One of the most common mistakes leaders make is the inability to communicate clearly and directly what they want and need from team members. I get it, we all want to play nice in the sandbox, but effective leadership requires clear and direct communication. Consider these two examples:
1. “Safety is important for our customers. I need everyone to follow the covid-19 guidelines”.
What could go wrong? Well … What does this mean in behavioural terms? Safety is important but is it more important than sales which are our number one priority? What is meant by covid-19 guidelines, there are lots of guidelines, which ones do we follow? Do we have to follow the guidelines all the times or just when we think customers aren’t safe?”
2.“Keeping our customers safe is now our #1 priority. I need everyone to put on their mask before entering the premises. You will always need to wear your mask when working inside these walls”.
Perhaps not perfect, but it does explain the behaviour that is required and what acceptable performance looks like.
Communicate as effectively as you can, followed up with “now what questions do you have.” Team members will surface anything that was confusing or unclear.