“What We’ve Got Here Is A Failure To Communicate.”

Last night Mike and I dined at a local restaurant and listened in as a customer was trying to give his order to the waiter… who was just NOT understanding what he was trying to say.  Both the customer and the waiter got frustrated, and sadly when the order came out – and was wrong – instead of sending it back, we over heard the customer say “No, it is fine, we just will not come back.”

Communication is such a critical part in Leadership, that it can truly be a defining factor on whether a company succeeds or fails.  Misunderstandings, Assumptions, and simply LACK of Communication are all detrimental to even the best of businesses.  In fact, I think it may be THE #1 thing that could make a difference of whether a company succeeds or fails.

In the last few months I have seen many Party Plan Consultants walk away from their businesses stating reasons like “I never knew what was going on,”  “I felt all alone,”  “I never heard from anyone,” “I was only talked to when I was producing big numbers,”  “I only felt important when I had big sales.”  In the case of the restaurant, it is a customer who was unhappy and will probably not only not visit the establishment again, but share with his friends the poor experience that he had.  In Leadership, you simply can not afford to have this barrier.

So how do you overcome this?  How do you communicate effectively to ensure the success of your business?

Do it well.

One misconception about effective communication is that there needs to be a lot of “fluff” and “pizazz.”   With all of the junk and distractions we are presented with each day, effective communication now is more about getting the point across in a clear, concise manner as quickly and effectively as possible.   Do not try to jazz up your communications with a bunch of fancy words or phrases in an attempt to sound more professional.  Research shows that the best communication is at about a 4th grade reading level, there fore everyone understands it.  Get to the point so everyone can get on with their day.

Do it often.

In my opinion you can not OVER communicate something important to your team.  In fact I think a lot of times it is not even WHAT you are communicating as much as it is showing that you ARE communicating and keeping people “in the loop.”  People want to feel informed, they want to feel included -  the sense of unknowing leads to fear, upset, and eventually giving up.  By “touching base” often, even with small updates, you are showing that their time matters, and that you care about them enough to want to keep them informed.

Do it together.

Collaboration is the new business model in 2011.   People not only want to be in the know, they also want to be seen and heard with their opinions.   Tools such as YahooGroups, Google+ Circles, Facebook Groups, etc allow for you to not only get your message sent, but also for everyone in the “group” to be able to discuss and weigh in as well.   It gives your team a feeling of belonging, and that their feelings truly matter.

Do it now.

My pastor said this week “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago… the second best time is right now.”   Whether you are a brand new Leader, or whether you have been leading a team for years, the best time to begin great communication is right now.  Stop what you are doing right now, and send an email out to your team.  Or create a Facebook Group and then announce it to your team.  Let them know that you care, that you are there to help them, and that you will be working to keep them as informed as possible to help them succeed in their business – no matter how high or low their sales are this week.   Send a note to them that effectively communicates that you will be communicating more effectively :)

Keeping your team connected and informed is one of the first steps to building a remarkable team.  It is one of the easiest, and most effective things you can do to ensure the success of your business.

Comments

  1. I love what your pastor said! So many people figure that its too late to do anything, so they don’t do anything. Communication can be so simple too; a simple “Hi, how are you?” is a great start; and it will open up the lines of communication so easily when people see that you really want to know.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Carla Kennedy says:

    I absolutely love this post on many levels… I was that consultant who was a “Key People” whien I was ordering big and working my business. Along the time when my Mom passed away and I sprialed into a nasty depression and the business was not a priority, I was off the “Key People” list. What that said to me was that I was “Key” when I was producing and putting money in my leader’s purse. The time when I really needed a “friend” I felt abandoned by the “team” I thought I was a part of.

    That being said… I was also that consultatn who didn’t want to give up, saw something in the business, felt I was not “educated” enough and definately not “supported” enough so, I sought out education and support. I am starting my business from scratch… (not a problem… I know I can do it.) But the one thing I do resolve is this. I Will Not Be a Fair – Weather Leader or Friend. I know we have our own dreams and goals and we get caught up in the “litte things” of our lives… but the very public promise I make to myself as well as my future team (whoever they may be) is this… I will be available when I am needed, in whatever capacity I am needed.

  3. April Dabel says:

    Great reminder Lynsey. Thanks for helping us succeed.

  4. Carla Kennedy says:

    Hi Lynsey… Great Article on communication. Plenty is the time when we all go about “our merry way” without stopping to clarify and understand what someone else is saying. All it takes is but an extra minute or two.
    Thank you so much for reminding us on the importance of clear, concise communication.

  5. Awesome post Lynsey! Lack of communication can really hurt a business. People need to learn to stop and LISTEN. There’s a reason you have two ears and one mouth. :)

  6. Great points Lynsey…what if you the consultant have a small team, and they rarely reach out to you, answer calls or emails. It can be frustrating when your the one that reaches out. I find it amazing when someone wants to join your team and they are emailing you questions like gang busters, they signup….and then nothing.
    Karen

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