“When your boss speaks, I never understand him!” It was April of 2012 when I read those words. I had recently sent each of my Directors a series of questions to find out how they really thought things were going with my leadership. I’ve found that people tend to be more direct and open when they have time to think and provide written feedback. I wanted the truth, and I got it. Among other things (which I talk about here), I learned I had a communication problem!
Through the questionnaire, one Director shared with me that others on our team were very confused whenever I shared a new idea or gave an update on our strategy. After a meeting, someone actually came up and said to him, “When your boss speaks, I never understand him!” This was a person who carried major responsibilities for leading and guiding the work of others. If he was confused, as close as he was to the source, you can image how bad it was for the 33 other people who were trying to make sense of what I was saying. If you want others to give you the type of feedback that started my leadership transformation, you can join the Leadership Transformation Roundtable and receive a free copy of the questionnaire I used.
Over time, I learned what went wrong. Here is what used to drive my communication with others and caused me to be ineffective.
These three beliefs also led to me talking way over the heads of other people. I would use big strategic words and pass around colorful spreadsheets, all designed to communicate I was capable. I created a culture of confusion, instability, and frustration. Looking back, the message I sent others can be summarized by what Jim Lundy wrote in his book, Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.
“We the uninformed, working for the inaccessible, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful!”
Thankfully, through the hard work of Executive Coaching, I was able to change my behavior. I can help you improve your communication skills using the same coaching process that turned my leadership around. Register for your free strategy session here.
There’s a better way to communicate and it starts with connecting. I want to share with you three keys to winning with communication that my mentor, John C. Maxwell, has taught me. They’ve increased my effectiveness and when you use them, you’ll increase your leadership impact and add value to those around you.
Three Keys To Winning With Communication
W. Shane McKenzie is an executive coach who helps leaders achieve greater effectiveness and become more fulfilled in their work by facilitating positive changes in their leadership behaviors. Join the Leadership Transformation Roundtable to get your copy of the questionnaire I used to discover gaps in my communication with others.
What others are saying about W. Shane McKenzie
"I’ve worked with Shane for several years. He possesses a unique and highly effective combination of strategy, team leader and great communicator, a rare combination. He has a very strategic mind so he makes connections and sees disjointed paths where others do not. This allows him to both plot direction and execute the path to success. He’s truly committed to the greatness in others. He listens fully, asks the right questions at the right time, and gives us the space to both think and respond." - Linda Lindquist-Bishop, Strategic Facilitator, Speaker, Exit Planning for Business Owners, and World Champion Athlete
Register for your free strategy session here.
“Shane is a trusted peer whose advice I seek when faced with leadership challenges. He brings clarity to tough situations and has been an objective sounding board for over 14 years!” – Pamela Westbrooks, Vice President of Administration
W. Shane McKenzie is an Executive Coach and Mentor who specializes in helping successful leaders leave their job to own a business using proven strategies to minimize risk.