Thursday I spent the day with the Solution Tree Guiding Coalition. These are the current thought leaders within the company who will drive our success, or failure, in nearly every area. They are a talented group of individuals whom I obviously trust with key decisions, and led by Ed Ackerman, President of Solution Tree.
It was a good day with a tight agenda where we discussed and broke down our financials. We reviewed or history, shared 2013 hits and misses, to-date, dug into forecasts for 2014 and debated new initiatives moving forward. I LOVE to discuss market trends and define future goals and initiatives, so for me this was a great day, and we repeat it each Fall.
One of the tools for success we discussed was communication. I had recently attended a Strategic Coach meeting in Chicago where I first used one of their tools to help me better understand communications. Kind of an important part of any team, and one I really felt was important to this team since they are playing such a critical role in my family’s future business success, the success of 125 Solution Tree employee’s families, 300+ authors, another 200+ associates. Then there are all of the educators and a huge multiple of students’ lives! So you can see why I think it is kind of important stuff that we communicate, and more importantly be successful.
So as not to bust copyright laws, seeing how I am a publisher, I won’t cut and paste Strategic Coach tools, but the concepts are easy, not revolutionary, but just plain good.
How do you like to get information and how do you like to give information.
Sounds simple. I know I have very definite ways in which I appreciate information and ways I deplore getting information, so I’m assuming you do too! For instance, I don’t read emails all day long. I sure the heck get them all day long, around 150, but I’m not at my desk alone in front of the screen all day. So if someone wants a ‘quick response’, this is not a great mode of communication to me. And, I don’t write long emails. If you get a long detailed email from me it is usually one you would prefer not to receive. If I am not asked a question in an email, especially a chain or cc’d email, I don’t feel compelled to send an answer. As for text messages, turn around time here is much different. I look at text almost too fast…but not while my car is moving. I respond with an answer almost too fast…I say dumb stuff too often. I listen to voicemails as soon as practical, and call back in the same way. I hate surprises, especially bad news that is only news to me, and I prefer to know about a problem whether I am a fix or not. Oh how I hate to hear of an issue from an unrelated third party. HATE IT! I prefer face-to-face meetings, and an appointment is not needed. My door is always open.
The point here is that I know very well how I like to be communicated with, and how I like to be updated. I know how I like to communicate, and how I like to update. But do the people I work with know? And a better question for this blog is, do the people you work with know how you prefer communications? I am pretty sure many of them are not mind readers, and I would image that by the time they figure you out, they have frustrated you quite a few times. And that sucks for them.
So here is a note to self, and to you…let them know!!! How do you like to receive information, give information? When is the best time, worst time? What do you need, and I mean in what detail. Bullet points or short novels? How will they know if you don’t tell them? Is it a secret?
Think you will save yourself and others a lot of angst.