- Knowledge Centre

Communication Skills Training for Managers

Why To Stop Saying What You Don’t Want

David, a 43 year old, passionate Customer Service Manager led 8 Team Leaders and 94 advisors.

Hitting The Targets But Not Performing Well

And he led them really well.  Operational targets were always met and occasionally exceeded, but something wasn’t quite right with his group of Team Leaders.  David’s manager, Lisa, couldn’t figure out what it was, but she had a feeling that the Team Leaders weren’t happy, or willing to tell her what their problem was.  

The number of short-term sickness days within the group of Team Leaders was unusually high when compared to other departments within the organisation.

The Exploration

We were invited to facilitate a 1-2-1 management coaching session with David, and with his genuine approval.  The goal was to identify potential sources using the *LAB Profile Questionnaire, and in just 2 hours.

David’s transparency was commendable.  Fast-talking, eager to share as much information as he could with us so that he could resolve the ‘problem’, within the thought provoking 2 hour coaching session, David told us everything.  Well, in reality, he told us everything within the first 20 minutes; he just didn’t realise it.

Aha..Now I Understand

David hadn’t realised that when he communicated with his Team Leaders, and especially during a busy or stressful period, his communication style and vocabulary changed. And the change was a command and control management style partnered with many ‘What I don’t want is…’ and ‘What can’t be allowed to happen is…’.  There were many more examples of how David unwittingly undermined his direct reports, he just did’t have a clue about the impact he was creating with them.

David’s Outcome

Following the coaching session, David invited each of his direct reports to be kind enough to let him know when he was using the language patterns we had identified.  This gentle reminder approach to him being coached by the people he led was a fantastic way to encourage his Team Leaders to speak their truth to power, and actually make the experience worthwhile for David, and a little easier for them too.

How About You?

Are you aware of how often you use ‘away from‘ motivator language with your colleagues?  If not, you may benefit from listening in to the 5 minute audio below.

We are not saying ‘STOP‘ using away from motivation patterns.  Indeed, when balanced with towards motivation patterns they can be extremely valuable in delivering first-class quality outputs and genuinely engaging for colleagues and team members.  The skill is – achieving the balance and understanding your impact on others.

Find out more about Communication Skills Training courses by calling us on 0845 052 3701

The specific outcomes I set for the project were delivered much more quickly than I anticipated.
P Gilroy
 - Head of Community Support Services, Denbighshire County Council