Does it ever feel like you and your team are speaking a different language?

May 12, 2021

Maybe you are…

I see this often with the clients I work with – visionaries in particular – where they share their big ideas with the team, and then assume that the team automatically knows what to do from there. They think that stuff is happening only to find out later that the things they thought were happening aren’t (or that the team is off in a totally different direction.)

My dear fellow visionaries, allow me to say this with all the love in my heart. You may be confusing the heck out of your team because you are speaking a different language than they are.

Visionaries think in big picture. Ideas. Possibilities. We think in generalities. We are future focused. And we generally like to move fast (“I’ve got this great idea and it’s going to change everything. Let’s make it happen now – woo hoo!!”)

The folks on your team don’t think the same way you do. They think in specifics (“what will it actually take to get there?”) They think in terms of priorities (“Here’s what needs to happen first, then we can look at this next”) They think in terms of capacity and what it will actually take to get things done well (“I know you want it all now but this is going to take longer than you think it will…”)

Ultimately this a good thing. We need each other. Visionaries need doers. We need operators. We need managers. We need the folks that will see all the steps and get things done.

Likewise our team needs us to set the vision, the goals, the focus… they need our big ideas, otherwise there is nothing to work towards.

BUT it all falls apart when we don’t know how to communicate – when the way we show up as a leader ends up bringing more confusion than clarity. <— Oooof

If you’ve ever felt like “ugh! why aren’t they getting it!” or “I swear we talked about this but they went off and did something else.” If you feel like you keep having the same conversations over and over again this is pointing to a communication issue.

The good news is – this is VERY fixable when you know how to speak their language.

When you know how to translate your big ideas into actionable items. So that your team really gets what you are asking for, and you can all move forward together and be on the same page.

This is exactly what I’ll be teaching in the first class of our Team Leadership workshop that starts next week. I’ll be sharing with you a specific process to have these conversations, including ‘what to say’ (and what not to say!).

Bottom line is this – it’s up to you as the leader to ensure that your communication is clear and everyone is on the same page. It’s not up to them to try to make sense of what you are saying.

If you are interested in the workshop email me at tina@tinaforsyth.com and I’ll send over the details.

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