"Must be an effective communicator." This is listed in almost every executive job posting that I read. Most executives believe that they are good communicators. This is an interesting excerpt from Bridgeport Coaching and Strategy Group.
"The truth is communication is an area where leaders tend to overestimate their ability", says Dean Miles, founder and president of Bridgeport. “There is a disconnect between what leaders think has been connected, confirmed, clarified, and communicated, and what has really happened.” So, while leaders think that they have communicated, for example, their top three priorities within a specific time period, they often think they have been clear about conveying them to their team members. But when Miles asks them, hypothetically, “‘Would you be willing to bet next month’s paycheck that I could go to your direct reports, and they could give me those same three [priorities], in the same order, with the same level of confidence?’ And they can’t,” he says.
It's a good reminder of how communication impacts the entire team, as well as the outcome of a company's objectives.
One suggestion to test if a message was clearly conveyed, is to have follow up conversations with each individual after initial communication. Most of the time messaging is initially shared with large groups and the setting doesn't always allow for two way conversations, encouraging questions. Additionaly, some people need time to process the information to think it through in application and personalize it for themselves. This is a team building 'best practice' to further create a culture of ownership.
What are other ways we can verify communication of priorities to our teams?