Effective communications that builds loyalty
– Say it from the heart –
I often get the question from new leaders on how to build loyalty on their new team. The understanding of loyalty and the need for it seems to be understood quickly, however, obtaining loyalty seems to be elusive and almost impossible to obtain from a new leader. The following will help with using effective communications that build loyalty with in your team.
Loyalty stems from the way your team, peers or management staff views you and your actions. If you build loyalty from your team, they will do anything for you with little to no expectations being tied to it. There is an understanding that you are there for them, and have their best intentions in mind. Now you are talking to your self stating “I do have their intentions in mind and I still don’t have loyalty from my team”. As seen by the picture to the left, what you say isn’t as important as how you say it. You need to make sure that all communications are coming from the heart and is direct and to the point.
All to often, new leaders try to soften the message to make it easier for the employee to digest it or to make it easier to deliver the news. Now you are probably asking yourself “why are you only referring to difficult conversations”. The reason for this is that everyone hears about the good things at work and in life, however, they do not always if ever get constructive feedback or recommendations for behavioral changes.
When constructive feedback is received, the intention behind it will be the foundation of how it is received, where the way you say it will be the hammer that drives the nail home. Lets take for example you need to deliver the message that one of your employees might not be the right fit for the role he has in your company. Six months ago, he was fine, but with new changes to the company he is no longer contributing in a way that is bringing the team to the next level. You are having a 1:1 with him and need to deliver the news. There are a few ways this conversation could go, but I am going to use two for the sake of keeping this short.
1. Elusive – What I see all the time.
“Mr. Employee, you are doing a good job and still producing the same level and quality of work as you did last year. Have you thought about maybe reading a book or taking a class to help increase your output or level of skill that you posses?”
This type of communication start off setting the wrong expectation for the last message that is being delivered. By trying to soften the message and referring to the quality of work as good and comparing it against a year ago will put the employee in the wrong frame of mind to receive the constructive criticism. So you deliver the subtle message that they need to make improvements to themselves in order to meet your expectations. This message isn’t received as an area for improvement and needs to be listen to as much as it is seen as a like to have. So now, you have a follow up conversation where you state that they are not meeting your expectations anymore and that you have already talked with them about the issue. He is shocked, he didn’t see this coming and now thinks you are out to get him or have an alternate motive. Loyalty is not build and has been broken because of your failure to deliver the message from the heart.
2. Direct – What I would like to see.