A cheers is in order! You’ve completed the 3rd part of the Courageous Communicator Quest journey. What did you learn about your employees that you didn’t know before? Did you gain any new perspectives?
You’ve come so far. You’ve made it to the final leg of the challenge: Leading Through Honest Communication. This will be the hardest yet. Why? Because now you must combine all of the things you have learned in the previous three parts, and actively put them to use in your daily interactions with employees. Where past challenges asked you to look within, to understand your situation, and to work toward an understanding of others, now you’ll need to directly connect with others to inspire them to action and help achieve your vision. You’re so close.
Challenge 11: Create Dialogue That Makes a Difference
Once great leaders speak, their words become gospel.
Communication is more than just speaking words or writing them down. Impactful leaders know that in order to be heard, understood and acted upon, those words must be incorporated into give-and-take dialogue. Every time you are in front of an employee, whether one-on-one or in a group, you have an opportunity to increase that engagement through dialogue. This approach lets the intended audience or employee find meaning and relevance in the imparted information, resulting in true communication.
The Courageous Communicator Challenge
This week’s challenge is a simple one (in action, at least): Add the sentence “Help me understand what you heard” to the end of every conversation.
Herein lies the real challenge: Really listen to and engage with the response you get. If the person heard something different, do they need further explanation? Or is their misunderstanding actually revealing a gap in your own thinking? How will your conversation become a dialogue that leads to a meaningful, productive outcome?
Open-ended questions are a sure way to start conversations and to check for understanding. Unlike questions that give people limited options for response, open-ended questions encourage employees to express their opinions and ideas. Reinforcing we learned in the last challenge – when you listen to what they have to say, showing interest and respect for their input, it shows you care and the impact can be significant.
Here are a few more open-ended questions you can use to create valuable dialogue:
- Help me with your reaction to what I just said.
- Give me some feedback on the choices I just presented to you.
- What are your thoughts?
- What kind of challenges are you facing?
- What’s the most important priority to you with this? Why?
What opportunities do you see in the coming week to open the conversation and engage in valuable dialogue?
Check back the week after next for the 12th challenge where we’ll discuss Giving Others Feedback and Being Open to Input.
If you are just joining us in our Courageous Communicator Quest Challenge, take a moment to start from the beginning here.
Refer back to previous challenges here:
- Challenge 1 - Know Your Authentic Self
- Challenge 2 - Become Self Aware (Walk the Talk)
- Challenge 3 - Disclose Yourself to Others
- Challenge 4 - Stay True to Yourself Under Pressure (Integrity)
- Challenge 5 – Develop an Accurate Picture of the Business
- Challenge 6 – Envision the Future
- Challenge 7 – Plan Your Communication
- Challenge 8 – Embrace Kindness and Caring
- Challenge 9 – Create an Emotional Connection
- Challenge 10 – Understand Others & Listen Empathetically