Avoid the Eruption

Mt Taranaki. Brooding beauty and picture postcard perfect. However, just lurking under the surface is a simmering volcanic pressure, and if this is your leadership communication style, then an eruption can be devastating for your team and your career. 

Communication is an essential skill for any leader in any capacity.

I contend that great leadership and great communication are synonymous terms. You simply cannot lead well if you cannot communicate well. Add to this the fact that virtually the entire mediation industry is founded on the premises of poor communication. We find. ourselves flying at different altitudes (attitudes?) because we have not articulated clearly vision, instruction, expectation, desired outcomes, boundaries etc and these become resentments that create large and painful gaps in professional and personal relationships. Gaps which can cost you dearly in fiscal remuneration, productivity and team outcomes.

The digital revolution is making us lazy communicators and making the art of misinterpretation into a class of its own!

However, just like any other skill set, communication can be and must be learned. The issue is will we take the time to sharpen the skill set required? Personally, I know many leaders who struggle with a volcano style and it is not helpful. No one enjoys conflict so we often opt to take a false tolerance role. Ignoring or simply putting up with poor behaviour on our teams or in our management structures is not leadership. Quite the opposite.

No one takes on a leadership role with the intention of hurting the organisation, but it happens, and it happens often.

But make no mistake when the pain of staying quiet hits an unforgivably bad day, the mountain blows and people get hurt. We must learn to be honest and open and have uncomfortable conversations that let the steam off gently and in a respectful manner. Perhaps the most frequent question I get asked is “how do I have a hard conversation” , which is a great question and topic to ask for help with. Unfortunately, it is simply the wrong question. The real question is “why do I need to have a hard conversation” and the answer is very simple. Because silence gives permission for behaviour to continue. Add to this that silence is also a culture setting exercise that enable others to go off on tangents because afterall if you won’t or don’t confront them why would you confront me? Silence damages your leadership.

Great leadership and great communication are synonymous terms.

Again, communication is a skill set. Why would we believe everyone knows how to communicate well? That assumption is a disaster waiting to explode. The digital revolution is making us lazy and making the art of misinterpretation into a class of its own. Take the opportunity to gain the skills and not only avoid the eruption but gain the hidden and vital information great communication ability will give you to be able to lead well and lead far.

If you need assistance to change your mountain style, drop me a line.