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Sometimes less is more
When communicating with team members, too many bosses will communicate the way THEY like to receive information, rather than thinking about how THEIR PEOPLE like to receive information.
Don’t change what you are trying to say, but your team might understand more and better if you change the way you say it. Before you have your next one-on-one talk with a team member, ask yourself:
Do they do better when I start with the bottom line or when I build the case to the conclusion? Some people will lose interest and focus quickly if they don’t see the bottom line at the start — e.g., “Where are you going with this?”
Do they prefer more social interaction or a short-and-direct approach? Some people feel valued and appreciated when there is a human connection, while others feel like that “chit-chat” is wasting their time.
What is the most effective mode of communication with them? Some people like verbal (in-person, Zoom/Teams, phone) conversations, while others do better with written (text, email, paper) formats. For many people, the BEST way to get an assignment is a face-to-face conversation overview AND a written checklist or template that captures the details.
When we take a little extra prep time to tailor our approach, we often save a LOT of time on the other end. Set your people up for success by using the communication methods that work best for them. Present the information in ways that help them understand the first time. And make sure that you make it two-way communication: confirm their understanding and encourage them to ask questions and to check-in at milestones, interim deadlines, and/or if they get stuck.
(image generated using Midjourney)
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