Meet Carl. Project Manager. He knows all about communication skills.
Carl communicates every day after all. Carl’s go-to phrase when asked about most things, “I told you. How many times do I have to tell you?”
When asked about those “Soft skills” like communication, he responds, “I don’t need that. I need better people! Besides I don’t have time.”
The conversation …
I’m a business coach so … What do you think I’ll say to Carl?
- “Carl, be nicer. Find out what they’re complaining about and fix it for them. Give them a safespace and petting zoo.”
Nope. Not that.
I suppose you could do that. I don’t. That approach is not effective for business.
It’s all business driven by performance
I’m a business coach. It’s all business. It’s about what creates more sales and what falls to the bottom line. And if communication skills are the source of performance problems then we’ll tackle it head on.
I will approach Carl with something along these lines.
- “Carl, how well does your team perform when you’re not there? Are they accountable for their decisions, actions, performance, quality?”
- Invariably, I get the Carl moan. “Uhhggh … I don’t know what’s wrong. I wish I had a team like the old days. I just don’t get these guys.”
Communication skills — Not rocket science
It turns out it’s not rocket science. It’s simply a set of skills … about communication.
And, get this, the guys that research all layers of management from Fortune 100 to the Mom-and-Pop shops come up with the sames answers each year. Communication is in top 4 of poorly executed leadership skills by managers at all levels, all industries.
That’s right it comes down to poor execution at the leadership and management levels.
That would be like an NBA coach doesn’t know what they’re doing … unskilled … not doing their job. Ouch.
So … develop communication skills
- Learn the 4 communication styles and how to use them in your teams.
- Develop expertise in the essentials of delegation and well-run meetings.
- Become skilled at the manager’s moment of truth.
- Excel at precise SMART goals.
Those who can’t communicate well, struggle. Management and business is hard enough without self-inflicted penalties. Communication skills becomes either self-inflicted penalties or a competitive advantage.