Eric Jacobson

Posts Tagged ‘Effective Communication’

Book Review: You Can’t Not Communicate-2

In Effective Communications, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Management on June 25, 2011 at 9:01 am

Can’t decide what one business book to take on your summer vacation to accompany your “fun-reading” books?  I recommend David Grossman’s, You Can’t Not Communicate, 2.”
Why, because this updated installment of his previous best-seller with virtually the same titles is an easy read and one you can finish in an afternoon.
More important, David gives you lots of practical, real-world, wise, straight-forward advice on how to communicate more effectively as a leader — all tips and techniques you can start to do when you return from vacation.  So, taking an afternoon to read this book even while you are on vacation will be well worth it!
Particularly helpful are the:
  • Top 10 must-do strategies for persuasive presentations
  • Five easy strategies for managing the company rumor mill
  • Twelve must-have skills for effective two-way communication
David also explains:
  • the importance of having a “messagemap”
  • ways leaders at all levels can build trust by aligning actions with words
  • the four things you need to know about communicating with Millennials
Some of the more interesting facts in the book are:
  • Nearly 50 percent of employees say they don’t understand their company’s business strategies or what
    is required for success.
  • Only 11 percent of employees strongly agree that their managers show consistency between their
    words and their actions.
  • Only 20 percent of employees have a clear “line of sight” between their tasks and the
    organization’s or team’s goals.

David also debunks these communication myths:

  • I don’t have time to communicate
  • People won’t interpret situations if you don’t talk about them
  • Talking is communication
If you don’t already know David, he coaches leaders around the world and was recently named to USA Today‘s corporate management and leadership CEO panel.  Prior to his founding The Grossman Group in 2000, he was director of communications for MacDonald’s.
I am a big fan of his work.  And kudos to the designer and artist who enriched the book with plenty of photos, illustrations and graphics that makes You Can’t Not Communicate, 2 all the more enjoyable.
Finally, I’m also a firm believer in this philosophy of David’s:
  • Every day, we make a choice–to communicate in a planful and purposeful way, or to wing it.  We chose to help our staffs understand how they fit in and help us drive business results, or allow them to come up with their own priorities and conclusions.  We choose to work on this learned skill (communication) and continue to develop ourselves, or make excuses about a lack of time, or how communications is a “soft” skill and not essential.  In the end, my point-of-view on communication
    remains the same. Since we communicate whether we want to or not,  it’s in our best interest to get good at it.”

Book Offers Tips For Listening, Asking And Suggesting

In Employee Engagement, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Listening Skills, Management, Motivating Employees, Performance Appraisals on February 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

If you have a manager who isn’t the best communicator, you can suggest he/she read Jane Murphy’s and Khatun Huber’s book, What Could Happen If You Do Nothing?

Actually, it’s more of a handbook than a book, and it is best read by finding the section most applicable at the moment versus reading it start to finish. 

It’s filled with mini-dialogues that demonstrate the impact of engaged listening, deliberative questioning, and animating suggestions to facilitate change and action.

To me, the most useful section is the list of a dozen or so questions (for each conversation category below) to ask an employee to:

  • Start a conversation with an employee
  • Conduct a meaningful follow-up conversation
  • Clarify inconsistencies in what you are hearing from an employee
  • Build and further a conversation on what’s being said to move the conversation ahead
  • Wind down a conversation
  • Solicit feedback

Equally enlightening are these questions from which a manager can select to ensure all parties benefit from a performance review:

  • What have you learned from the reviews you’ve had?
  • What do you find challenging about reviews?
  • Is there anyone whose input you’d like to include whom you’d like me to talk to?
  • So how would you grade yourself on that?  What’s your thinking here?  How could you make this a ten?
  • Do you want to add any points you want to address in your review?
  • How can we talk about this in a way that works toward a solution?
  • What has been really working?  Where are there gaps?  What can you do to get past this roadblock?
  • Is there anything more I could do to make this review process more useful to you?

I receive about a book a week from authors to review, and I don’t recommend them all. This is one, however, that should be helpful to managers who need to hone their communications skills.

Share The Bad News, Too

In General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management, Motivating Employees, Team Building on July 21, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Of course it’s much easier to share good news with your employees, but it’s perhaps even more important to share the bad news.

If revenue is down, or if you’ve lost a large customer, or if a new competitor has entered the market, let your team know. Your employees need to know about the health of your company or organization. And it’s only when they have the full picture — the good news and the bad news — that they can rally together with you to brainstorm possible solutions.

Don’t keep your team in the dark. Don’t give them a false sense of the situation by sharing only good news. Keep them fully informed. They can handle the bad along with the good.

Most likely they have a sense of the bad already. Or, they’ll hear it second-hand. You’ll gain their respect when they hear the bad news directly from you.

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