Communicating with Clarity…

My eight-year old daughter attempted to play a trick on me. Her plan was to try to get me to look up at the ceiling at something imaginary and when I did, she planned to tickle my neck. Knowing what she was trying to do, I tickled her instead, laughed and said, “you have to get up early in the morning to trick your Daddy!” The next morning I woke up before dawn as I usually do and found my daughter sitting in my recliner. When I asked her why she was already up, she said, “You told me I had to get up early in the morning to trick you, so I did!”… I then had to explain that I didn’t really mean she had to get up early in the morning…….

Often times, as leaders, we give instructions to our team or staff and it makes perfect sense to us. After all, we’ve been planning and thinking about all the details for days, weeks or months. However, sometimes when we roll out our grand ideas we get “deer-in-the-headlight” looks or results that were “not exactly” what we had pictured when we dreamed up the idea in the first place. As leaders we need to be certain that we are communicating exactly what we expect so that the team can execute the plan as precisely as possible. Realize that your team probably can NOT read your mind. Take time to hear the message through different ears. Run your idea by people you can trust to give honest and unbiased feedback. Pay attention to how they receive the idea… Maybe it’s perfect. Or, maybe you need to go back to the drawing board. By viewing the plan from different perspectives, you may also be able to more clearly explain it as well as answer many of the questions that may arise as you begin the implementation phase. It could make all the difference in the success of your plan.

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