Leadership

3 Phrases Your Team Doesn’t Say Often Enough

When these phrases become acceptable in your culture your staff will be more truly a team. You should commit to using each of them at least once this week.
1. “I don’t understand”. Time and energy are constantly wasted because of a lack of clarity. Information, systems, and expectations are all important and can be complex at times. Failing to admit to confusion or uncertainty always results in lost effort, discouragement, and frustration. Communication depends on both transmission and reception, admitting that I haven’t grasped something doesn’t mean I’m stupid; it means we haven’t come together properly yet.
2. “I need help”. How much stress and expense comes from the tendency to “soldier on” and hide our struggles? Its true in every aspect of life, including the workplace. Even moderately healthy organizations are full of people who are happy to lend a hand when a colleague simply asks. There is no possibility of synergy when we isolate ourselves with our challenges instead of requesting some support.
3. “Something’s bugging me”. Hidden tension never brings innovative resolution. While nobody likes to be branded a complainer, too often our concerns with a strategy, process, or coworker are left to fester in ways that at best undermine alignment and drain energy. Far better to dig into the conflict to see if it is legitimately a problem than to just grin and bear it. You’re likely to find you’re not the only one bothered.  
Obviously, any of these can be problematic if they are used constantly. When that happens it is likely that some personnel changes are in order. However, the pendulum in most organizations is far too much the opposite, stifling the kind of communication that makes high performance and high morale possible.
What phrases do you need to say and hear more often?

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