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Filtering by Tag: communication

The Perils of Miscommunication. Clarity #22

Alan Andersen

When hired business to drive profit to the bottom-line, the first step we recommend is to assess what is happening with communication. To get alignment, you first must start with how do we get work done. At TLC, we make certain all team members are assessed and on the same page with their team members.

The magic is to have each member understand their own style and gain insight into their unique talents and personal blindspots. Next is to appreciate and understand their teammates’ strengths, weaknesses, and unique style. To start anywhere else, in my opinion, is a waste of money and energy not, to mention foolish. Why?

Business is Relationships

Business is all about relationships. Think about it. Businesses fail because one or more relationships did not work out (partners, customers, vendors, investors, employees). Relationships end when trust is broken. Trust is eroded if not broken immediately – usually because of a miscommunication.

Think About It

We have all had a relationship go bad, right? What happened? Something at sometime broke your trust with that person. Now think really hard about it, see if there is a miscommunication? It may have been instant or a slow erosion over time.

Here’s an example. When I was in high school, I never had a curfew because my mom trusted me and wanted to know where I was at all times. As long as I communicated I was granted freedom. Now imagine if I said, “Hey Mom, I’m going to Scott’s house” and she assumes I meant my boyfriend Scott, but when she checks up on me, I’m not there and then calls every person in my graduating class looking for me. Come to find out, I went to “Scott’s house”, the college guy I met at a party last weekend.

In my mind, I communicated perfectly per our agreement with no hint of misleading her. However, my mom is fuming and her trust in me now has a crack in it. I think she is overreacting when she asks me a million questions the next time I want to go out and so I stop telling her every detail because I don’t trust she still has that love and respect for me. Soon we are barely speaking and the relationship is compromised.

AND it happens in the workplace the same way. We think we are communicating perfectly only to find we are getting passive/aggressive attitude from someone. What do we do?

Deal with the Small Stuff

The problem in the workplace is we rarely talk about the small things that bug us. I am not advocating we nit pick and have to vent every problem; however, if we cannot overlook it and move on…it will erode trust.

I find in the workplace, small miscommunications snowball into huge big issues if not dealt with in a professional, agreed upon manner. Knowing your communication style and the style of the others is the fastest way to trust and respect. Then have a conflict resolution process that everyone agrees to and commits to upholding. It is always the small issues that cause the cancer that destroys relationships.

Start With You

Here is a resource we offer to individuals in order to find out your own communication style. For the leader of a team, we suggest you get everyone on the same page (scroll down on our Workshops page to see our “Building the Extraordinary Team” workshop) to blaze forward into a profitable 2012. Every moment you wait to communicate you compromise results. A culture of accountability and commitment must start with communication.

Where do you struggle with communication?

Your Coach For Clarity,

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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Communication - the real work of leadership

Alan Andersen

Communication is the real work of leadership. –Nitin Nohria

 The key to business success is relationships. Without high functioning relationships with employees, customers, vendors, and stockholders, your chances for success are nil. At the core of any relationship is a very small word and a very big concept:TRUST Without trust, communication breaks down, conflict escalates, productivity declines, business suffers, and mostly individuals suffer.

What is the source of trust, then? It’s simple, really: good communication. And we’re not talking about how people pronounce their words! Trust is being able to rely on your teammate’s character, skills, ability, and integrity. It is also, knowing and trusting the leader has well-defined roles, goals, and systems for sustainability and growth. Trust is knowing your team has your back.

When building a team, trust enables you to maximize the skills and talents of each individual and then bring those talents together to do something bigger than any one person can do alone. The one thing that gets in the way of having a high performing team is the lack of productive conflict, which leads to a lack of commitment and accountability. If you are not having productive conflict about ideas and issues you lack trust and simply stated are not a high functioning team.

The best tools to build trust and ensure good communication is through industry standard scientifically based assessments of behavior, motivation, and communication style. In our company, we use the TTI Talent Insights assessment to make sure all of our teammates know each other’s style and adapt their style to open up communication to the team.


When there is trust and stellar communication, you will find higher job satisfaction, decreased turnover, less interpersonal conflict, greater efficiency and productivity, commitment and ownership of the job, a greater sense of reward at work.


Remember trust is indeed earned and it is either growing or eroding. It is not something you “get” and then forget. It must be invested in and worked on daily, weekly, monthly, annually in order to maintain and grow it.

 Steps to Start the Process:

1. Know your own leadership style. Take a TTI Talent Insight and get a certified coach to debrief it with you. Be clear on your strengths and aware of your blind spots.

 2. Focus on Emotional Intelligence. The number one attribute of leadership is emotional intelligence: The wisdom of knowing how people are individually wired and how you can build a team from strengths that supplement your gifts.

3. Build a team. As soon as you can begin to let go! Let other people help you and give them authority equal to their responsibility. Continually invest in your people. It is tempting to overlook this in start up mode but if you are a natural task master you will only get so far so add to your wonderful talent of systems and processes the discipline of building a culture of trust and communication.

4. It all starts with you! If not now, when?

When you have trust you can then have clarity. With clarity and focus on the right thing, the right way, while focusing on key relationships, it will result in faster growth that breeds long-lasting results. 

Your Coach,

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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Tips on Communicating with High Compliance Folks

Alan Andersen

Last week, I had the opportunity to film a debrief on our new TTI Talent Insight assessment. We are going to produce a DVD to assist folks in debriefing their own reports. Super fun time. Pictured here is one of my favorite analogies explaining the difference between High Compliance (affectionately called Hi C) and Low Compliance (Low C) and how differently they solve problems.

Some folks are better planners and analyze before they start a project and others like to just do it and figure it out as they go.

I thought I would pass on some tips from the report on communicating with the Compliance folks in your life.

Here are a few tips:

When communicating with a high Compliance you will find them to be dependent, neat, conservative, perfectionist, careful and compliant.

You would be wise to:

1. First prepare your “case” in advance.

2. Stick to business.

3. Be accurate and realistic.

Factors that will create tension or dissatisfaction:

1. Being giddy, casual, informal, loud.

2. Pushing too hard or being unrealistic with deadlines.

3. Being disorganized or messy.

Just a few tips to help you communicate with the task-oriented introverts in your life.

What tips do you have for us extroverts who need your coaching?

Your Coach For Clarity,

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Your Words Matter! 7 Tips to Better Communication. Clarity #14

Alan Andersen

Have you ever been mismanaged? This is often a question I ask as I kick off each “Building The Extraordinary Team” workshop. Without fail, every person raises his or her hand. If I am working with the leadership team, I follow up that question with, “How many of you have been the one who mismanaged?” Again all hands meekly go up.

Communication is at the root of nearly every management issue.

What is your leadership style?

Most leaders do not know or cannot articulate their personal leadership style. Let me challenge you: Do you know what your leadership style is and successfully navigate within it? Let's just take one small area – words. Are you in tune with your words and how powerful your nonverbal language is to those around you?

Your Words Matter

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick once said, “Words can destroy. What we call each other ultimately becomes what we think of each other, and it matters.”

Now that I have your attention. What can you do to grow in kindness and effectiveness around your words?

The number one thing I can recommend is to know your style first and then the myriad of styles you interact with every day. An immediate action you can take is to take the online Behavior and Motivator assessments. I highly recommend this as a first step in learning what your style is and how you are being perceived by the key people in your life.

Because, a huge part of emotional intelligence and self-awareness is knowing the power of your words. I suggest you start with using your words to encourage and build up those in your sphere of influence. Then add to your words the nonverbal aspects of communication.

Here are a 7 tips to get started:

  1. Know your leadership style. Order the DISC and PIAV assessments via the Next Level Communication Course and the True Life Motivator Course.
  2. Eye contact. Looking people in the eye tells them you are confident and you care about them. 
  3. Listen. Communication is a two way street. Try and listen and ask questions as much as you speak.
  4. Ask meaningful questions. Avoid asking questions that could be answered with a “yes” or “no”.
  5. Write it out first. If you struggle with finding the words write it out first. It will help you organize your thoughts. THEN go talk face to face.
  6. Be an encourager. People love compliments. Give them out freely!
  7. Grow in your self-awareness. Give yourself positive feedback regarding your interactions. Thinking about your last communication – what did you do well?

Who in your life has used their words to motivate and influence you? A mentor? A teacher? Tell me about them.

For more ideas and insights, check out week #14 in Clarity: Focusing on What Matters.

Your Coach for Clarity,

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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What is the first sign that trust is eroding? 7 tips to help! Clarity #10

Alan Andersen

Why do thriving businesses, organizations and families fall apart? Let's break it down step by step.

Business is all about relationships. Think about it. Relationships with your customers, vendors, shareholders, employees, media, and when the relationships dissolves so does the business.

Relationships break down because trust begins to be questioned, silently eroding, and then eventually breaks completely.

A lot of my job is ultimately resolving conflict. Business growth is not where it could be because relationships are not high functioning and trust is eroding.  When we drill down into what has broken trust.  Ninety-five percent of the time it boils down to a small mis-communication that never was addressed. When the conflict is addressed head-on all sorts of power and resources are released into the organization.

When there is a lack of trust

When an organization or family unit starts down the path of not trusting each other the next step naturally is to avoid conflict. Then we see there is a lack of communication and people withholding pertinent information necessary to make the best decisions. A lack of trust will affect culture, profit, teamwork, and of course the fun!

Here are 7 tips to help build trust:

1. Be open and vulnerable in your key relationships.

2. Take risks to express what is on your mind.

3. Be willing to share your heart and your feelings as well as your ideas.

4. Admit when you are wrong and ask forgiveness when you fail.

5. Confront issues within 24 hours so that nothing comes between you – usually a misunderstanding.

6. Care enough to tell the truth with grace and love.  But tell it!

7. Develop your own inner self of trust which will allow you the ability to trust others more readily.

For more thoughts on trust. Read week #10 of the Clarity: Focusing on What Matters book. Its never too late to join in the journey. Just buy or download the book, turn to page 20 and share your insights.

How are you developing trust in your key relationships? Please share below – I love to hear from you.

Your Coach for Clarity!

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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True Connection – Is It Redefined?

Alan Andersen

In the last two months, I've been immersed even deeper into the whole social media world. Dr. Bret Simmons has encouraged me to consistently blog, Paul Anderson has convinced me LinkedIn is a must, and Abbi PR tells me I am doing ok on Twitter and Facebook right now, but it's time to get up to speed on Hoot Suite.

Last weekend, I tried to deep dive into Wordcamp and had to leave as it was way over my head!  While I was there I started a LinkedIn Group and still trying to decide what to do next.  This week I experienced my first “tweet up” thanks to @debra11!

I have invested at least 100 hours in all of this social media stuff and for what end….


… and it's worth it!

We have redefined how we connect. We have made it easy, global, and fast.  We are connecting to people we would never meet in the “old school.”  The opportunity to influence people and engage them in a meaningful way is ours for the taking.  Are you participating? Are you using your influence to connect with every tech option there is?

Good.  AND still there is nothing like a real live face to face connection.  True connection is what we do when we are together sharing life.   You can't just hide behind social media, it takes getting out in front of people and truly connecting with them.

A few tips on connecting:

Be sincerely interested. There is nothing worse than someone asking you for coffee with the guise of just getting together when they have their entire agenda waiting to launch at you. If you want to sell me tell me before you “have coffee” with me just to connect.

Be curious. There is nothing better than to have someone be truly curious about you and ask good questions to connect more deeply with you.

Be both a learner and a teacher. It is truly annoying to listen to someone who has it all figured out and just wants to teach you a thing or two.  In the same vein to have someone just take from you .  Neither is true connection so offer a few things that might be helpful to the person and leave recognizing what you have learned.

Be helpful.  Truly, connection is about mutual helping one another. How can you help someone today?

I am so grateful to connect with you here today.  What is true connection to you?

Your Coach,

This article True Connection – Is It Redefined? previously appeared at True Life Coaching

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