47 Minutes Well Spent: Part Deux

Following on to the original post 47 Minutes Well Spent, I wanted to accomplish two things.

First, provide you with the lessons from the handout that were shared with us during this leadership session.

Second, use the words “Part Deux” in a blog post.

Now that I have satisifed both, I hope that you find the below information helpful.  There are great nuggets of information in here on how to improve your communication skills.  The bullet pointed list is by no means all inclusive, but is good information to absorb and share.

What communication practices do you find work well for you?




General Comments on Good Communication

  • What do I know and Who needs to know it?  (especially when in crisis)
  • Be proactive, brief, honest with information.
  • Think before you speak – know your impact
  • Translate the technical to the appropriate level when you are communicating.
  • Best information comes directly from the top of your team, division, organization – don’t let it be filtered.
  • Bad news does not improve with age!
  • If you think you are being micromanaged – it might be because you aren’t communicating – Avoid micro-management by informing your boss what you are up to.  Beat them to it and they will know you are taking care of business.
  • The Sundown Rule should apply when someone asks you for support – respond by the end of the day – even if it’s “I’m on it.”  Acknowledge the request.
  • Talk to your team about integrity and be sure you don’t assume they know what it is.

Email Communications

  • Tell them what they need to know, not what you know. (brief, concise)
  • Write it so it can be read quickly on a Blackberry.    (spaces between bullets, and just a few brief bullet points)
  • Write it, shorten it, and then shorten it again – then think about it one more time before you send it.
  • Make it easy for your boss to forward it to his/her boss without having to translate or rewrite it (just pass it on – giving the information/initiative and the organization speed) – and giving you credit
  • Write only what you would be proud to share in a court of law or in the Wall Street Journal (otherwise, pick up the phone instead)
  • CC your boss if sending an e-mail to his/her boss (confidential N/A).
  • If your boss’s boss e-mails you directly, when replying…include your boss.
  • If your boss is Cc’d on action/customer issues, include them on reply.
  • When writing e-mails,  don’t “think out loud”…get to the point
  • If you need action from someone, assign ownership (no us, we, they)
  • Although 100% of e-mails make it, respond with “will do” or “got it” (imagine that you are in the same room asking someone a question)
  • Close the loop/ follow-up.  If you’re working on it, let them know.  Don’t leave them hanging.

Be a Great Listener!

  • The #1 technique of communication is listening.
  • What your hear and how you respond is more important than what you come up with yourself, and means a lot more to your associates.
  • The #1 threat to good communication and good leadership is Ego.  Ego stops listening.  Ego stops respecting.

Again, not all inclusive, but great bullet points on communication.




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