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When You Speak, Do Employees Listen and Take Action?

Employees who don't listen

Part 1:  Take 3 steps to gain employee buy-in, engagement, and action

The company was bleeding out of every orifice. If they were to survive, it was imperative that every employee understood they could no longer do business as they’d been doing it for so many years. Customers were not happy with the products they manufactured or the services they provided.

Things had to change. Fast.

This is the story of Sarah, Joe, Greg, and Elizabeth. Only one of these department leaders captured attention, gained buy-in, and motivated employees to listen and take action. Only one leader got results.

Too many facts and figures. Sara met with the leaders in her department. She went over dozens of charts and graphs. She talked through every bullet point, describing what wasn’t working and why. She knew her data was compelling. And, her leaders faithfully presented every chart to their direct reports. The results? A growing fear among some employees that they may be laid off and a belief among others that management was over-reacting. Productivity slowed down.

All jazzed up and nowhere to go. Steve held a special meeting that included every employee in his department. He was a charismatic, inspiring speaker, and to a person every employee committed to go back and figure out how to make things better. But when they returned to their jobs, employees were frustrated because they didn’t know what to do. So some just did what they’d always done, while others tried new things. Chaos, confusion, and frustration multiplied.

Process in a vacuum is not enough. Greg called a meeting with his Six Sigma Black Belt, and together they decided to define, implement, and measure new processes that would improve a host of current issues. They held meetings, lots of meetings, with department leaders and employees. Processes changed, and although a few employees resisted, some improvement occurred. But it wasn’t enough.

Communicate on three levels for consistent results. Elizabeth met with her department leaders, and they worked to create an integrated plan, involving three steps. They knew they needed to communicate on the:

  1. Intellectual level to ensure that employees understood the rationale behind the need to change.
  2. Emotional level to create buy-in and inspire employees to take action.
  3. Practical level so that all employees knew how they could make a difference to the organization’s success.

Elizabeth understood the importance of connecting on all three levels to make lasting, measurable behavior and process changes. Find out what she said and did on June 19 in the next Communicate with Moxie blog:  Effective Leaders Ask 3 Questions to Get Results.

Don’t forget to download your free eBook (see side bar):  Accelerate Organizational Change:  5 tips to transform employee disinterest, doubt, and fear into buy-in, engagement, and action.

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Are You a Leader Who Cares and Dares to Make a Difference?

Leaders who care and dare to make a difference

Did you know that when it comes to communication, three types of leaders exist?

  1. Leaders who can talk or write about anything to anyone to make things happen. But bottom line? They don’t care about the organization or anyone in it. They care about looking good.
  2. Leaders who care passionately about making a difference but don’t know how to capture attention or inspire people to take action.
  3. Leaders who care passionately and have the communication skills—or are willing to acquire them—to establish credibility and command attention to make things happen.

If you’re reading this blog, my guess is that you fall into the third category.

Welcome to the first post of Communicate with Moxie—the blog.  I chose this name because the best leaders are those who possess fortitude and determination, spirit and courage. They care about people, and they care about making a difference. I believe the best leaders are those who are willing to learn and apply innovative communication techniques to capture attention, challenge the status quo, and get results.

My commitment is to provide you with quick, easy access to research, tips, and tools about how to:

  • Build your confidence and credibility.
  • Acquire gender intelligence, what I call GQ, so that you are not shut down or discounted.
  • Understand different communication styles to leverage the differences to build strong teams.
  • Unlock your creativity with quotes, stories, games, and metaphors to spice up presentations and meetings and to gain commitment, buy-in, and action from direct reports, peers, senior leadership, and customers.
  • Reduce your own stress and respond creatively when others botch their communications with you.

Oh, and another thing? True leadership is not a title. It’s a state of mind. I am writing Communicate with Moxie for anyone who chooses to take the lead and make a difference.

Moxie. Although Apple may not have used the term in this old ad, the essence of leadership moxie is exactly what they captured by stating:  The ones who see things differently . . . They change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

I invite you to subscribe, send me your comments and ideas, and share with your colleagues. Most of all, I hope to provide you with innovative communication resources for you to use on your own leadership journey.

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