Is Miscommunication Frustrating Your Growth?
If your car is experiencing serious mechanical problems pressing on the accelerator is not the best solution. Yet that is precisely what is taking place in many organizations.
High performance is dependent on the presence of well-oiled teams. However, there is a tendency to ignore this fundamental principle and to try to accelerate with stretch targets and incentives.
Teamwork – the foundation of high performance – is driven by effective communication. Issues like Giving & Receiving Instructions or Feedback often create conflicts that are masked. Undetected conflict undermines the cohesiveness of the team and negatively impacts productivity.
Organizations make significant investments in search of increased productivity while neglecting the human resource factors that are critical in achieving their objectives.
Each role in an organization gets best results from a given behavioural style or blend of styles. Round pegs in square holes is a recurring problem. Role Fit is a solution and we help organizations to achieve it.
Two case studies highlight the issue
We were engaged by a family owned business. During the initial information gathering process, team members openly questioned why I was there as “the boss knows everything.”
Challenges in understanding and relating to D-style leadership abound and rob organizations of productivity while provoking morale problems.
D-style leadership is focused on improving results. The D represents dominance, being driven, direct, and potentially dogmatic and demanding. Decisiveness is another cornerstone of D-style leadership.
Some individuals have a real problem understanding and functioning effectively under D-style leadership. Many organizations fail to recognize this as a manifestation of what we term a “followership crisis“.
Team members opt out of active participation in response to D-style leadership. They throw up their hands in the face of what they perceive as arrogance, stubbornness, a failure to listen and a sense of “My way or the highway.”
Dawn represents another coaching intervention. She was promoted to lead the department.
Complaints filtered out that all was not well in the department. Management tried to resolve it before seeking our support. We started with completion of Extended DISC Team behavioural diagnostics.
We immediately identified that effective communication was at the heart of the problem. It was the equivalent of Dawn communicating in Swahili to her Russian and Greek speaking team mates.
Dawn thought Suzanne was lazy and lacked initiative. Suzanne got the message that Dawn wanted to call all the shots and that she (Suzanne) should act solely on Dawn’s instructions.
Claudine was stunned that Dawn thought that the documentation and reporting that she laboured over so diligently was a waste of productive time.
We resolved the issue successfully by introducing DISCerning Communication – the language of behaviours.
Here is the basic framework for understanding DISCerning Communication:
Our preferred approach for going through life is placed into 4 basic categories. These approaches cover our outlook; how we react to developments; how we communicate – orally, in writing and through our body language; how we hear others; our strategies for achieving our objectives etc.
[This is not saying that there are 4 types of people. Rather, it is a method of classifying the strategies or tool-kits that we use to cope with life.]
Dawn has a preference for communicating using the D-style (Red). Action results, taking charge, making things happen, bottom-line vs details. She might come across as pushy and aggressive under pressure.
Suzanne operates from the opposite end of the spectrum (S-Green). She wants to operate in a calm, stable environment. She wants to ensure that she does not butt heads with Dawn.
Using DISCerning Communication principles we were able to diffuse the tension and to lay the groundwork for better understanding among the team members. Decoding the messages being received by team members opened up a whole new approach to internal communication with marked improvement in team dynamics and productivity.
Team dynamics are an important component of any quest for improved productivity. Are your teams speaking the same behavioural language?
Is miscommunication frustrating your growth? Opt for a Team building intervention using DISCerning Communication.
Trevor Smith is the CEO of the Success with People Academy, home of the Certified Behavioural Coach programme that offers 36 SHRM Professional Development Credits.