Talent Management

5 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting the Results You Want From Others

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Do you want better results from any or all of the following: your team, your co-workers, your board, or just other people in general?

Hopefully the answer is “Yes.” Otherwise, you can stop reading now.

Hopefully the answer is “Yes,” because if you’re committed to excellence — which I hope you are — you KNOW that no matter how good you already are, you can become even better.

Being a better communicator

You can create even BETTER results for you and your employer.

To get that better result you want, here’s what you need to get even better at: Communication — both one-on-one and one-to-many.

Think of whatever better result you want — more initiative from your people, more productivity, better teamwork, more people seeing the wisdom of your point of view, more customers — whatever the results you want more of, those results happen through other people.

And getting that to happen depends on your being a better communicator.

So, why isn’t it happening?

5 reasons why you’re not getting results

Here are some of the things I’ve seen. See if any might be true for you.

1. You are not clear on what those results look and sound like, so other people don’t know what you’re asking for. This is HUGE. Often when coaching managers who aren’t getting the results they want, I see two things going on:

    • They aren’t clear in their own head what they want. All they know is they DON’T want what they’re getting.
    • They don’t know how to communicate the result they DO want in a clear, coherent way, so their people are confused.

2. Your walkie-talkie is stuck on broadcast mode. Are you so focused on telling, on broadcasting, that you don’t listen? If you’re in a position of power or have a strong personality, I can almost guarantee that you would be more effective if you listened more. Telling and not listening is an occupational hazard of being powerful.

So, for whatever result you’re not getting, have you actively solicited the other person or people’s point of view or simply kept bludgeoning them with yours? Are you just broadcasting and not ever receiving? Ask more questions, “seek first to understand,” really LISTEN to others, and notice how others become much more interested in what you have to say.

3. You’re stuck on the wrong station. Are you focused on WII-FM (what’s in it for me) vs. WII-FT (what’s in it for them?). A Me-Centric argument leaves others cold. They want to know how what you’re talking about affects them — and that you CARE about how it affects them.

4. You’re not connecting at the relationship level. This is one of the biggest obstacles I see getting in the way of managers and executives getting the result they want. They get so focused on the task to be accomplished, and so focused on all they have to do, they end up ignoring the human element of leadership and organizational effectiveness.

They come across as very impersonal, self-focused, and disinterested in others. Since people tend to care about people who care about them, these leaders end up creating situations where others don’t care about what they want, because their “non-followers” don’t feel like the leader cares about them.

Are you being too “all business” and impersonal? Do you need to connect more “person to person” in your interactions?

5. You might be boring. I know that sounds a bit harsh, but perhaps the issue is that you are “all head and no heart” in your communication. Maybe you are like a walking talking Death By PowerPoint presentation rather than a mesmerizing storyteller.

Are you sharing enough of who you are as a person in your interactions or are you just doing sound bites and Business Speak? Are you bringing passion to your message? Are you using stories and analogies to make your ideas fascinating and thought provoking? Do you make your conversations truly interactive, or, do you go on and on and on and on …

6. You avoid having the conversation or, do it poorly. This is probably the weakest link between the results people want to get and them actually getting those results. Either they avoid the conversations they need to have because they don’t think the conversation will go well or, they have the conversation and because they don’t have the skill-set to make difficult discussions work, so it crashes and burns.

Does this sound familiar? Are there conversations you are avoiding that, if you had them, might get you on the road to the results you want? What conversations do you need to have for you to get the results you want? Are you willing to do the work to get good at making these results-creating conversations go well?

If you’re serious about getting results …

If you want to get better business results, look at your communication, both how you present your ideas one-to-many, and how you engage people in conversations.

If you’re serious about getting better results, get better in these areas.

If you want to get started, here’s a story that both illustrates a common fatal flaw which prevents good ideas being recognized as good ideas and, an example of how to dial others into what you’re saying by speaking to what they care about. Read it at Stories That Change … Hearts, Lives, Minds … and Organizations.

David Lee is the founder and principal of HumanNature@work and the creator of Stories That Change. He's an internationally recognized authority on organizational and managerial practices that optimize employee performance, morale, and engagement. He is also the author of "Managing Employee Stress and Safety," as well over 60 articles and book chapters. You can download more of his articles at HumanNature@work, contact him at david@humannatureatwork.com, or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/humannaturework.