Skillful Communication + Leadership
Are your best intentions backfiring?
Hopefully you’ve never actually experienced the scene depicted in the image above, but I’ll bet you recognize what this must feel like.
No one sets out to create conflict, dis-collaboration, or unsatisfying relationships at work.
Too often our best efforts and good intentions go awry, leaving us and those around us frustrated and unable to produce the desired results.
FYI, my doctoral focus was on “Conversations-Gone-Bad at Work.” This has given me unusual insight into what’s really behind this virtually ubiquitous problem and what’s needed for a solution. (As you’d guess, it was easy to find people willing to discuss unresolved and repetitive situations with a boss, colleague, or employee.)
My research revealed some stunning shortcuts for making things better, so I offer this approach to leaders who want:
- Proven shortcuts that are immediately useful for dealing with difficult situations and difficult people
- Easy-to-implement methods for skillful communication that close the gap between your core mission and the troubling “stuff” that steals so much of your time, focus, and resources
- Professional development for individuals and groups you’d like to see perform better and function more cohesively as teams
Research results and clients comments report:
LESS — FRICTION, frustration, conflict, overwhelm, stress, fruitless/counterproductive meetings, bad communication, fear.
MORE — EASE, confidence, collaboration, creative problem-solving, clarity of vision and action, productive feedback, trust, people doing what they’re supposed to do and feeling on-track and more positive.
Options for Executive Coaching and Professional Development
If we work together you’d find out pretty quickly that I’m always looking for solutions that are both practical now and that form a foundation that serves you well into the future.
For all of these options — whether working with just you, or you and a partner or your leadership team — I draw on emerging knowledge from the neurosciences, cutting-edge communication theory, high-leverage methods from my doctoral research, and a more than a couple decades of working with small business leaders.
Individual Executive Coaching
This is a favorite aspect of my work — partnering with a client who’s ready to:
- Resolve current hot-spot issues — often related to dealing with difficult people (THAT person!) and/or an unusually difficult situation.
- Transform frustrating, recurring patterns that keep causing problems. We start by quickly unraveling the mystery behind what’s causing these “unwanted repettive patterns” (aka: URPs), which makes it easy to figure out what to do differently to create something better.
- Improve overall communication skillfulness — which for most leaders includes improving better methods for (a) giving difficult feedback comfortably and effectively, (b) listening a bit differently so you get desired results without spending excessive time.
Plus sometimes it’s appropriate to address a question that commonly emerges among individuals who have achieved a certain level of success: “Is my discontent fixable with adjustments in what I’m doing? Can I be happy and passionate about my work again — or have I outgrown this position, or is this place no longer a good fit?”
Skillful Communication Among Business Partners and Leadership Teams
Whether the work is with two top executives or a small group of leaders, we can achieve considerable whole-business improvements by concentrating on certain interpersonal and communication dynamics.
It’s often simpler than people expect to hone a handful of core skills that uplift all aspects of business — at least those that involve human beings relating to one another!
Here are some common themes worth addressing:
- A unintended but virtually ubiquitous problem is that many people are afraid to speak up — or they speak up in ways that produce resentment and conflict. Both are quite fixable. It just takes some basic education about why this occurs (we dip into the neuroscience a bit here) and then how to replace those troubling habits with collaboration, cooperative problem solving, and better results.
- Much unnecessary friction and loss of productivity occurs because most of us unwittingly misinterpret certain differences between people’s ways of working and communicating (eg: what it really means when someone appears resistant) — which has reacting in ways that backfire. The goal in this case is to get those differences working in your favor instead of against you (A simple work-style survey can expedite this.)
- In some instances, communication seems fine, projects are well planned, yet expected results don’t happen as they should. In that case, the culprit is often a hidden glitch in downstream execution and communication — one that is quite adjustable if you know where to look apply a simple 4-step solution. (See “Collaborative Action Learning Method” below).
Professional Development for Groups
Sometimes executive coaching at the top reveals a desire (or need) to extend what you’ve learned to other core members of your organization. In that case, we can craft a customized version of any of these training topics to suit your objectives and mission:
- Collaborative Action Learning Method (C.A.L.M.) — If you want your staff to collaborate, follow through, be creative in the face of challenge, and learn from mishaps and build toward greater and greater success, this program sets up the missing system.
- Feedback Without Pushback — Most people are awful at giving feedback. The costs of not mastering that skill are huge, and pretty much everything gets better when key people learn to give both critical and positive feedback in a way that (a) makes the other person want to listen and able to take your suggestions to heart, and (b) evokes collaboration, cooperation, and the changes you intend.
- Transforming Conversations-Gone-Bad at Work — This game-changing program includes a workshop and follow up coaching. It delivers actionable insights and teaches practical methods for skillful communication — including the often-ignored skill of attending to what we do with our self-talk before we open their mouths!
- From Conflict to Collaboration Among Those with a Mission — It’s so common that, despite admirable and even successful efforts to make a contribution, the people doing the work find themselves struggling with workplace dynamics contrary to those very ideals. This program is for those with a triple-bottom-line — financial viability (whatever that means to you) AND successfully serving those you serve AND living your core ideals with your colleagues on a day-to-day basis.
To learn more, contact me and we’ll set up a time to talk.