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Chris LoCurto

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July 21, 2014

The Power of Intentional Communication

July 21, 2014 | By | 7 Comments">7 Comments

High levels of quality communication is the key to winning in any business! 

As a leader, CEO, entrepreneur, one of the most important things to do when you are about to speak with a team member or a group of people, is to shut off anything that is dominating your focus so you can focus on what’s in front of you. Not doing so will cause you to have less than quality communication, and certainly less than quality listening.

the power of intentional communication

For experienced sales people, they’re always thinking, “I need to turn my game on before I go to the sales call.” They’re already set to think that way. They know that. But a lot of people don’t. Folks outside of sales don’t usually think that way. And even a lot of green sales people don’t think that way.

For me, because I am a personality styles teacher, it comes a bit more naturally.

I kind of know subconsciously how I’m going to work with different people, and how my lack of attention can have varying degrees of communication destruction depending on the personality style I’m communicating with.

When I know the person, I even know ahead of time how I’m going to communicate with them to best serve their personality style.

For instance, I have Keith on my team who I work with everyday. I know exactly how I’m going to talk with him on a daily basis, and it’s different than the rest of the team.

If I’m talking to Joel, or if I’m talking to Melissa, they all have different personality styles, so I communicate to each of them differently.

I have to consciously realize just how my high I and D will come across to them in situations. I might cut one person off and I might not give another person enough information. I have to make this thought process a habit. Eventually for you it will become automatic. But you will still forget…I still do.

I know there are times when I have to realize I’m distracted and say to myself, “Dude…think! Think about what you’re doing. You’re distracted right now. Think about how you’re communicating. Think about how you’re NOT communicating.”

And I will have to force myself to say, ” Stop! CHANGE THIS!”

So for leaders, and even team members, you need to be thinking: “How am I communicating right now?” “How am I presenting myself in this situation?”

But…understand that YOU WILL HAVE BAD DAYS! I’ve had a lot of really bad days. It happens. It’s life. There’s going to be bad days.

In my early days of leadership I sometimes would carry whatever junk I was going through at the time into the meeting. I could see it impacting the people around me. I have to know that if somebody is expecting to spend an hour with me for coaching or leadership, I can’t carry my bad day into that meeting!

Since I’m more of a “noticer”, I’m one of those people who looks and see’s what’s happening on people’s faces and body language. I’ll look and see how they respond to interaction. Well, when I know that I’m the one being the dork in the room, I can see it pretty quickly and have to make adjustments.

Your team wants the best of you. They deserve the best from you. I understand that your bad day may be an emergency. I’ve had a couple of emergencies throughout my business career that have forced me to cancel meetings and events. I hate doing it but I’d rather cancel than give them half of me.

You have to understand that you’re bringing your personality, your personal life, your personal problems, and your personal wins to the table, for better or worse. For example, I’ve seen leaders meet with someone to discuss poor performance when only moments before the leader got the news that a monster contract came through.

They were super excited. After high fiving and celebrating, they had to stop their celebration to tell somebody they have done a bad job. (Oh my gosh!!!) The second the employee has crossed the doorframe they were back to high fiving. That’s a terrible thing to do. His celebration became more important than that person. And that person, in reality, is way more important to the organization.

These are the things I try to get across to folks before they step into leading teams, leading processes, or leading their family.

It’s intentional and it’s how you win as a team.

Question:  Are you being intentional with your communication?   If so, how?

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  • http://www.qualitylivingmadesimple.com/ Joshua Rivers

    A few weeks ago, we got a new production manager. I work an off-shift and only got to meet him once for 30 seconds. We both wanted to meet for longer so that we could discuss my job duties and what the expectations were. This morning I was finally able to meet with him for about half an hour. Near the end of our time together, we discussed how further communication would look like. I asked how he wanted to receive reports. A summary via e-mail was decided.

  • http://www.thebizofrelationships.com/ Scott

    Communication is key! Without it, so much can fail. Additionally, without involving the team in decisions as a whole, things can easily get convoluted and changed so quickly.

    It’s important that all decision makers are kept in the loop. What’s equally important, though, is knowing when NOT to communicate also. Adding extra stress to the situation never helps.

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    My friend and client Jon Gordon always says “Where there is a void, negativity will fill it” when it comes to communication. So true and your post is a perfect support of that. Intentional, proactive communication is a game changer in a lot of ways.

  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

    Great post Chris. I have gotten better at this as I have matured as a leader but I have a ways to go:) Thanks for the reminder to refocus.

  • Robert

    Hello Chris, (Love the blog) One of my weak points is communication. I have an issue of being over emotional and feel like getting upset with the person over things that is not always their fault. Or if it is their fault I jump right in to raising my voice. How can I work on this weakness and stay calm? How do I communicate what I need to say and give the other person a chance to listen and respond before I get upset?

    • Keith Cook

      I feel ya Robert. I tend to do the same thing myself sometimes.
      Have you taken the DISC test yet?