is simple…you cannot do the job alone and people want and need to be included in the process.
In order to increase your understanding of effective communications, it is helpful to know what your natural and adaptive behavioral styles are. The DISC Index reveals the HOW portion of What, Why and How. Once you understand HOW you prefer to behave, you can align the environment in which you work, choose the profession that gives you the best opportunity for success and reduces stress levels.
Imagine your gains in effectiveness, as well as that of your organization, if everyone knew what to say and do to be more effective in communicating… and what to avoid saying when communicating with each other. Before consensus and relationships can be formed, the challenges of communications in the workplace must be unraveled.
I observed in 25 years as a credit union CEO that almost all situations in which I was involved that were impacted negatively came as a result of communications that did NOT happen. You see that daily in Washington, DC. If you are a financial institution leader, it is a teachable event each time the examiners stumble through an exit interview.
In what direction does most communication flow? (Down, up, side-to-side, outward to customers, inward from customers, etc.) What is the result of that? Building consensus and creating lasting relationships that advance the goals of your organization require you to elicit some sort of behavioral response. If the communication fails to prompt a specific action, a positive response, or improved understanding, then that was an ineffective communication.
Simple rules such as being logical, alert and brief go a long way in improving your communications and in getting the results you want. Before you can build consensus and relationships you must earn other’s trust and confidence. Whether you are sharing your vision of the organization or negotiating an important issue, your ideas must be clear, specific and presented in a way that considers others’ desires and needs.
Empathetic communication will enhance your credibility and advance your interests. Empathy builds relationships. Leaders who are trusted, respected and loved are also the most successful. Care for your employees and show it. You will be rewarded with meaningful relationships, productive consensus building, and accomplishments.