decisionsCreate An Environment of Trust for Better Decisions

The foundation of all high-trust high-performance cultures is trust.  Trust is the life blood of relationships and companies.  The deeper the trust, the better the discussion.  The better the discussion, the better the decisions.  Better decisions create better results.

The Best Decisions Possess The Best Wisdom

Breakthrough decisions demand robust dialogue where everyone contributes.  If you only hear the loudest voices you risk making decisions based on communication style rather than substance.  The boisterous voices don’t always possess the best wisdom.

One Practice To Solicit Better Wisdom

During your meetings make a habit of “going around the table” every fifteen minutes asking team members what they think.  This practice creates a more controlled dialogue.  When you solicit these ideas don’t allow interruption or feedback from others.

Creating a Safe Place Is The Best Practice

Creating this safe place is a top priority or high-performance leaders.  When individuals are not challenged or attacked, the best ideas surface.  This practice also quiets dominant people long enough to get all the ideas out on the table.  Your quiet people need more encouragement.  What you’ll discover is those people sometimes have the best ideas!

What is your process for soliciting better ideas?

feedbackFeedback - Know Where You Need To Grow

A common complaint I hear when I work with a company is, “Dennis, I just don’t get enough feedback.”  After 25 years of working with all types of organizations, I believe the greatest barrier to personal growth is receiving constructive feedback on your own behavior.  Growth demands change and change requires feedback.  If I can’t see it, I can’t change it.

To Get The Most From Feedback:

1.  Change How You View It

When you hear the word feedback, what comes to mind?  Most think of feedback negatively, as in a reprimand.  It typically has an unfavorable connotation.  Whether it’s presented positively or negatively, it’s designed to improve someone.  What you believe about feedback ultimately determines how you receive it.  Just as you receive people as you perceive them, you accept feedback in direct relation to what you believe about feedback.

2.  Recognize Feedback As A Gift

Think about feedback as a gift.  What do you do when someone gives you a present?  You unwrap it, think about the giver, and accept it for what it is:  a gift.  Sometimes you don’t need the gift, so you put it aside.  Other times, you give it to someone else.  It’s the same with feedback.  Only when you look at feedback as a gift and unwrap it, can you determine whether the feedback has merit.

3.  Realize All Feedback Has Value

Even if the feedback you receive isn’t accurate, it’s valuable knowing the other person’s perception of you.  It’s useful.  Do you want them to see you that way?  If not, at least you know how to change that perception.  When you learn to value feedback, you’ll begin to solicit it.

How valuable is feedback for you?

communicationCommunication is the foundation of business

Open communication accelerates business success.  It makes collaboration easier, increasing the speed and reducing the cost of business.  It is the foundation of successful teams.  Unfortunately, what should be commonly practiced, rarely occurs.

Without communication, organizations self-destruct

When communication is open, honest and clear, people understand each other’s motives and intent.  It fosters trust, the oxygen within your company.  When people experience oxygen deprivation, hallucination occurs.  It’s one of the last stages before death.  They begin to see things that aren’t really there.  It happens in teams before they self-destruct.  Team members misinterpret a leader’s intent and motives.

Communication propels businesses forward

Communication is the oxygen of any enterprise.  The faster your business grows, the faster you have to pump communication through it.  I love running and the faster I run, the more oxygen I need to pump through my body.  The speed of your business is determined by the speed of communication.

How open is your team’s communication?  

Do they:

  1. Identify problems and bring them to the light?
  2. Share ideas freely?
  3. Take time to listen to team members’ concerns?
  4. Admit mistakes immediately and do what they can to repair the damage?
  5. Respond promptly to team members’ requests for more information?
  6. Share credit with everyone involved?
  7. Recognize others’ achievements publicly and proudly?
  8. Let others know their short-term and long-term goals for future performance?

Communication is what team members crave

When I conduct interviews with teams, a common complaint is, “We don’t have enough communication.” In fact, even in high-trust, high-performance organizations, it’s rare to meet team members who think they are getting too much communication. It’s hard to get too much of a good thing.

What’s one thing you can do today to enhance your communication?