Latching On and Productivity
Have you ever shared some information with your team and then later heard back along the vine an unexpected interpretation of your own message? Or importance placed on only one aspect of your message – an aspect that was not, in your opinion, as critical as other parts of your message?
Productive Leadership Tips:
📌 Before communicating check:
- Am I clear about what I want my team to know, feel, do?
- Do I have all the information I can possibly have at this time to ensure I am as clear, open and effective in my communication as possible?
- What might my team members latch onto as I share this message, and what impact might that have on productivity and morale?
📌 If your direct reports have latched onto less critical or incorrect information, and it’s impacting performance and team productivity, address it quickly and respectfully – you may have to own the cause of their interpretation – so that potential gossip doesn’t (continue to) impact the team culture.
📌 Check that everyone is on the same page with you. Check for understanding, allow people to ask questions, be explicit about inviting people to ask (don’t assume they know they can come to you).
I’d love to know your thoughts…
So, I’ve just finished a coaching conversation and decided to come out and water our plants because it’s quite dry at the moment, and this is one of our passion fruit vines. And as I was watering it, I was just noticing how, with a passion fruit vine, I’ll come down and show you one of these, here, this is a really good example, how the vine latches itself onto the fence. There’s one here on the dog fence and there’s one here on the barbed wire fence, and there’s a bit more there and further down, and thinking about this coaching conversation I was having and how the manager was struggling with people who are gossiping, people who are making up their mind about things before decisions are made, resistance to change or resistance to move things along because they’re not clear or not sure of what’s going on, and this to me is a perfect metaphor. When I look at the passion fruit vine, for its survival, for its growth, it has to latch on and move along. And so do your teams, they latch on to something that makes sense for them. They’ll latch on to what they need in order to survive and thrive and to make sense of how they fit in the organisation. And so the question then is, what are you doing to make that latching on, that making sense, actually be what you want it to be or at least for it to be on the same page as what you’re trying to achieve with your organisation? And I think its really important to think about your word choice, making sure that you’re checking for clarity and making sure people are understanding, and stopping any sort of gossip in its track by just checking accuracy, you know. There’s an interesting little bit of the vine that’s actually away from the fence, just sitting here with nothing to latch on to. Who’s not latching on, who’s hanging out in the breeze looking for something for survival? So, interesting little metaphor, the passion fruit vine and how it latches on and you as a manager of a team and communicating and influencing how people latch on to your messages and are they having the right impact, the positive impact, a productive impact? Love to know your thoughts. Thanks, bye for now.