In a texting-based society, communication has been reduced to the shortest wave possible. Two or three words, or one line, are common forms of messaging. And they do have their place.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) now helps to further refine this new form of shortwave communication. You ask a question or make a statement. It responds back with another short question. And this short-form communication continues back and forth until there is an understanding, and then a final result is produced. This works for data-driven technology.
But how do humans respond to this new shortwave communication form?
- “I need this ASAP.”
- “This isn’t working.”
- “Fix this.”
- “Do this.”
- “Pay this.”
In a human setting, these can come across as harsh or demanding. With this limited scope of conversation can come confusion, lack of clarity, stress, and resentment.
And for leaders, this is an important lesson.
It is because humans are not mere technical machines. Humans have hearts and emotions. As such, a different kind of intelligence applies. It is emotional intelligence (EQ). It is important not to let AI train us beyond the level of EQ.
“Please” and “thank you” go a long way. Use these liberally, sincerely, and specifically. If nothing else, it will make your parents and grandparents proud. Good manners indicate respect. Team members who feel respected take pride in their work, and this has the power to motivate them to do their best. Good manners can create a perpetual high-performance cycle.
When you take time to explain what is needed or why it is important to the mission, your team will feel valued. They appreciate that you have provided clarity, direction, and answers to their questions. It also sets them up for success. And when your team succeeds, you succeed in your leadership role as well. Ambiguity has the opposite effect.
Do you want a team that will stay with you through the thick and thin of business? Then, you will need to establish a strong connection.
John Maxwell says it often, quoting Theodore Roosevelt, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Do you want a team that will follow your leadership? First, show you care.
Do you need them to buy in to an idea? You won’t sell them into it. If they know you care, they will sell themselves into it.
Do you need them to understand tight margins? Show you care, and they may help you find solutions.
When you have a meeting, does your team feel they are being rushed through an agenda? When you meet with someone one-on-one, do you take full command of the conversation so you can get through it quickly? When you walk by your team members in the office, do you hastily head into your office without pausing to say hello?
While it is true that meetings are costly and time is money, taking just a brief time to make a real human connection is invaluable.
While these are all important things to remember in face-to-face communications, they are just as important to remember in email conversations. Email is not the same as text messaging. And you are talking to a human and not AI. The rules apply there as well, and perhaps even more so.
While I am a very fast, driven person by nature, I learned from my mentor years ago the importance of taking a moment, even in an email, to mention a personal anecdote, area of interest, or just to say, “How are you?”
Think about it.
You can say to your team members: “Do this ASAP.”
Or you can say,
“Hope you’re doing well! Would you be so kind as to address this (issue or question) as you have a moment, please?”
Consider these thoughts for your next meeting or email.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer, and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, and using the Maxwell Method, Deb helps leaders and teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results