Jessie has had a bad year. Between health issues, family issues and work-related issues, she's feeling out of her element. The work she used to be able to do regularly now seems like a giant mountain. She gets no joy and no fulfilment from it anymore. She also feels as though she is no longer performing as well as she used to. She decides to discuss it with her boss.
Like many people around the world, I have been touched by the earthquake in Haiti. Indeed, several members of my family live there and all were affected in one way or another by the earthquake. Fortunately, there were no injuries or deaths and the damage was limited to material things.
For members of the "older generation," like me, email is still the preferred communication conduit over the Internet. It trumps instant messaging (IM), forums, and social media platforms. Yet, there are many basic rules of email etiquette that are ignored (or unknown) by us geezers, as well as members of the digital generation.
I am regularly approached by potential clients who are looking to change or improve a difficult situation. More often than not, they want to send their employees through training sessions, in order to "fix" them. They hope that by doing so, employees will "get it," improve, and change for the better.
The good news is that these leaders are on the right path.
The bad news is that they are using the wrong approach.
On my French blog, I recently wrote about an experience I had when I joined a singing ensemble. (Please, no jokes about my voice!) In a nutshell, I joined the ensemble at the beginning of September and participated in the yearly 3-day camp, which is when we get a good overview of the songs we will be performing at the end of March.
One of the essential skills any leader needs to master is that of effective communication. Effective communication means that the leader knows how to listen effectively and knows the difference between hearing and listening (more on that in another newsletter). She also knows what words to use, at what times, to inspire her listeners to action.
My son plays soccer at a competitive level and I am his coach. He is one of the most gifted players on his team and is asked regularly to play with a team of older boys. In a recent game for this older team, things got a bit out of control. As I was sitting on the sidelines watching, I thought a riot would erupt. And I would have been part of it!
Speeches are comprised of three components:
Logical: this component deals with the content, the points presented, the order in which they are presented, and the general structure of the speech.
Communication is to relationships what intimacy is to making babies: if you don't have the former, don't expect much of the latter.
Situation 1: For April Fool's I sent out a fake press release, saying that I had bought GMC. I put the fake release on my Web site, sent it to my mailing list and also put it on Twitter. Some people replied saying they found it hilarious. Others were so offended or displeased that they unsubscribed from my newsletter.