A lot what you say to your team is wasted, well it is for many professionals running a firm and a team of people.

The result is that the team is less likely to be able to get on with the job that you asked them to do! That’s wastes your time, their time and your bottom line.

Am I being too bold?

Having talked to many business owners across many sectors, from professional services to trades people, there’s one common contradiction. I keep being told that staff say they don’t get told enough and at the same time complain of being told too much! So how can you ensure that less of what you say to your team is wasted?

There is no text without context

The picture at the top of this blog made me smile, I had to stop the car and ask my passengers what they thought. They thought I was odd (nothing new there) but agreed with me. I based a key note speech on it and initially none of the room saw why I found it amusing, yet all the passengers of my car did. Why?

There’s something vital missing that’s stopping you understanding, some context. The coach is in a small village in Bedfordshire, outside an empty school, many miles from its home. It has no passengers and seemed out of place.

If one little piece of information like that can render a very thought useless – what happens if you don’t explain the context of what you want your team to do?

How to get my team to use their initiative

I hear this often, “why can’t they just *!*@ use their common sense?. You’ve told them what to do, they can do it – but they keep coming back to you with questions and not doing it?

Tip : Think about the context: ensure they understand the bigger picture around what you’ve asked them to do.

Do they understand you’re happy for them to learn by evolving and finding their own way to do it, as long as the end result is what you want (isn’t that what delegation means?)

Communicating, succinctly.

We’re often told it’s important to communicate succinctly. I can be succinct by condensing many words into few, or perhaps just a shrug of the shoulders. It’s easy to remove so much information that the answer is meaningless. The missing information is, unless you’re careful – the context. When people understand where I’m coming from, my short summaries can be useful.

The key message

Think about the context when you’re talking to your team. That way they can get on, do things, use the brains that you pay them to have and you concentrate on a growing bottom line.

What messages have you misheard due to lack of context?

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