Three Things to Consider for Your Formal Communication System

Good morning! I am traveling some this week and having the pleasure of being part of a team that is coming alongside an stream Niles 2013organization that is doing good in the inner city helping them to better manage their organization. Great group of folks. I am writing this sitting on the side of a hotel bed – not the best way to write!

Communication among people is an art and a science and one that is so hard for us to master. Within an organization it gets even more complex. I have found that within an organization you can have people who have good relationships and a fairly strong informal communication process, but you still suffer because there is a weak formal system of communication.

As a leader, you need to establish a robust formal system of communication within your organization. Some things to consider are:

1. Frequency and regularity – people need to be communicated with more often that we as leaders often want to do so. They also need to know that the formal communication will be regular and reliable. If you are supposed to have some type of information meeting every Friday – do it and don’t skip a meeting. Especially don’t skip several meetings.

2. Remember that each of us don’t take in information the same way, some prefer to hear it, some read it, and so on. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are taking advantage of the many and varied mediums or channels that are available to us to communicate more effectively.

3. Say it and then repeat it at least seven times in various fashions. Just because you understand it doesn’t mean your team understands. Research shows that you need to repeat something important at least seven times for people to start geting it. So repeat yourself often and do so in various communication channels.

Be intentional and set up robust formal communication processes to keep your team informed. It is critical to the success of your organization.

Have a great Wednesday!

Five Ways to Manage Relationships

Good morning! Our family had a great weekend – hope you did as well. Hey, here is a great quote for you from someone I follow on Spring Flower 2013 LaurenFacebook – Marshall Ramsey, “. . . worry is the tragic misuse of a perfectly good imagination.”

Last week, someone was asking a group of people how to manage their many new professional relationships. There were several experienced people there with some good ideas. While the context of the question was not personal relationships, I found many of the recommendations would apply. So here are a few things you can do to manage the relationship.

1. Try to discover the person’s “love language” – learn what it is that communicates care to them and utilize that “language” in your dealings with them.

2. Learn their preferred method of communication – phone call, email, letter, text, video chat, or a visit over a cup of coffee. Use what works best for them – not what works best for you.

3. Learn their preferred frequency of contact. Some people require, and often want, less frequent contact. Others will want a “touch” much more frequently.

4. Record what you learn in whatever contact system you use. In your contact form keep their picture, their love language, their personality type if you know it, their preferred method of communication, and other important pieces of information that will help you to relate to them better.

5. Now schedule your contact with them. Go into whatever calendar system you use and schedule when and how you are going to contact them. I have found that if I don’t get it on my calendar – even personal relationships – I will often let way too much time go by before I contact someone.

These were just a few of the suggestions that were helpful to me and I hope they are helpful to you.

Have a great week!

Questions About Relationships

Good morning – it’s a crisp beautiful morning! The sunrise is beautiful. Spring is a wonderful time of the year.spring tree by Lauren

When it is all said and done, the thing that really matters the most to us, the thing that causes us the most hurt and joy in our lives, and the thing that most impacts our legacy is our relationships – especially those critical relationships. Our relationship with God, our spouse, our children, our extended family, and those close friends.

Relationships, for most of us, are actually the most important things in our lives. Yet for some reason for many of us, our relationships are what we are least intentional about in our lives. Somehow we just expect them to happen; we expect them to somehow stay strong and to grow with little or no intentional planning and action on our part. So often, the most important thing in our lives receives the least amount of our attention. Maybe that is something that needs to change?

Here are a few questions for you to ask about your key relationships:

– What is their love language and do I communicate with them in their love language or in mine?

– What is their personality type and how does that affect how I interact with them?

– What is their preferred method of communication? Do they like calls, texts, Facebook messages, letters?

– How often do I need to be connecting with them? Some relationships require frequent contact and some not so much.

– What are their hopes and fears? What are some of their favorite things?

– What is going on in their lives right now?

– How could I be a blessing to them right now?

– Am I intentionally scheduling time on my calendar to call them / visit them / write them / or ???

Our relationships are vital – so start being intentional about nurturing them.

Question for you – how do you ensure you are caring for those critical relationships in your life?

Have a great weekend!