A blog about leadership: Demotivated employees last longer and cost more
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Demotivated employees last a long time and cost a lot of money
You are the leader of your team. One day you have to tell them all something new. You have long known what it is you need to start telling them. You have known the information for several days. But now you are facing them. You are good at communicating. You're pretty tough at making slide shows. In a few minutes, they have all received the message. Then they know that this is how the country is. That can not be changed.
The message must be swallowed
The message does not fail anything. We all receive such messages many times a day. But no matter what, the message must be 'swallowed'. This means that the information and everything it consists of must first be entered and processed on the top floor of each one. Once understood, it must be accepted by the entire team. First the individual. So the team.
Who understands what?
Someone understands nothing. Others understand a little. Others understand it all - they think (but they can not be sure). One cannot know whether one understands nothing, a little or the whole. But you can find out.
How do you find out?
Here you (the leader) come into the picture again. You now need to help your team understand and 'sink' the message. You need to help them separate the message, understand it, accept it, be able to explain it to others, want to defend it.
In order for all of this to be done fairly quickly, you will need to involve them in the 'case'. Now comes the ideas for involving a team that needs to 'sink' a new message.
Tell the team that everyone has the opportunity to 'understand' the message in 10 minutes
This is a fabulous way to help the team sink, understand, accept and explain. You do not say, 'Do you have any questions?' - because it leads to zero questions and a frustrated team. Only very few are able to formulate questions right after they have heard your message. The message is new. No one has gotten used to it. Nobody has used it yet. Therefore, they can not ask clarifying questions. But they can examine the 'modest'. Like grabbing a new alarm clock and a screwdriver. Now let's see what the watch contains. Carefully disassemble it. Remember what you are picking out and take photos along the way. You have to reassemble the watch in a little while.
Flip it with a colleague
As a leader, you now ask everyone to find a colleague and flip the 'message' with him or her. But you should try to look at the 'message' from a few different angles. For example, you can ask your team to examine the 'message' for 5 minutes with one of these questions:
What does 'message' mean for our team within a number of years?
In what ways will the 'message' affect the company in the short term?
What can we pass on to our customers?
What is at stake for you as an employee when you hear the 'message'?
As a leader, you choose the level at which the question is to be asked. Should the question be addressed to the employee, team, company or customers (or a fifth group)?
Then you round it all up
When the 5 minutes have passed, you pick up on what the team was talking about. What was the most important thing you came to talk about? What was the most important thing that came out of your conversation? Where did the conversation take you? Write the answers on a flipchart.
Now the team has had a considered and intelligent opportunity to 'sink' the 'message' you gave them 5 minutes ago. Now they have all come to know the 'message' much better. So now they can relate to it. They do not have to change the 'message'. They must swallow, understand, accept and explain. Now they may have some questions that they can come up with and you can elaborate on the 'message'.
Written by Michael Meinhardt, LEADERS WAREHOUSE.
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