Pitfall of Communication – By Owners and Executives

William Germanetti, @wgermanetti  9/18/14

Pitfalls for Communicating by Executives and Owners:

Strong Personality and Tone

  • Can Create Fear of being run over by bus
  • Can Create Fear of making a mistake
  • Goal: Accountability (management) is required, micro-management is avoided. Active, regular accountability.

Shutting team down during group or 1 on 1 meetings

  • Action: Not validate their point of view
  • Result: Loss of engagement, risk taking and creative ideas
  • Goal: Empower them, take ownership and think outside the box

Running Meetings to the exclusive benefit of Management

  • Action: Meeting revolves around the Meeting Leader
  • Result: Disengagement by team members. Members waiting for solutions dictated to them. Missed (unintended) consequences that the team could have anticipated. Blame game later. Accountability avoidance.
  • Goal: Include the team. Make sure meeting has value for all those involved. Keep on point. Assign responsibility for initiatives, recognize and reward. Accountability from each member.

2 way commitment

  • Accountability works both ways.
  • Treat employees like adults, more likely to get adult (professional) behavior.

Not play the referee between Employees

  • Clarify Expectations and Priorities.
  • Resolve Priority Conflicts between Function Areas.
  • Mentor managers to resolve conflicts within their Function Area and between Function Areas.

Avoid Point / Counter Point Discussions

  • Truth: There are always (at least) 2 sides. Pluses and minuses.
  • Result: Counter Point discussions raises issues, but no resolution or action plan. All involved are ultimately frustrated coming away with the thoughts that they weren’t heard and that their way was right (and obvious). Disrespect for capabilities of each other.
  • Goal: Identify issues/constraints. Quantify the issues. Balance and prioritize within specific Function area goals as well as overall Company goals. Resolve jointly with leadership from senior team member.

Strong Leaders

  • Trap: Answering Questions rather than leading employees through the solution and thought process.
  • Goal: Get them to understand the priorities, why we made this call vs. that call. Ask more questions than answers. Provide stories rather than answer specific questions.

“Need to know basis only”

  • As Owners/Senior Managers, we tend to take confidentiality too far.
  • We tend to segment our departments too much. Good ideas can come from any area.
  • Goal: Give big picture. It is comforting for employees to have a good sense of direction (on where we are headed). We raise overall performance level when side by side Functions interact well through good communication and coordination. Re-enforce 1 overall team, 1 overall company.

No Communication

  • People fear the worst when they aren’t kept informed.

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