It's your responsibility as a leader to create a team culture intentionally and deliberately. Communication, even when there is conflict involved, is the lifeblood of any organization. Communication is the grease that keeps the gear moving. But most companies use mushroom communication—leave them in the dark and feed them manure. That won't work.
Winning organizations must have a culture of communication. Without it, team members are detached and insecure.
You can take practical steps right now to create a culture of clear communication in your business:
Shed some light
People want to know what is going on and why. When they are left in the dark, they don't see themselves as a valuable part of a worthwhile venture. People want to participate in something that matters, whether work or ministry. If they don't know what is being accomplished, why it matters, and how they fit into it, they can't feel good about their contributions.
When in doubt, overcommunicate. If you mess up, adjust next time and either limit how much you share or share it in a different way.
Define the goal
Be sure the group you're leading understands leadership expectations. Put it in writing and have them agree on predetermined goals. Accountability will motivate your team members, so require weekly reports of their progress to be turned in at a set time.
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Carried to its extreme, a culture of secrets and missed opportunities generates fear. Fear develops quickly when quality communication is missing.
Build a legacy
Smart leaders pass on the legacy of their company. How did you get where you are? Tell that story. Who sacrificed, refused to quit, and paid the price for success? Tell their story. Make these stories a part of your culture.
Create a mission statement
A personal mission statement helps ensure that what you’re doing is in line with your life goals. If you’re leading a group or team, create a mission statement and have everyone memorize it, put it in their hearts, and make it part of them. A team is not a team unless there is a shared goal and vision. They can’t share it if they don’t know it.
Address problems thoughtfully
Have people bring problems only to someone who can do something about them. Avoid impulse communication with your team when you are angry or upset. Communicate in such a way that individuals aren’t harmed or embarrassed. Handle issues the way you’d want your own issues dealt with, or people will question your integrity.
Remember, the greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished. Communication should be attempted early and often, and it should be ongoing.
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