by Stephanie Bickel
Most Americans say that the most stressful part of their day is talking to their boss. When executives are unhappy, it is usually because of a dynamic in the leadership team meeting. They start to believe their boss doesn’t have their back. The boss doesn’t want them to speak. They believe even their peers don’t want them to speak. This can become so debilitating, that they decide to leave their organization. Why does something that you would have seen in middle school, play out in the most advanced companies with adults working at the highest levels? It’s not politics, it’s just poor communication.
If you notice your boss and peers look uncomfortable or talk over you, it is possible you have some blind spots. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and let’s search for what could be the source. It is most likely a combination of your mindset and your communication patterns.
1. You talk too long.
You are making this meeting more expensive and a waste of time.
2. You are off topic.
It is clear you are not aligned to the priorities, or you haven’t been listening. This shows your leadership and communication skills are not aligned.
3. You are negative.
People hear you whine, complain, blame others, or make excuses.
4. You are redundant.
You are saying the same thing you said last time. You are just repeating what your colleague just said which puts in question your leadership interpersonal skills.
5. You are too tentative.
You are not convicted. Are you sure there is an issue? Are you sure about the evidence? Are you sure about the answer?
6. It’s all about you.
You are too selfish. You are thinking so much about other peoples’ opinions, all you say is “I.” You tell random personal stories that don’t relate to the topic. You are not thinking about what the best idea is, you just want to be right.
Getting to work with people you love on topics that are meaningful to you, is one of life’s greatest joys. When you don’t have your boss’s support and faith, it is painful. Change the dance step in your leadership and communication skills patterns, and the dynamics in meetings improve. It will take some time for them to notice your new moves, and they may step on your toes a little in the beginning. But, it will improve over time. If you are annoyed by someone on your team, ask yourself what pattern in their leadership and communication skills bothers you. Have the courage to help your colleague understand their blindspot. You could save them a ton of time wondering why people tune out when they speak.
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