Communicating, Like It Or Not
As I often say, “You can’t NOT communicate,” but leaders often figure they can avoid communicating with their teams and just focus on the “important work.” Here’s what leaders don’t realize: They are already communicating whether or not they intend to. It is human nature for others to read into our actions based on their perceptions. And as we know, actions speak louder than words.
An experience I had cooking with a friend brings home this message.
I love to cook, and I’m a clean-as-you-go kind of cook. A friend of mine had a different approach, something that I didn’t realize until she visited my home.
At the end of the meal preparation, just as we were about to sit down for dinner, guess what happened? There were dirty dishes everywhere. The sink was piled so high that I thought it would topple over. I tried to take a deep breath and tell myself, ‘David, now’s the time to flex your style. This will be good for you.’ But it was not to be. We sat down for the meal and the food just didn’t taste as good to me. Why? Because I knew what my kitchen looked like. I just couldn’t enjoy myself.
Plan Ahead to Prevent Cleaning Up a Mess Later
Isn’t communications just like that? Isn’t it amazing that we always can find the time to clean up the messes? The truth is we can always find time in a crisis. So, why is it that we can’t find time to plan and be purposeful in the quieter moments?
That’s one of the most important learnings here. Communicating well should actually save you time and energy. It should help you move through change faster, and it will definitely accelerate the path to your goals. As for a stress-free cooking and dining experience, well that just depends on how organized your cooking partner wants to be.
How can you be even more purposeful knowing you can’t NOT communicate?
Use this template to map out your communication— whether it’s to one person, a group or an organization: