Four Important Communication Factors

March 5, 2024

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Four Important Communication Factors

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“I am having an issue. I need help ASAP.”

“This is not working.”

“Why isn’t this project done?”

These are some of the obscure messages people send when they need help. The problem is, they don’t provide enough detail to establish context for what they are asking. It begs the question, “Help with what?” or “What is not working?”

In an age of AI, IM, and texting, contextual and clear communication is becoming a lost art.

And, yet, this is how people communicate on a daily basis with those with whom they work.

As leaders, we must know how to communicate well, and communicating in context is an important skill.

How can you communicate with your team in such a way that they are not left wondering what it is you are trying to say?

Define Context

This is especially important if you are working with C-wired team members, who are gifted with the ability of deep focus. Establishing context helps them pull away from their current focus and re-focus on a certain topic that you have established. They need that transition point. Once you have established the subject to be discussed, then you may need to provide a bit of background.

For example: “My laptop computer isn’t working. It is a (brand, model) running on (operating system). When I try to log in, it gives me this error code: ____.”

You have defined the problem in context, with enough information for them to begin their work.

Define Reason

Each person on your team is motivated by an intrinsic desire to make a difference. That difference may vary according to their personality.

For example:

  • A D-wired team member will need to know what the results will be.
  • An I-wired team member will want to know how it creates happiness.
  • An S-wired team member will want to know if it will create impact.
  • A C-wired team member will need to know if it will solve a problem.

If you are meeting with your team, you may say something like, “We need to resolve the issue of ____. This will help us increase profitability, give our customers a great experience, serve the community well, and provide a better-quality product. What are your ideas?”

This communication not only defines the issue to be addressed; it also defines the reason for doing so.

Define Priority

“Why isn’t this project completed?” demanded the “boss” of his employee.

The employee’s shoulders slumped.

“I didn’t realize it was the higher priority,” they said, quietly. “I have been working late into the evening on __ project, which I thought was the highest priority.”

Whose fault is this?

Very often, the employee gets the blame. But, in reality, it is a leadership issue. The leader failed to define the priority.

If you are a leader with the gift of delegation, you may not realize how many things you are delegating to your team members on a daily basis, nor how long it will take for them to complete each one. For this reason, it is important for you, as a leader, to check in with your team members regularly regarding workload and priorities. Be sure to establish a culture that allows employees to check in with you when they are overwhelmed, without fear of repercussion.

Define Outcome

It is also important for a leader to communicate clear outcomes. How do you define “done” and how much is “enough”? What is the deadline? Employees can get burned out, overwhelmed, or frustrated if they don’t know the defined endpoint of their efforts. Everyone needs a goal; and leaders must clearly define the outcomes.

Think of it this way. Income is needed to support a family. But, without a budget, no one really knows how much is needed or what results can be achieved. They also don’t know when to stop. And so, a parent may be spending inordinate amounts of time working to support their family, without being able to spend any time with them.

Communicating the defined outcome establishes healthy boundaries and gives your team a sense of accomplishment.


Action Steps

When it comes to your next issue or initiative, run through the checklist.

  1. Are you communicating clearly and in context?
  2. Have you communicated the reason – the why – in a way that resonates with each team member?
  3. Have you defined priority with respect to the overall workload and clearly communicated a deadline?
  4. Is the outcome clear? Have you defined “done” and “enough”?

For valuable resources on Communication, click here.

Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after executive coach, mentor, consultant, and speaker worldwide. Deb is well versed in business operations and in the importance of asking key questions most business leaders won’t ask themselves. She brings deep experience in leadership development, strategy, high performance team building and effective communication. She has a passion for leading people to discover and maximize their strengths as well as those of fellow team members, while offering advanced strategies to achieve high performance. Deb is the perfect fit if you’re ready to take your leadership and impact to the next level!