3 Steps to Get Your Communication Back on Track

3 Steps to Get Your Communication Back on Track

Any of the following familiar? You feel more like you’re talking at the team instead of with the team. The team complains about communication. Not enough of the right and too much of the wrong. You get 100+ emails a day, they never stop and the only thing you have to show for it is increased anxiety and frustration You over-communicate initiatives, goals, and updates with minimal results Seek first to understand, then to be understood. – Stephen Covey Try the following 3 steps: #1 Know Thyself. We each have our own unique filter for how we see, hear, and understand the world.  Genetics, talents, experience, education, situation, and motivation are unique for each of us.  At Trybal Performance, we utilize the StrengthsFinder tool to help individuals define and understand their filters for the world around them.  Regardless of the tool you use, find something to help you gain insight into you.  Ask for feedback from those around you.  Reflect on when your communication was most successful and least successful.  Get curious and seek to understand you. #2 Know Thy Team Make it a point to understand the individuals on your team and help them understand you.  Often, we assume our filter is right and everyone else should have the same.  Based on those assumptions we communicate with little serious thought to how those around us receive and process the information we’re delivering.  We also don’t clearly help those around us understand how we see, hear, and understand what they’re sending our way.  Openly discuss and evaluate team communication.  What works and what doesn’t?  Get curious and seek to...
How Strengths Can Transform Communication [A Podcast with Lexy Thompson and Lisa Cummings]

How Strengths Can Transform Communication [A Podcast with Lexy Thompson and Lisa Cummings]

Strengths Focused Communication – Interview by Lisa Cummings of Lead Through Strengths Lexy Thompson of Trybal Performance had the chance to talk with Lisa Cummings on Lisa’s show “Lead Through Strengths” a few weeks ago. Strengths-focused communication is an integral part of what takes a team from being benchwarmers to starters! We are fortunate enough to include the link to hear the podcast and a few excerpts from the conversation focused on teams, gratitude and interacting with others in professional settings. http://traffic.libsyn.com/100kcareer/036-Lexy-Thompson.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download About these two business leaders: Lexy’s Top 10 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes: Strategic, Connectedness, Futuristic, Intellection, Command, Input, Activator, Ideation, Self-Assurance, Relator Lisa’s Top 10 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes: Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity, Individualization, Woo, Futuristic, Focus, Learner, Communication, Significance We want to thank Lisa for being such a great interviewer and letting Lexy and cover many Strengths related topics for individuals, managers, and teams. Here are a few excerpts from the podcast: Self-Awareness leads to Confidence and Leadership for Mid-Level Managers Lexy Thompson: You and I do our work at that mid-level management often times, and that’s often a really good space… to start trying to get comfortable with what’s uncomfortable for them. Lisa Cummings: I think that’s really smart because a lot of people listening are people managers and they want to be in executive roles and I could absolutely agree that that does seem to be a distinguishing factor, someone able to go in and really work in those situations confidently. There are also a lot of listeners who are individual contributors trying to be promoted into manager roles and that is about the number one complaint...
How Customer Service Suffers When The System Doesn’t Serve

How Customer Service Suffers When The System Doesn’t Serve

Is bad customer service always the representative’s fault? We’ve all had bad customer service experiences. In the moment, it’s easy to blame the representative we’re dealing with. Certainly, in some cases, they are the reason the experience didn’t meet expectations. However, if we sit back and evaluate some of our most frustrating service experiences, we might find it wasn’t the representatives fault at all. In fact, we might remember them saying something like: “That’s the best I can do.” “I’m not authorized to do that.” “My manager said that’s all we can offer you.” “I’m the manager, and that’s just our policy. Sorry.” What’s lurking underneath these oh-so-common responses we hear in one form or another? After an experience I had with a car dealership, the answer became apparent: it was the system’s fault. The system was set up in a way that did not empower its employees to take action or creatively solve problems. Let’s take a look at my example of the system not serving, then see what I learned as a result. The issue. The frustration set in as I was sitting in my new 2016 Ram 2500, and it would not start.  After trying to start it several times, I called the local dealer where I purchased the truck a few months prior, certain they would be of service. They referred me to the 800 roadside assistance number for a tow. The tow truck driver informs me the battery connections are not installed correctly and are vibrating loose. He recommends I get to the dealer to have them installed correctly or replaced. Easy enough. When I called back...
How to Understand the Impact of Our Stories in Tough Conversations

How to Understand the Impact of Our Stories in Tough Conversations

Communication is a tool. Communication is easily one of the most underrated tools we use. We go about our days casually conversing with each other, and perhaps not realizing just how important our exchanges are. We’ve all been hurt by something someone has said; during our rumination of the conversation, we think “If they only understood where I was coming from!” Unfortunately, we don’t often take the time, or have the fortitude, to seek out understanding. We feel as though our version of events is THE version of events. Knowing there are two sides to every story and actually practicing it are two very different things! Just like a hammer needs a nail, communication requires understanding of our stories. My story. One day a few years ago, my friend Matt and I were writing a song. With a notebook and our voices, we sat at the piano and teased out lyrics and a melody. Once finished, we decided to record a video of it to share online. I pressed record, and we were off! When we were about mid-recording, I looked at the camera screen in front of us and noticed there was something going on in the background. I turned around to see my sister doing an interpretive dance to our composition… “Daria!” I exclaimed in frustration, “We’re recording!!!” She, feeling sheepish, confessed she had no idea we were filming and left the room. She disappeared for an hour and eventually returned with a bruised ego. Once Matt left, she told me I had made her feel terrible - that the tone of my voice was really harsh!...
Why Curiosity in Communication is the Best Tool You’ll Ever Use

Why Curiosity in Communication is the Best Tool You’ll Ever Use

So often, we are quick to jump to conclusions. We see, hear, or feel something, interpret that thing, then take action. But, how often is your first glance accurate? If over 90% of your behavior is generated without your conscious effort, it stands to reason you might want to re-evaluate those first-impression judgments. As anyone familiar with the world of Quality, Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma, and Safety can tell you, the 5-Whys are a powerful skill that help you see past your initial reactions. The idea is to ask why something happened, then ask why again to the first answer, and repeat until you get to the “real” root cause.  Sometimes this takes only three “Whys”, sometimes it takes more than five. Here’s an example:  A machine operator cut’s his finger. Why? #1              The operator wasn’t wearing his gloves. Why? #2              He didn’t have gloves at the work station. Why? #3              No gloves were available in the supply room when the operator checked. Why? #4              The assembly shop needed some of the cut resistant gloves for a special project and took them without telling anyone. Why? #5              The gloves were taken on night shift Friday night and the buyer didn’t have time to replenish the stock because they didn’t receive the message until Monday morning. Obviously one could keep the questioning going if desired, though there’s enough uncovered above to understand the true cause was much deeper than first glance.  In this case, as in many, the participants were well intended and the issue was something that can be worked through and prevented in the future. So, why not...
3 Easy Ways To Demonstrate You’re Really Listening

3 Easy Ways To Demonstrate You’re Really Listening

In a world of infinite distractions, it’s nice to know we’re really being listened to. Just the same, when we make someone feel like we’re actually listening to them, it creates an investment in the relationship and moves the conversation forward. Other than putting your (darn!) cell phone down, here are three skills to help the other person know you’re really listening: 1. INQUIRE Ask open-ended questions rather than yes-or-no questions that invite the other person to share how they see it, how they feel and why it’s important to them. If you lack any understanding, ask for clarification - there’s nothing wrong with not fully understanding and asking for clarification shows you really care to understand. “How do you see it?” “How are you feeling about…?” “What makes this important to you?” 2. PARAPHRASE Restating what the other person said to confirm understanding will keep you present. It also confirms to the other person that you really hear them and assures you’ve interpreted what they’re saying correctly. It’s not something you want to do after every sentence but rather after each main idea. “So what I hear you saying is…” “Let me make sure I got that. You feel…” 3. ACKNOWLEDGE After inquiring and paraphrasing, you can then acknowledge. Acknowledging means letting the other person know you accept their feelings and information as valid. You’re not jumping to conclusions of agreeing or disagreeing with them nor are you moving forward to deal with how they’d like to process what they’re saying. You’re simply pausing to acknowledge what is. “I can see you really care about this a lot.” “I...