The key to solving all your communication challenges is to hire for psychic ability. I know, you’re probably asking yourself why you never thought of this before.
To help you get started, here’s a quick test from the Universal Psychic Guild that you can include in your talent acquisition process. (I was below 20% so I probably missed the cut).
Imagine your new team of mentalists.
No need for lengthy meetings with everyone talking over each other. Just a few minutes of silent, group telepathy and everyone is on the same page. You don’t even have to be in the same room.
Tired of email? No problem in your company. Just fire off a psychic transmission to the person of choice. Imagine the time you’d save.
Your service team would call customers just minutes before they pick up the phone to let them know the problem is already solved.
As a leader, you’d never have to worry about being misunderstood or hiring the right person. Your instructions would be immediately transmitted to the mind of every employee.
Unfortunately, unless everyone on your team is the Amazing Kreskin this dream world may not be an option for you. Yet how many leaders operate as though everyone on their team is a psychic. They carry on day after day, believing or hoping that the team is on the same wavelength.
“It’s obvious to me so why isn’t it obvious to everyone else?” Obviously, based on the actions of your team, it’s not so obvious.
Maybe you’ve caught yourself saying things like, “Of course she knows I appreciate her.” Or how about, “We talked about it in our weekly staff meeting; I thought we all had an understanding.”
The gap between what we think people understand and what is really going on in their minds is almost always much bigger than we think.
Many of these communication problems can be traced back to leadership ESP, Expecting Supernatural Perception.
ESP creates imaginary communication.
Understanding – imagining people know your intentions.
Empathy – imagining people know you care.
Expectation – imagining people know your standards.
Recognition – imagining people know you appreciate them.
Feedback – imagining people know where they need to improve.
When your communication is really a hallucination expect to be disappointed by results that always seem just beyond your reach and frustrated by the actions of your team.
Maybe you have the psychic management thing all figured out but for the rest of us average mortals, here are 10 pointers that might help.
- Be creative in your communication.
Speak to the heart, the mind, the emotions and the senses.
- Use a variety of methods.
Words, images, themes, play, space, data, smiles, celebration.
- Check for understanding.
Apply two-way communication, observation, and learning.
- Ask open-ended questions.
How would you apply this suggestion?
- Engage at every opportunity.
Informal moments are the real power points.
- Keep it simple.
Your team should not need a corporate-speak interpreter.
- Make it memorable.
Fewer bullet points, more stories, more participation.
- Make it measurable.
Communication is the oil in the engine. Check it often.
- Don’t assume.
Your story may not be their story.
- Follow the golden rule.
Communicate unto others as you would like them to communicate.
Execution suffers without alignment and alignment depends on effective communication.
Work harder at communication than you think reasonable then add 50%.
Put more creativity and effort into communication and connection than you put into strategy and productivity.
Plan for it. Be intentional.
Many organizations miss this part of the equation and then wonder why their goals aren’t realized.
How do you make sure your message is leading to the actions you intended?
How much effort do you put into finding and closing the communication gaps in your organization?
How much of your time is devoted to communication? Is it a priority or an afterthought?
Have you ever noticed that most problems can be traced back to a breakdown in communication?
Great communication demands our commitment, creativity, and courage. It’s the real organizational magic.
No crystal ball required.