I recently realized a habit I have that was creating confusion in leadership. After a conversation with one of my leaders on the phone, my wife pointed out to me that I have a habit in my communication that may be sending unclear signals to those I have expectation of. It’s a two letter word – “WE.” In my efforts to make my leaders feel my support and like I’m in it with them, I will say “we” when I should be saying “you.” For example, “We need to send out a follow up to all the visitors from this past month.” or “We need to set a date for our small groups to begin.” You get the point. In doing this I am creating mixed signals. Does he really trust me? Does he really expect me to do that? When I was unaware of this I realized I was frustrated thinking there was something wrong on the part of my leaders, who possibly could not do what was expected or possibly it was a lack of initiative or motivation. Maybe they didn’t agree and just didn’t want to tell me. I found that the problem was me and how I was not leading with clarity in how I communicated my expectations.
Man, what a difference one word can make. We must continually evaluated how we are communicating in leadership or we might find ourselves talking only to look back and find we are only talking to ourselves.
What have you learned about leadership and communication?