139 – Do these 3 things to improve communication inside your team | Ft. Shelley Flett
Picture your typical office. Professional. Hard working. Quiet. Lots of tapping on computers. Open lanes with cubicle pods housing two to four people. Our relationships with our team mates – are largely proximity based. We sit near them,, we report to the same person, we come to ‘team meetings’. Our relationship with our staff is transactional.
In this episode we’re going to talk really directly about the challenges of being a good leader. It’s easy to listen to a podcast where we talk about the concepts of leadership – communicating, developing great relationships and all that stuff. But our actual working environments can create barriers to being a great leader. Many of those challenges feel so ingrained that they may seem insurmountable.
I’ve invited author and speaker Shelley Flett onto the show to talk about being a dynamic leader in a real world situation. I’m drawn to that conundrum – particularly at the moment. The idea that conceptually, leadership makes sense – in both purpose and action. But the practical application of it can be tricky. It can be messy and awkward. It takes courage to step out of organisational norms and be visibly different as a member of a team. As a leader.
5:13 Making an open office work
There are real challenges with open plan workspaces. We’re told that we need to use our time better, we need to become more efficient and prioritize and do more with less. But the open office environment is not always conducive to getting into flow state. A flow state is when we are performing at our optimal output but it requires few distractions which allows us to get into our zone. You don’t get where there’s a lot of noise. From a leadership perspective, is the leader uniting the office to work together? It starts with a common purpose, whether that’s the vision of an organization or a leader’s strategic objectives.
17:17 Creating a common purpose
Ask yourself this, how am I communicating with staff in cubicle land? Sure, they all report to one manager and have team meetings every now and then. But how does the dynamic leader crack that open? Make sure that you are meeting on a regular basis, whether that’s once a week as a huddle, and then having team meetings once a month. And when someone has a problem, take the time to actually explore what their issue is. Don’t just respond with a quick answer.
28:29 Three levels of integration
Say. Do. Be. Everything starts with what you’re saying. It’s about sharing your ideas. It’s about sharing what’s going on with you. But it’s also just having the conversations with your people. Building relationships and doing it in a way that is authentic and listening to different perspectives. Next you have to translate that into action. That’s the “Do” part. If you’re not going to follow through on actions with what you have spoken about, don’t say it in the first place. Finally you have to “Be”. You can say and do all you like but who are you showing up as? Do you have the courage to be vulnerable and share that? Be transparent in how you’re actually interacting with the people around you.