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Do you really talk to your team?

One successful idea for advancing in a complex business environment is to close ranks in the face of turmoil. This means uniting your team around the twin themes of listening and conversation. Communication will become more collaborative and connected, with the goal of gaining everyone’s attention, trust, and active participation — no easy task.

What are the three major takeaways from the 2018 best seller New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World — and How to Make It Work for You? Share your ideas widely, master the art of the crowd, and make the most of your communities. Boiled down to the level of your team, these three key ideas are rooted in your ability to initiate, maintain, enrich, and sustain a long-lasting dialogue that involves everyone. It also means giving everyone the opportunity to express themselves in total confidence, no matter the mode of conversation.

But this is possible on one condition: you must relinquish control of these conversations and transform the apparent loss of control into a genuine method.

WHY SHOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OPEN CONVERSATION?

When you give up a certain amount of control, you gain just as much as your team does. In any case, much gossip and conversation happens outside of your control anyway — and without your awareness. When you involve every actor in your company, you increase the chances of being better informed and make it more likely you’ll be able to participate in and guide discussions (which isn’t the same thing as controlling them). This approach comes with at least three key advantages:

#Complexity: Encouraging your colleagues to express their views in total confidence and introducing nonhierarchical communication promotes learning and a better alignment between execution and strategic decision-making. You and your team will be better equipped to face the complexity of your environment.

#Agility: “The goal is to learn faster, to know how to make decisions, and to act and react more quickly,” says Jack Mollen, former human-resources VP at EMC (now Dell EMC), one of the world’s leading data storage firms. All this needs to be done to accelerate innovation, time to market, and the response time to customer requests.

#Commitment: Being able to express yourself freely and to feel that you are being listened to strengthens commitment. If your people are respected and recognized, they will become more involved.

IT’S UP TO YOU TO INITIATE THE CONVERSATION …

Excerpt from Business Digest N°303, February 2020

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Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.