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Chris LoCurto

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March 31, 2017

7 Simple Ways To Foster Great Communication On Your Team

March 31, 2017 | By | No Comments">No Comments

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Do you accept communication the way it is on your team, or do you lead the communication your team needs? 

A lack of high levels of quality communication is the #1 issue I see that holds back businesses and teams from greater unity and growth. 

We all bring our own personality styles, training, and habits to the table, and as I’m sure you’ve
noticed, team communication can be a total mess some days! 

As a leader, it’s critical to commit yourself to mastering communication, and then lead it through modeling, teaching, and accountability.  

Here are 7 ways to have higher levels of quality communication on your team. 

1. Care about the other person with your verbal communication

To have great communication skills, you have to start with caring for the other person. 

Not only are they an emotional being, they’re also a child of the Most High God, which means He cares about how you treat them!

For communication’s sake, caring means that you are focused on leaning in the direction of the other person, so they can successfully understand what you’re saying. 

This happens by understanding how they receive information, being calm and polite, focused and interested, and matching the mood or emotion of the situation.

You first have to understand the person you’re talking to. How do they receive information? 

Do they prefer it in sound bites? Do they need a scroll that is 10-feet long? Do they need energy and excitement with it? 

We are usually so focused on our own feelings that we don’t think about how difficult we make it for others when we communicate. 

2. Be aware of your non-verbal communication

Your body language is constantly speaking. I am always watching body language to better understand what someone may be thinking or how they’re feeling.

Do they cross their legs towards somebody, or away from somebody? Do they put themselves in a position of power when they’re talking?

It’s important to monitor your own non-verbal communication because of what it may communicate to the other person. 

Other non-verbal communication to be aware of are facial expressions, eye contact or lack thereof, posture, and gestures with your arms. 

3. Focus on active listening

Great communicators are incredible listeners, not good listeners; they’re incredible listeners. 

Crappy communicators cannot wait for the other person to take a breath, so they can speak. I’m sure you know these people. It may even be YOU!

If all you do is communicate what you think someone needs to hear without listening to them, how will you ever know if you’re communicating successfully?

4. Be patient

This means that you need to be patient with the other person, and if they don’t understand something or they have questions, know that you may not be doing a great job communicating. 

Also, understand you may not be doing a great job leaning in their direction and communicating how THEIR personality style needs to hear information. 

5. Ask questions to gain perspective

Questioning is all about gaining perspective to better understand. 

Gaining perspective is such a big deal on my team and with our clients that one of our Next-Level Mastermind clients had “Gaining Perspective” t-shirts made last year!!! 

You know something’s taking root when t-shirts are made! It’s awesome! 

Asking questions also shows people that you’re interested in them and you’re listening, which builds a lot of trust. 

Practice asking questions. The more you do it…the better you’ll get.

6. Problem solve

To have high levels of quality communication, you have to be able to identify exactly what the problem is. 

You do that by gaining information, not just talking or making statements about it, but gaining great perspective, listening, and being patient. 

7. Control your emotions

Self-management is all about controlling your emotions, and responding appropriately. 

This goes back to caring about the other person, and not just responding however you want to. 

In moments of frustration with a team member, ask yourself, “Is this my fault? Am I not doing a good job communicating? Am I the one to blame here?”

Always focus on how you’re contributing to bad communication. 

If you want to have high levels of quality communication, be a great communicator, and lead your team well, commit to these 7 ideas and take action today.

To learn more about personality styles, click here: Start Communicating Better Today.

Chris LoCurto

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April 25, 2016

Delivering Criticism To A High I Personality Style

April 25, 2016 | By | 10 Comments">10 Comments

criticism

On today’s podcast, we are doing something a little bit different. We are taking your call-in questions over the phone.

We are super excited to try this out. Let us know if you enjoy this type of show. We want to know your thoughts so, leave a comment at the bottom of the post.

Now on to our first question!

Question 1: 

One of the individuals that I coach is a great team member, has a ton of potential, and has been really receptive. Something came up last week when we were meeting that totally stumped me.

He’s a high D personality style, has a lot of I as well, so really can be sincere but on the job he’s totally task. As he and I were breaking down kind of what was going on on some of the actions that have happened and the behaviors that he had exhibited recently.

The thing that came out is that he doesn’t care about the individual that he’s working with at the moment. That’s pretty much how he said it and it kind of floored me for a minute.

He and I both have a good relationship. I let him know that I wasn’t judging his comment but I was totally bewildered, I didn’t know what to say. I don’t know where to go.

Here’s what we hit:

  • Adapting your personality style
  • Gaining Self-worth in a role
  • The need for control
  • The role your root system plays in your leadership
  • Fear of failing
  • What questions to ask to guide a team member to self-discovery
  • Delivering constructive criticism to a high I personality style

Question 2:

I’m having a harder time than I used to of taking a breath and making the time to be there with the individual rather than just trying to get through the agenda so I can get to the next thing. I don’t know how to get back to a place of patience and just focusing on the individual.

  • The balance between the task at hand and a teachable moment
  • Perspective when it comes to pressure and stress

 

Don’t forget, we want to hear from you. Do you like the call-in show? Would you like to hear more of them on the show? We’d love to know what you think so be sure to leave a comment below.

Chris LoCurto

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April 19, 2016

Making The Call: How To Guide Your Team’s Conversation

April 19, 2016 | By | No Comments">No Comments

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What is leading? Do you want to know my definition? It’s taking people to a place of thinking democratically.

Some of the most successful companies on the planet, long-term successful companies, have a democratic process.

What I’ve done for decades in my leadership is find out what people know. Get out of their heads the thoughts that they’re having, the information that they’ve got, if they’ve got input.

Treat them with dignity. Treat them in a process that says, “Your input is not only worthy, but it’s desired. I want to know what you think.”

Your role as a leader is to LEAD people. Your job is to make them successful, not the other way around.

So, how do you get your team to see all the information that they need to see to make a decision?

TAX THE COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE 

  • Find out what people know. Get out of their heads the thoughts that they’re having, the information that they’ve got, if they’ve got input. Treat them with dignity.

ASK A TON OF QUESTIONS

  • “Okay, so guys, what did you think about this? All right, so I hear what you’re saying. Would this possibly happen? What happens if this happens in that situation?”

UNDERSTAND THE “WHY”

  • Help them understand the “why”…not by telling them what to think, but by asking tons of questions.

LISTEN

  • Give them the opportunity to set their case, to sell their point, to get their information out.

MAKE THE CALL

  • At the end of the day, as long as they understand, if you need to make a call, you need to make a call. Do the best you can to help them with the information. Then make the right call.

Guide them through your leadership to discovery.

That, my friend, is Next Level. That is leading.

That is walking them through a process where going forward, they don’t just take information and run with it…they gain great perspective.

QUESTION: What tactics have you used to guide your team to a decision? 

Click here to download the transcript from today’s show.

Chris LoCurto

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March 8, 2016

3 Leadership Styles That Show Up In The Workplace

March 8, 2016 | By | 4 Comments">4 Comments

New Podcast Graphics (2)

 

We just wrapped up our Next-Level Leadership Retreat here in Nashville and we did some crazy, fun exercises with the leaders.

One of the things I wanted to do was help them to see what styles worked, and what styles didn’t.

We broke everyone up into teams, and then just “randomly” (wink wink) assigned a specific style leader to each of the teams.

Of course, my team had a little fun setting this activity up because roles had to be reversed. We knew the personality styles of the leaders in the room, and we chose roles for them that would go against their normal style of leading.

We knew these leaders would have difficulty with the leadership roles that we gave them. It was the perfect setup!

The 3 types of leaderships that we set up:

  1. The Democratic Leader
  2. The Dictator
  3. The Absent Leader

The Roles:

The Democratic Leader – Tax the collective intelligence, see what kind of information your team has. Get input, grab information, and then make the decision to move forward.

The Dictator – Don’t take input from the team. Tell them what they are to do.

The Absent Leader – Don’t give direction, and don’t give input in the process.

You put a room full of leaders in place; they’re all going to be ready for competition. They all love challenge. They’re goal was complete the challenge, win. Do whatever it takes to win.

But, it had nothing to do with the challenge itself, it had to do with leadership styles and learning leadership styles.

Here’s what I want you to know about each style and the team underneath these leaders:

  

The Democratic Leader

What we discovered is the happiest team, the calmest team, and the team that worked best together. Everything that came from that process was positive. Every comment was positive.

Every single person on the team was like, “This is great. We didn’t have any problems. We enjoyed the process. We liked it.” Everything worked out well.

Why? Because everybody felt like they were a part of the process. Everybody felt that if they had an opinion on something.

This is not leadership by consensus. This was let me hear, let me hear what your ideas are, and I’ll make a decision on what direction we go in. That is treating people with dignity.

That is treating people with respect. That’s allowing them to give you information that you may not have. They feel a part of the process.

When you lead me that way, I have buying. Why? Because I believe you believe in me. I believe you want to hear what I have to say. Even if you don’t go with it, even if you don’t take my advice, you still are trying to hear from me.

Therefore, I feel more loyal to you in this process. I have ownership of the project.

The Dictator

We discovered that the frustration of the team members who had great information, that could cause the team to win. They were shut down because the leader would not take their input. They made the decision on what was going to happen.

How many of you are like this person? Do you find yourself not getting information from your team members? Do you find yourself having to be the one with all of the answers?

The Absent Leader

When we took at look at the team, we discovered they were so frustrated that their leader was not giving input, knowing that he had information. The frustration was very high. Even higher than the teams that had dictators.

If you’re somebody who is not leading your team, if you’re somebody who is just letting things happen, if you’re somebody who is not engaged, then guess what’s happening?

You are creating a culture of fear. You are creating a culture of confusion. You are creating a culture of people who don’t have respect for you as a leader, who don’t know what to do in their job.

Click here to read today’s transcript.