Senior leaders: Do this!

Posted by David Grossman on Tue,May 18, 2010

Last post, I talked about the value of strategic and concrete feedback.  

Today, I want to talk about ideally what senior leaders should strive to deliver to improve the communications competence and business results of their team.

I worked with a senior leader recently who was facing some significant communication challenges with her team.  As we talked about what was happening and got to the root of the issue, it became clear to me that her expectations weren’t clear.

All of us can learn from many of the expectations she and I discussed:


  • Lead by example, and be willing to be held accountable 
  • Listen first to understand
  • Implement a plan to improve communication within the team
  • Provide the training and support needed
  • Continually link work back to the overall strategy of the organization and the context behind strategy, goals, and ongoing decisions
  • Better engage direct reports and staff in key discussions and decision
  • Measure progress regularly


When she presented these expectations to her team, she first talked about what she expects from them. Then, knowing expectations are a two-way street, she told them what they can expect from her.  She led by example is an incredibly powerful way. 

Just days later, she’s already seeing improvement.  And, she’s doing one more thing that’s brilliant: she’s reinforcing through positive feedback all of the new behaviors she’s seeing that she wants to see more of. And those behaviors are multiplying ten-fold.  She’s on a roll!

Does your team know what you expect of them and what they can expect of you?  Might now be a good time to clarify expectations?


- David Grossman



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Tags: Internal Communication, Communication Skills, Leadership Effectiveness & Planning, Feedback/Trust

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