Have you always avoided difficult conversations because you’re not confident managing the emotions involved? Do you often feel you are too quiet in meetings, but don’t want to talk just for the sake of it? Have you sensed that most of your team meetings were going round in boring circles? Were a lot of your suggestions overlooked by others or even claimed as their own?
As you have moved upwards, you’ve probably found communication even more challenging. You are responsible for more people and there are often more difficulties with their productivity. You are expected to wield more influence across a much wider range of people and yet you just can't seem to access their commitment. There’s the constant pressure of motivating staff to achieve more with fewer resources. Your role requires you to lead more managers who manage others, and yet you feel you are not striking the right note with them. Your boss says you must be far more strategic in your communication… .more, more, more.
HR Managers - You will notice these symptoms of poor manager communication all over the organisation, don't you? And you know that you will reap their unfortunate harvest of absenteeism, performance management problems, failed projects, high staff turnover, low morale and inadequate productivity.
Is this you? No wonder you feel frustrated.
For sure, good communicators are out there in management, but they're rare. If you’re lucky, you will have experienced their huge positive impact on the people who work for them, the organisation, and everyone they come across. Their legacy can be adding value and a smile to a person years later.
It is easy to assume that these communicator managers like communicating and some don't, but there’s no evidence that these skills are born and can't be made. Extroverts can seem like good communicators, but often talk too much, court popularity and listen too little. Introverts might appear to be quiet and yet may have a very clear vision and can listen very effectively as they build their way to that vision.
We do know that good communicators pay attention to their communication. At some point in their careers, these managers have realised the importance of good leadership communication and have focused on it. They have learnt how to communicate and know they have to keep working at it. They apply a set of predictable behaviours that lead to their success.
Anyone can learn these important communication tools
They can find ways of adapting them so they will work for their personality. It takes hard work, but whether or not you were born enjoying communication, you can get good at it.
So what has prompted you to pause on this page? It might have been a comment by a staff member (or your partner!), a key challenging incident at work or feedback from a higher manager. Whatever the source, you are probably noticing these symptoms:
- Low productivity: You'll be very aware that progress is very slow. You know that you have to keep pursuing actions because you didn't really have commitment from people in the first place. You face apathy and negativity when you attempt to get staff input and many of your meetings simply waste time.
- Lack of Engagement: You'll notice that there's a lot of gossip, rumour and negativity. It is the result of communication that doesn't connect with people and fails to enthuse people about the value of what they do. In meetings you don't get your point across and people tend to talk over you.
- Wasted resources: You'll be aware that you are spending time and money as a result of lack of action. You have to have extra meetings to work through issues that should have been resolved earlier. Staff carry out tasks incorrectly because they misunderstood the instructions. Senior managers know that you can't carry the day. Customers and stakeholders get frustrated and absorb increasing amounts of staff time.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Good communicators do things differently and the skills they use aren't particularly difficult, once you know what works for you. Imagine people saying that you are the best manager they have ever had? Imagine being able to communicate so that you can:
- Achieve big improvements in productivity and morale. People will be far more committed to their work. You will create open and constructive two-way communication in your meetings so people will share their views and suggestions. Productive conversations will become the norm rather than a total rarity.
- Engage people in your vision, energy, and projects. A few key skills can shift communication to a level where you can really get people on board with where you are going and how you want to get there. Knowing how to structure your communication can enable you to persuade people to go in a different direction. Gain a reputation for your innovation and your ability to take people with you.
- Make the most of your available resources. Your meetings and informal conversations will be far more effective. Excellent manager communication means that people at the top will decide you are effective and once this happens, your mana will spread.
Sound like a big ask? You can do it with your willingness to change, commitment to communication, self-awareness, the right tools and great support.
The question is, how do you change the communication habits of a lifetime?
You may already have found that skills aren't really the answer. Think about it - You already know what you should be doing, don't you? It’s the doing that's the challenge. When you find communication threatening, you will react instinctively, habitually and usually negatively. The process of developing excellent communication skills must build your awareness of the damage you can do, how to press pause on those reactions and howto replace them with something constructive.
You will need to work on understanding your habitual reactions, find a way to manage them and the resources to sort out options that will work better for you. The changes will have both an in-the-moment dimension and a pro-active aspect. It will be a gradual process of change where you will need to keep honestly assessing your progress.
For this important journey, you need a guide.
The CommuniCoach programme provides this guidance
In this stimulating, practical, and supportive programme you will learn to:
- Understand the four keys for using your unique communication style to succeed
- Apply the three step model to create real communication change across the whole of your life, not just work.
- Use our planning system to ensure success in important communications
- Focus on your sense of purpose so you can align your interactions to your vital values
- Use our universal tools for maintaining your calm even under emotional pressure.
- Find out the secrets of really effective communication
- Tap into your strengths and past successes to change the way you approach progress
- Overcome your barriers to good communication, every time in every circumstance
- Manage a simple two step system of feedback to transform your communication with staff
- Enjoy the process of transforming your communication
How does it work?
Communicoach provides a step-by-step programme that works on practical tools whilst exploring the underlying drivers of your communication to create permanent change that really happens.
- Before the programme: We will gather the information we both need to work out your strengths and gaps. We will do this via one-on-one discussion with yourself, with your manager and using a 360-feedback tool if required. We will then agree on a set of communication goals and how you will measure the success you will achieve.
- On the programme
- Ten x one hour sessions focused on individual communication development
- Work shadowing: To facilitate on-the-job development and application of the skills
- Skill training workshops: Focused on any particular skill gaps we uncover.
- After the programme Three months after the programme, we will have a follow-up session to check in on your progress, celebrate your success, overcome any barriers you have found and set goals for your communication in the time ahead.
What makes CommuniCoach so effective?
People need to keep learning and growing, but training is often not the answer. Managers who are going places generally ‘know’ what they need to do, it is the ‘doing’ that is difficult. They want to communicate more effectively, but on their own, they can’t get enough traction on how to do that. Communicoach enables you to explore more deeply what gets in the way of your best communication and then supports you in your journey towards very effective ‘doing’.
Learning in a way that creates deep change
You already probably know the skills of good communication, but to get real change, you have to overcome the barriers that prevent you from putting those skills into action. My unique understanding of how the brain can make major changes will enable you to get rid of what is stopping you putting the skills consistently and fully into action.
We will come to a real understanding of what works for you and adapt the skills and your style to suit. We will pinpoint your key barriers to communication and work out ways to overcome those barriers.
You will be able to get honest feedback on your development in an environment that will enable you to be open about successes and failures. That environment will provide you with an opportunity to practice the skills before you have to use them in the pressured work situation.
Development couched in the workplace
As well as the coaching sessions, Communicoach provides the opportunity to be shadowed at work as you communicate with your staff and with higher managers. Communicoach introduced this service because we know that skill development is far more effective when it is applied in real life. You can get support and feedback as you are putting the skills into action.
Putting the skills into consistent action is the key to making a difference. Our programme sticks with you for ten months as you go about your work and as time goes by. Assessment of progress gives us a marker point for the changes you decide to make.
Key benefits of the CommuniCoach Program
As a result you will experience your
- Progress: Rather than just guessing, you will know what does and doesn't work for people when they are communicating with you.
- Leadership Talent – You will be amazed at your ability to make progress with people at all levels in the organisation.
- Constructive Impact on Others – You will become engaging and it will have come from commitment to a few simple communication principles
- Clarity and Confidence – You will be much clearer what you are doing, why it matters and will be able to get those messages across clearly and effectively.
- Broad Positive Impact – As you improve your communication at work, you will find it transforms your social and personal life
Structure of CommuniCoach programmes
Your progress depends on more than just learning a different approach. Our communication skills are deeply embedded, so you will need a number of key elements to transform your behaviours. We provide:
- Clear starting point: Assessment of your strengths and gaps using 360 feedback.
- Agreed upon goals: Discussion of what you want to achieve and commitment to measurable communication goals
- Well-placed coaching sessions: Approximately two weeks apart to give you time to time to put changes in place changes and see the impact
- Skill building: Some direct skill sessions once we work out your skills gaps
- Application to your work environment: Work shadowing and coaching as you go about crucial and challenging aspects of your role, such as leading meetings, consultation with other teams etc.
- Accessible support: Access to my coaching in between coaching sessions, in the form of five minute consultations and emails
- Monitoring of progress: Reassessment towards the end of the coaching period, including check-ins with key managers.
About Your Communicoach
Lee Wilkinson has the ideal background for working with you as you transform your communication.
- Deep understanding of verbal communications because she has specialized in the field for over twenty years.
- Awareness of your challenging environment and the lessons from other organisations because she works in a wide range of client contexts. Lee's clients include policy managers, operational leaders, engineers, management consultants and chief executives.
- Wide experience as trainer and coach that will enable you to learn more effectively
- Up-to-the-minute coaching skills from her commitment to constant development. Lee is currently on the Leadership Team and is a Past President for the NZ Central branch of the International Coach Federation and is on a number of prestigious leadership coaching panels.
- Practical and flexible approach. Lee comes from a dairy farm; has a BA Honours in Economic Geography and has lived and worked in a wide range of environments across New Zealand, in North Wales and the United States
- Application of new developments in our understanding of the brain’s ability to change. Lee developed this awareness as she accompanied her adult son in his ten year journey of exceptional recovery from severe diffuse brain injury. Supporting him as he had to re-learnt nearly every stage of physical, emotional and social development, Lee knows that the human brain is indeed plastic. If you are determined, you can change the way you interact with people. Getting great support and guidance makes a big difference.
Is CommuniCoach right for you?
You are my ideal client if you are highly intelligent, want honest feedback and are prepared to change your communication patterns in order to create success. You have risen to your current position because of those attributes and now you want to move to a new level of communication leadership.
- You are an expert in your field who now needs excellent people skills.
- You are someone who is in a management position in middle or executive level, in mid-to large-size organisation.
- You want to move upwards and develop your influence across the organisation
Take the Next Step
Interested so far but you're unsure? All you have to do is contact Communicoach to arrange a complimentary strategy session. We both need to explore if a CommuniCoach relationship will work and be productive. There is no obligation on you to buy.
In the strategy session, we’ll discuss the communication challenges you are facing, the results you need and whether Communicoach is a good way to achieve those results.
The strategy session will take about an hour; can be done by telephone or in person.
Or email Lee on firstname.lastname@example.org
7 tips for Great Manager Success
In this report, I have outlined seven key pivotal very simple tools that have great potential. Worked through with managers, they are enormously valuable and energizing. There are also heaps more that are possible. You are not on your own with your challenges in getting good communication and we have helped hundreds of people become better communicators at every level.