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9 Change Communication Best Practices

While there are no magic words that fit every situation, there are some best practices we have discovered over the years.

1. Build trust before change. The time to start building trusting relationships is before you need them! In times of change, the trust between you and your people is critical. If you don’t have trust, it may be too late to have real communication. Employees who trust you will hear the perfect phrases as you intend them. This will create meaningful dialogue. However, if your relationship with them is damaged from past errors, employees may hear any phrase… Read the full article >

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8 Guidelines for Communicating Change Virtually

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Today’s organizational changes involve employees spread around regions, countries, and continents. Virtual tools like GoToWebinar, Skype, blogs, and Facebook offer a terrific amount of added flexibility to communicate with people. Yet, there are also many limitations and challenges when communicating change in this new digital world.

In principal, all the rules of communicating change apply in virtual situations. In fact, they are amplified because when you are not face-to-face, it is more critical to follow all of the guidelines…. Read the full article >

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Three Common Mistakes Leaders Make When Communicating Change

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We have seen leaders fail in communicating change in three basic ways: not telling enough, not listening enough, and not telling the truth enough.

Not Telling Enough

Leaders are usually ahead of the people they are leading. They usually know information before employees and have thought through situations before employees even know what is going on. This can lead them to forget that employees do not know what they know. The result is many leaders do not communicate enough…. Read the full article >

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Balancing Information, Emotions, and Action

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Within any change message, there are three distinct parts: the information or data to be shared, the emotion of the conversation, and the action that needs to be taken. These parts need to be carefully balanced to successfully support a change initiative.

Information

People need information during change–the hard, cold facts. This information might include the details of the new procedures, processes, and plans as well as who will be doing what and when. These pieces… Read the full article >

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How Listening Impacts Conflict

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If someone disagrees with us – part of the frustration in the conflict comes from feeling like the other person doesn’t understand. They are not listening.

Lack of listening of either side escalates conflict. Before you tell them you disagree or make your point again, a small bit of listening will go a long way to increase understanding and reduce conflict.

Jim Haynes, former NYC policeman, sees it this way. Jim worked for 13 years in law enforcement on… Read the full article >

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4 Steps to Conflict Resolution

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Over the years, working with many leaders and teams experiencing conflict, we have found that there is a simple structure, when kept in mind, increases success in conflict situations. The steps are:

1. Understand the Issue
2. Set a vision
3. Explore Alternatives
4. Agree on Action

With that said, it is hard to always follow it perfectly. It is meant as a guideline to address the key aspects of conflict situations. These 4 steps is… Read the full article >

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Why Great Teams Speak Up and Challenge Their Leaders

A recent study at MIT confirmed that many of you reading this need to speak up!

I agree. In my experience working teams made up of scientists, MD’s, engineers, and researchers, many of these leaders were talkers to the detriment of team performance. They are often articulate and captivating, naturally adding value when they speak. But over time, when they lead the conversation, others just check out. The team sits in silence and the result is one-dimensional results.

This is a leadership problem, of sorts, that can be resolved.

After a few hours with a R&D team at a… Read the full article >

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The Smartest Leadership Strategy: Say Nothing

Most leaders’ natural reaction to low team performance is to take charge. They view this as their job: to set direction and lead. However, in many cases, this is actually the completely wrong approach.  Sometimes the strongest and smartest approach is to sit back, stay silent and say nothing. 

Being the strongest voice in the room is a typical success strategy.  Leaders have a way of getting heard, above all others, even when they are not formally in charge.  And this is not bad.  There is a place for setting direction among the many… Read the full article >

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The H Factor: The Human Hormone Element That Drives Great Teams

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Fact: email conversations usually do more to divide team members than to bond them

Fact: web meetings are often a waste of time, creating stress and bad feelings

These are but a few of the elements that reveal the importance of what we have discovered as The H Factor. 

When we are physically together with people, our bodies produce hormones that make us nice.  This is the same biology that bonds mother and child, and it  occurs in all people at a smaller level whenever… Read the full article >

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How Leaders Can Ask For Help and Keep Their Team’s Confidence

It’s a stereotype that men would rather be lost than stop and get directions, but it turns out asking for help carries a psychological penalty for guys. A study from researchers at Duke University, the University of San Diego, and the University of Pittsburgh found that male leaders who ask for help are perceived as being less competent. When female leaders solicit help, however, the negative image didn’t apply.

“What drives this perception is that help-seeking is atypical for men but not for women,” says Dave Lebel, assistant professor of business administration at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz… Read the full article >

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