Kristy Tan Neckowicz's View From the Top:Have you ever wondered, "How do I get my boss to listen to me?" It's a question that comes up frequently in coaching sessions. In one particular session, Sarah, a manager of a growing team of analysts, was asking the question.
Sarah's team complained about having to use archaic processes and tools in their work. They wanted to know why the company couldn't upgrade their current procedures and software tools. Since the idea of improving accuracy and efficiency appealed to Sarah, she agreed to take the issue to her boss.
When Sarah discussed this with her boss, he said, "You need to focus on more important things." The implication was that processes and tools were out of her realm of responsibility.
Over time, this type of exchange became a pattern with Sarah and her boss. Whenever she suggested a change, her boss's automatic response was a no. Eventually, she became so disengaged that she felt she had to leave the company.
With coaching, Sarah realized that she could instead focus her own growth on learning how to influence others.
I coached Sarah on 2 key components of communication and connection.
In order to influence others, you need to do two things: 1) Adapt to their preferred communication style, and 2) Speak to their values.
1. How to Adapt to Their Preferred Communication Style
First, understand how you speak. Do you talk in paragraphs or bullet points? Do you communicate to connect on a personal level, or do you just want to cut to the chase to get the task done?
Next, understand what the other person prefers. If you talk in paragraphs when she only wants bullet points, you won't be heard.
Develop an awareness of your own communication style and then tune into the styles of your boss and team members. Learn how to adapt your style to your audience.
Once you've overcome hurdles associated with communication style preferences, then focus on speaking to values.
2. How to Speak to Their Values
Sarah values efficiency, so when her team pointed out that new tools would make them more efficient, she was immediately engaged. They were singing her song.
Sarah's boss valued tried-and-true procedures over possible gains in efficiency. When Sarah sang her own song of efficiency, she sounded out of tune to her boss.
After learning about the 12 Driving Forces -- the values that motivate each of us and explain why we do what we do -- Sarah could see that her boss valued tradition and stability. She realized that her own desire to constantly innovate was threatening to someone motivated to follow established traditions and procedures.
Sarah learned that whenever proposing a change, it was important to show how the new process would serve one of the core company values and, if possible, that it could be implemented with minimal disruption.
Sarah's new awareness about how to communicate and connect eliminated her frustration, helped her build a more productive relationship with her boss, and made her a more effective leader for her team.
Ready to be Heard by Your Team & Your Boss?
Call us to learn more about our coaching process. We can provide you with the scientific assessments that identify your communication style and motivators, and we can coach you on "reading" others so you can communicate, influence, and motivate more effectively.
Let us teach you how to master the skills that will turn you into an influencer and a star performer in 2016!