... is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in "Results Derived from Within"
Written by: Vickie Bevenour, a Professional Certified Coach, PCC
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2016 -Leadership is all about communication. Is your personal language sabotaging you?
type of culture do you want to promote within your organization to
achieve a competitive advantage? This could be a culture of:
innovation, analytics, collaboration, efficiencies, or even of social
awareness and environmental sustainability. Whatever your vision, only
effective leaders can drive that kind of change at an enterprise-wide
level. But leaders are only effective if they can successfully
communicate their ideas and their vision to their teams.
an executive coach, I've worked with thousands of managers and
business leaders whose personal language sabotaged their effectiveness
at driving change, not to mention their day-to-day team management.
your inner leader to shine through, you need to master your personal
language--your way of communicating your company's goals and your
expectations of your team with reference to meeting those goals.
"Howard," a vice president in a prestigious global
professional services firm. Howard came to me because he was
increasingly frustrated and stressed by what he thought was his team's
inability to follow his instructions. After several conversations,
however, Howard realized that it was his own communication issues that
were decreasing his effectiveness as a leader. To change, Howard
needed to master his personal language by learning to ask open-ended
questions and truly listen to the response.
simple rule for business professionals is to ask open-ended questions
that start with the word
questions lead to factual responses, as opposed to why
that produce emotional replies. By asking questions that begin with what,
your listeners will think
and begin to draw their own conclusions. And if you ask these kinds of
questions, your communication efforts with your team will be much more
agreed to complete the following exercise: For every meeting/phone
call/interaction, he prepared six to ten what
asked his questions and really
listened to the
answers, rather than reverting to a "tell" posture and
continuing to ask more questions.
are some examples of applicable "what questions:"
does success of this (project, meeting, presentation) look like?
- What are the top-three steps to achieve success?
- What about your idea/direction will contribute to the success of
this (project, meeting, presentation)?
- What is the ideal outcome?
- What would that ideal outcome look like? (Vickie, I'm not sure
if these are both needed - kind of redundant)
- What is the permanent solution here?
- What do you want to see happen?
- What is the truth here?
followed this concept of asking what
and in six months his frustration and stress level had decreased
significantly. His personal language became razor precise, and he is
delighted at how his staff and colleagues have responded. Howard's
inner leader is smiling.
recognizing that his personal communication style was sabotaging his
effectiveness and incorporating this one change into the way that he
communicated with his team, Howard became the kind of leader a
competitive, success-driven organization needs. He was able to learn
how to promote a culture of analytics which drove change at an
a visionary leader what one change would you like to see successfully
implemented within your organization? I would request that you think
about how you are communicating that challenge to your team. Is
it in an effective, command and control "tell" type of
language...or is it in an authentic questioning communication that
empowers your team to think for themselves, ask questions and embrace
your vision moving forward?
By asking authentic "what" questions you will unleash
your Inner Leader and your team will embrace
your enterprise wide vision.
Coach Vickie Bevenour
*To review any of these past newsletters, please visit the Newsletter section of www.CoachVickie.com
Certified Coach and a member of the International Coach Federation
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