Communication Leadership

Part 4: How you Communicate Matters – A Lesson in Communication Leadership

Leadership and a Confident Communicator

 

In my previous blog, I discussed the essential relationship between a leader/manager of an organization and how to be successful. Actual person-to-person communication is the fuel that makes the engine of the process work. I tackled the subject of listening skills and how working towards mastering this skill builds integrity and trust. I discussed creating the space for communication during change in a way that is safe, valuable, and forward-thinking. For the last part of this series, I want to introduce to you a college friend of mine who is a business communication specialist. His creativity, accountability, and approachable style create a servant-leader approach that is client-centric.

Manny Martinez works in leadership development for Crestcom Leadership Training – Interactive Leadership Development. The organization has an interactive manager development program, and its purpose is to create and achieve lasting behavior change in an organization’s managers. Manny and I share the love of communication, leadership development, and teaching others to be their personal best. Manny is laser-focused on his clients; however, we both know that many more tools are needed for long-lasting leadership communication development.

So what does Manny mean by being client-focused? Like the other business owners in my previous blogs, COVID did not make it easy to do business, especially when you are used to doing business in person. Creative solutions such as virtual workshops and virtual coaching sessions were created so constant communication could be maintained.

He states, “Presence matters, and the frequency of your conversations is directly connected to how successful my clients are in achieving their goals.” I find this with my clients as well. It is important for a leader/manager who wants to better themselves to have their support and a coach to be “present” when taking the steps and walking the path of change. Together the coach/client become accountable to each other and continue the process throughout the tenure of the relationship.

Being present is a communication tool, one that is necessary for a coach/client relationship as well as a leader/team member relationship. It is the GLUE that brings together the tools of communication that technology offers. In addition, as a coach, walking alongside a person in change does create accountability. I would add that it is necessary to walk with my clients so that they do not walk alone.

Both Manny and I agree that in order to be accountable to our clients, we must be accountable to ourselves and our families so that we are as congruent as possible. We have to be aware of our strengths, weaknesses, and commitments. Manny describes this concept by stating,

“Accountability [comes] in the form of follow-up and follow-thru. We’re all balancing priorities, tasks, resources, and it’s easy to get distracted putting out hot fires at the expense of taking a little bit of time to develop our leadership and management skills that help us be more efficient and productive.”

I balance a lot professionally and personally, and creating the time and space for development is essential for growth. I believe many coaches can fall short in being accountable to the clients. I’m not talking about defaulting on a coaching contract. I am talking about being accountable to ourselves as coaches in the process. My personal follow-up and follow-thru starts with my awareness. This awareness is a communication tool that creates a mindset to set, maintain and defend boundaries. Boundaries are necessary for accountability to myself and the clients I serve. As a result, I learn to be more efficient and productive in business. Being productive pays the bills.

As business owners, managers, and team members, our productivity equals profit for the company and money in our bank account. But what happens when productivity is down? We look to find out the reason. It is easy to make excuses, point fingers, and blame outside influences for the downturn in productivity. I would like to submit that the most important tool to use is communication. Specifically, a person that is approachable will find the true root cause. Manny is that type of person. As colleagues, we are able to run ideas by each other, talk about our challenges, and get positive feedback to enrich our practice and our lives. Both of us take a curious approach to any problems that come up. Both of us have to have trust and confidence in the people we serve. In his approach to serving his clients, he explains,

“…we have their best interests at heart. Every action we take, every decision we make, has the goal of making our people better and our organizations stronger. Approachable means I enter a conversation with the knowledge that I don’t know everything and that I make mistakes. I need the other person’s talents and expertise much more than they need mine. My goal is to remove the obstacles and roadblocks that keep my team from reaching their highest potential.”

This reminds me of a quote from Robert Greenleaf. He wrote on the topic of Servant Leadership in the 1970’s.

Organizations are as good as the people in them, so it’s only common sense to serve and empower the people who ultimately drive it.

When coaches, managers, and teams work together towards a goal to empower individuals, make a change, and better the organization in the process, they better themselves.

As a leader/manager, is your communication style effective and empowering?

If you want to talk about how to grow and improve, please reach out to me. I would love to discuss ways to improve your leadership and your team.

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