Category Archives: COMMUNICATION LIVES
One of the most interesting and challenging areas of personnel leadership and management is observing the internal and external individual Battles For Your Backing.
Think about it?!
As someone involved in organizational or business leadership, consider the different conversations employees have with you on multiple work and non-work topics. How often do they try to convince you that their view is the most righteous view? Or isn’t it interesting for someone to bring up a certain policy change decision and subtly inform you of its good or bad organization wide impacts? Lastly consider the number of times partner organizations “go-fishing” to determine your position on a certain agenda item and proceed to adjust your thinking on the issue to be more in line with their beliefs.
Battles For Your Backing are a very natural, human instinct course of action in the workplace. The most important LEADERSHIP consideration regarding these Battles is the manner in which you deal with them. And for today…because there are so many areas to consider regarding the Battles For Your Backing topic, lets just start with a few simple TRIPLE III TIME professional suggestions:
- Always listen intently, there is always a piece of constructive information in any Battles discussion.
- Consider the source (you know what I mean) of the Backing request.
- Assess your ability to EQUALLY discuss the issue.
- Determine fact versus opinion.
- Ask yourself it you are “swayed” by the presentation or the information quality.
- Is the Battle topic one you would take forward to your supervisor?
- Think about the Battle benefits…is it for the individuals personal gain or organizational.
- Consider if the Battle topic is new…old…or recycled.
- Apply the “Timing Is Everything” phrase to the Battle request.
- Finally, be sure to prioritize your own list of Battles For Your Backing (or you may experience Battles Fatigue!).
Ok…yes, it is a TOP 10 list of Battles For Your Backing items to consider. I am sure you can add more…but maybe this list is a good starting spot!
One of the “techniques” I use as I deliver instruction and teaching in my American Government & Politics class is: Thinking Out Loud! We all know what I am referring to…right? Those times when you say something about an issue or problem…that is a direct result of what you are thinking. Often the statements come out with less of an “opinion-filter” or in the form of an idea that has not been thought all the way through.
By using this technique…what am I hoping for? Simply put…I am offering students the opportunity to freely think, offer ideas that are not impacted by history, politics or money concerns and finally allow for sharing personal thoughts and viewpoints without the fear of employment/professional negativity.
So why is Thinking Out Loud! a special TRIPLE III TIME message topic this week? I guess my answer is all about “inspiring innovation”! I believe that leaders, managers, teachers…those responsible for moving groups of people forward…can all effectively utilize this tool to encourage a free-flow of information sharing. By allowing a safe, open environment for everyone to be Thinking Out Loud!…you will realize a wonderful gateway for cool business development ideas or organizational improvement. Yes there is always the need to maintain group order and focus…but I can testify over and over that appropriate use of Thinking Out Loud! has produced great progress results in multiple situations.
The only simple requirements for Thinking Out Loud! to work are:
- Everyone must be a good listener
- Everyone must participate
- Everyone must be open-minded
I said simple…right?
When you read this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message title: “Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions”…what do you think about? Do you think about how you are doing in your relationships/performance on the job/planning for the future/or just simply…am I being the best person personally and professionally I can be? Well no matter the topic Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions is never easy!
So as you can guess, this is an extremely challenging topic to share quality ideas/suggestions about. Even choosing the right words to make the best, most appropriate, positive points in this TRIPLE III TIME message has caused me to use more of my eraser than usual already…but here goes.
First, understand that today in our world any issue has more “consideration factors” than in most years/decades past. As a result the simplicity in asking good, effective, timely questions…regardless of topic, seems to have evaporated. Instead it is necessary…even critical to allocate more time, more thought to asking the best questions.
Second, prioritize committing yourself to be someone Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions as a matter of good business. Additionally, make a commitment to ask them with true professionalism and for the purpose of helping “the cause”. Your questions can not be self-serving but to share mutual awareness and development.
Finally, as you continue Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions, those in leadership positions will begin noticing your value in being more knowledgeable, more clear and more progressive regarding challenging issues facing your organization.
Is Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions easy? Absolutely not! However, are there classy, professional development opportunities contained in taking part in this undeniable responsibility? 100% YES!
One of the communication problem areas that arise in every organization is deciding: “Who’s job is it?” Different employees who are responsible for different areas of production or service do not always make inter-organization communication a top priority. Often, they follow a mindset that believes:
- “He or she doesn’t need to know everything about this or that.”
- “I think (insert name) or (insert name) will get this message out so let’s wait until they do it.”
- Or simply: “Communication is not in my job description so I’m not going to start doing it now.”
Well, I believe that no matter your job or status in your organization/business, everyone…EVERYONE sometime may have to assume the role of “DELIVERING THE MAIL!”
Attaining and maintaining success in any organization hinges on GREAT internal and external communication. Assuming someone is sharing your new product/service information, changes in customer service timelines, quality control responsibilities, the addition of a new employee or all of the above (and maybe more), is an area of operational responsibility that can and should be progressively shared.
“DELIVERING THE MAIL” from a personal level increases message value, adds authenticity, encourages information sharing and most importantly puts everyone on an equal plane of knowledge and understanding. If everyone is smarter in your world-of-work…every component will be more successful no matter the challenges.
Today within this special TRIPLE III TIME message I want to share with everyone the feelings one has when they are asked a unique professional help question that they would NEVER have seen coming! The question: “Dr. Pichla will you help us with a workshop/training session on how to increase ONLINE PARTICIPATION in our organizations activities? Can you picture THE LOOK!? Me…who avoids online anything and lives to be face-to-face for professional positive energy and performance quality!
Well maybe they asked me specifically for the reasons I just wrote (and maybe it would help me too).
No matter the business or service sector you are working in, the need to be involved in online meetings, education, training, sales, performance measurements or planning must include EVERYONE. I think it is also important to point out that regardless of the impacts the COVID pandemic has made regarding this issue, use of advanced technology for all the daily activities identified above…and in a much bigger way…is/was just around the corner.
Given this unavoidable ONLINE PARTICIPATION phenomenon and in response to the NEVER question, I would build my workshop/training session around answering several very direct “onlining” questions:
- Does participating in an online meeting mean you can pay less attention or ask less questions?
- Does conducting an online training mean as long as you get through your slides…all is good?
- Who is responsible for participation quality in an online world?
- How do you eliminate ONLINE PARTICIPATION “hiding places”?
- Does participation…real participation take on an expectation of leadership?
- Should lack of quality personal ONLINE PARTICIPATION have economic impacts?
- How would it feel to NOT be included in an ONLINE PARTICIPATION business growth session?
- Try to describe “all-in” when you think about ONLINE PARTICIPATION?
- How do you get labeled “the best in the business” in the ONLINE PARTICIPATION category?
- Is it appropriate to pick and choose your attention level regarding ONLINE PARTICIPATION?
We would have fun and together learn a lot?
Bottomline: I would remind them that the best answer to QUALITY/GREAT ONLINE PARTICIPATION for anything is found when you look in the mirror.
There are so many critical personnel issues facing those responsible for manpower in businesses and organizations in today’s world of work. Candidate RECRUITMENT is often part of every consulting session I take part in no matter the private or public sector employer raising the issue. Understandably the majority of my ideas and recommendations are customized for every group. However, I have to report that no matter the entity…no matter the size of the company and no matter the service or product they supply, the initial question I raise regarding RECRUITMENT of workers is: “How old is your stuff?”
Specifically, how old are your job postings, the job descriptions, the media your use to get the word out, the recruitment methods used by your competition and finally is the position you are recruiting for really the specific area your organization needs help in? Too often companies or agencies practice RECRUITMENT BY CONVENIENCE! Instead of doing appropriate employee skill need research…those responsible follow traditional RECRUITMENT and hiring practices (i.e. the most convenience option). The end result is that the person hired may be great…but the job expectations may be much different than what was advertised and discussed thereby creating early two-way confusion and the potential loss of a good person.
Today more than ever before every organization should avoid RECRUITMENT BY CONVENIENCE. Everything…YES EVERYTHING has evolved, modernized, gone high tech and become more job task specialized. Therefore, I recommend that before even launching a personnel RECRUITMENT campaign, conduct an employee skill need analysis with the future in mind. It will be more than worth your time.
Well if you have not paid attention or missed some of the pickups parked on the side of the road near a patch of woods… it is deer hunting season! And one of he “sayings” related to this season I have heard over the years was: “If You Are NOT OUT THERE… Then You Are NOT IN!”
What does this statement mean to those involved in deer hunting?
Simply it means that if you: (1) sleep-in, (2) decide it is too cold, (3) watch a movie, or (4) go to work on an overdue project; you will not be out in the woods and not seriously be in the hunting game for the necessary times that are available!
OK go ahead… now ask how does all this special information add up to a quality TRIPLE III TIME message?
Well I believe this statement: “If You Are NOT OUT THERE… Then You Are NOT IN!” also very appropriately applies to the need for timely, dedicated, workplace COMMUNICATION. Whether you are in private business or offer services in the public sector, if you fail to have a regular, strong and even unique process for getting your message out to those you work with or work for… you are really NOT OUT THERE and thereby NOT IN the game of effective successful COMMUNICATION.
Just like getting your hunting blind/food plots ready, communicating regularly in a quality way sets you up for better business/service opportunities. Also building in diverse methods of communicating within your workplace network can also enhance your potential of “being in the right place at the right time” (also a favorite deer hunting saying).
Bottomline: Be OUT THERE with great COMMUNICATION and you will be IN with greater business/service success.
I don’t have to tell you or explain why EVERYONE in all walks of life are facing Communication: How Much Is Enough Or Too Much… challenges. Challenges like:
- What is the best communication method to use in certain areas?
- Who gets included in some emails or not others?
- Is it still OK to make your own handwritten sign and just put it in the hall?
- Are some issues still a “secret” to communicate when there is nothing secret about them?
- Is there short and long-term value in just giving most messages/information to everyone?
- How do you avoid having people think your messages are NOT that important?
The list of communication challenges questions is endless. However, this TRIPLE III TIME message is intended to offer some common sense communication challenge “helpers” to maybe use everyday… EVERYDAY!
First, no matter your personal/professional role or the goal of your communication… YOU are the LEADER. Content, distribution and timing are all in your court… so grab this responsibility opportunity and be decisive. Developing a style and standard for your communication will cause message receivers to look forward to your information and be more prepared for its distribution.
Second, in terms of distribution, I have always been more successful when siding in the area of INCLUSION. Eliminating the occurrence of co-workers or colleagues claiming “I didn’t receive that message” … or “no one told me” … is worth the extra effort of ultra-sharing action!
Finally, in addition to SIMPLICITY… AUTHENTICITY matters. There is nothing wrong with a colorful handwritten sign or message! People appreciate passion, caring, involvement, commitment and personal interest… especially when they can receive a custom visual!
Every communication responsibility is unique. But if you keep the terms: LEADER, INCLUSION, SIMPLICITY and AUTHENTICITY strategically in mind… you will be fine.