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Communication Strategies for a More Effective Team

by | High Performance

I believe that being a great executive requires us to each grow as individuals.

In this session, I’m going to share with you how to get your executives to grow in how they communicate with each other.

If you feel like your executives get along well, but they don’t always go into the eye of the needle to address tough subjects as effectively as you’d like, you’ll love learning that there is more they can do.

If you think your executive team has a tremendous amount of growth potential as individuals to bring their A game to get more results, you’ll love what follows because I’ll show you how you can help develop them.

Even if your team is crazy effective with each other, challenges each other productively, and works through conflict while growing their affinity with each other, you’ll enjoy discovering how to evolve them even more so that you can grow your profits even faster.

There are a few challenges to getting your team to be more authentic and powerful in their communication patterns.

First, there are often one or two on your executive team who, although good people, often participate in intentional or unintentional passive-aggressive behavior. This causes complexity and confusion and can even lead others to feel like they aren’t safe to have productive conversations.

Second, some people tend not to have the skills to address tough conversations, so they skirt important discussions that need to be had, slowing down implementations and results.

And sometimes, when people conflict with each other, they do damage to relationships and cause a “shutdown” of productive communication as resentments rise, and game-playing becomes an accepted practice.

After talking with hundreds of CEOs, I know that these happen almost everywhere.

I’m now going to give you three steps that will improve your executive team’s ability to work together more productively.

Step 1: Though many executive development programs teach you to “choose your battles,” the reality is that you want team members to be fully heard on all issues while simultaneously fully listening to each other with respect. Whenever I talk with the highest-performing organizations’ CEOs, I often hear them tell me that their exec team meetings are extremely lively, and topics are hotly debated. In the end, people walk away closer—not resentful that they didn’t “get their way.”

Step 2: As opposed to what many executive teams have normalized, including accusatory and blaming language, set the expectation that all conversations must be “advancing.” Someone who repeatedly can’t advance the conversation in a productive way may not be executive material.

Step 3: The three-step management development program—“here’s your desk, here’s your phone, good luck”—is not effective. Realize that you must grow your managers into executives and grow your executives as people. You want executive development that includes “ontological coaching”—how to be coaching. It gets them to be the source of the solution and addresses that it is not just what you do but who you are that makes or breaks an executive.

Three things. Expect them to speak up whenever they disagree. Require that all disagreements be attacks on the ideas and not on the people and that they are said in a way that moves the ball down the court. And finally, don’t expect them to know how to do this; make sure they get the coaching and development about how to be an executive—not just learn the skills of an executive—so that they can create flow and ease in getting things accomplished together.

Developing an executive team where each person becomes the best person they can and brings their higher self to work will not only catapult your profit and growth but create ease and joy in the workplace.

Make sure you tune in next time when I show you how executives should bring ideas to each other and your board or CEO for approval so that you can make better decisions in less time and make the experience of being an executive easier and more fulfilling.

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