Women Leaders, communicate clearly

It has been a challenge to motivate myself to sit down and write this on a sunny Bank holiday weekend, especially as I am just about to head off to the Lakes for some well earned R&R! However, this very conflict leads me to my first point: Know your outcome!

Last week I said that I would give you some tips on how to communicate your expectations clearly and explicitly, but before we even get into communication strategies we have to accept that we must also manage the inner game. It is vital that we know what our outcome is. For instance; are you aiming to increase visibility for some reason or are you focused on increasing team productivity to hit targets or are you running your own business and focused on remaining profitable in a down turn? Whatever the reason, make sure that it is front of mind when you are communicating your expectations. Why? Because the power of your reasons ‘why’ will be communicated in your non-verbal body language and it is vital that you as a Leader remain congruent. If you don’t make a choice to do this, your non-verbal communication will be saying whatever is in your mind ‘did I pick up the dry cleaning this weekend’ or ‘isn’t this obvious, do I have to spell it out?’ Retain your power by focusing on your outcome. I’ll tell you mine at the end!

So, down to basics then, here are some tips on how to communicate your expectations clearly and effectively.

1. Define the task and the output. Tell the person what they have to do and how you expect the results to look. Take time to agree clear targets, goals and objectives
2. Make sure that the person has relevant experience. If you are not sure – ask!
3. Set the boundaries. What are the rules and constraints
4. Explain what resources are available i.e. money, people, materials, tools
5. Ask for feedback, try to elicit any reservations
6. Set a deadline and schedule
7. Be explicit about the measures/metrics and check for progress as you go along. Measure at intervals as well as at the end. Develop a progress chart if necessary that you and the team can use a monitoring tool
8. Be clear about the consequences for performance and non-performance – are there any bonuses/rewards or incentives?

The above list might sound like text book management-speak. However, how many of us really communicate in this way? And, as I said last week – the source of our frustration is often that our expecatons havent been met and this is often becaseu we havent communiated clealry eanough!

I promised to tell you what my outcome is for writing this blog. To reach as many women leaders as I can reach in my life-time through various channels that make it easy for them to access this information.

Would that be a better motivator than ‘Oh, boy I have to write another blog when it’s 22 degrees outside’

Please pass this on if you found it useful

With passion!

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