All Posts By

Chris McClure

5 Steps for Correcting Communication Misunderstandings

Communication is a vital skill for leaders, yet it can often be messy.

Depending on what is said, how things are said, and how messages are received, misunderstandings can easily occur.

When you find yourself being misunderstood and having to navigate fallout, implement these 5 steps in order to get your team back on the same page:

1 – Refrain from Fighting Back

It’s natural to want to defend yourself and “set things straight.” However, that’s not the most productive approach. In our day and age of people being “triggered” by something someone said, it’s critical to maintain your composure so you can resolve the misunderstanding. When emotions get hot, leaders must cool things down. You can do that by refusing to lash out and fighting back to defend yourself.

2 – Reflect on What Was Said

No matter how hard you try, there will be times you say something wrong or your message is not heard as you intended. Take a moment to consider what was communicated and what might have been heard instead. Think about things from multiple perspectives so you can have a more informed conversation later.

3 – Maintain a Humble Demeanor

Pride builds a wall between leaders and their followers very quickly. If you truly want to make sure your message is communicated clearly, be humble and curious so you can get to the root cause of the issue at hand. Once again, don’t buck up to defend yourself. Instead, seek to understand what the other person heard that caused the misunderstanding.

4 – Seek Reconciliation

If there has been a breach of trust or a relationship is damaged, intentionally seek ways to reconcile with others. As a leader, it’s important to go first to find ways to make things right. This doesn’t mean you have to admit you were wrong, but it does communicate that you want to get everyone on the same page for the sake of maintaining healthy relationships and for the organization.

5 – Adjust Your Message as Needed

If, in your reflection and inquiries, you discover that you said something in error or inappropriate, go back and adjust your message. Sometimes the breakdown occurs because you assumed people understood more than they actually did. If that’s the case, give the backstory that can help them understand. If you used words that didn’t connect, try rephrasing things. Make the adjustments to do whatever is helpful to get your intended message across.

Communication is challenging. It always has been and always will be. But as leaders, we must work hard to craft and refine our messages so we can rally people together in order to accomplish the goals and mission of the organization. Don’t be sloppy in crafting your messages. Be intentional.

If you need help navigating personal or professional challenges, let’s chat to see how I can help you. CLICK HERE to learn more about my coaching services and we’ll schedule a time to talk about how working together may be just what you need to achieve your goals.

Until next time…make today GREAT!

4 Steps for Staying the Course When Success Seems Slow

Leaders are hardwired to win and often become very impatient when the wins don’t happen quickly. 

It’s easy to forget that big wins don’t happen overnight. They are made up of many small wins along the way.

In order to make significant progress and experience the grand results we desire, we need to maintain a proper perspective.

If you are frustrated with not accomplishing your ultimate vision quickly enough, take the following 4 steps:

1 – Review What You’ve Accomplished So Far

When you’re discouraged because things aren’t happening fast enough, it’s easy to feel like you’re failing or falling behind. The reality is that you’ve probably taken many successful steps forward that are required to reach your ultimate goal. When you feel down in the dumps, make a list of all the accomplishments you and your team have experienced so far. You might just be surprised how much you’ve achieved already.

2 – Celebrate Small Wins Along the Way

Now that you have your list of small wins created, schedule time to celebrate with your team. If they are personal wins, celebrate with your friends and family. But whatever you do, don’t gloss over them as if they don’t matter. While they may not be the ultimate achievement you desire, they are critical stepping stones in your journey. Allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with accomplishment.

3 – Remember the Importance of Compounding Interest 

Most people expect to jump from the starting line to the final destination in one giant leap. However, that’s not how success works. Each action you take compounds and multiplies. One small step may not feel like much at the moment, but it could be a key breakthrough toward achieving your ultimate goal. Keep taking action and trust that each one will build on the momentum of the previous steps.

4 – Knock Down the Next Domino

One key item could impact many others. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is one thing I can do today that will impact many others? 
  • What one action will trigger multiple reactions that will expedite my success? 

Invest the time to think strategically so you can make individual decisions that will eliminate many other decisions. Consider one thing you can do that will contribute the most toward your ultimate goal. These are all individual “dominos” that have the potential to knock down dozens or hundreds of others and fast-track your success. Don’t worry about every domino. Instead, focus on the significant ones that can make a big difference.

The success journey is often full of frustrations and discouragement. However, think about championship sports teams. It’s rare that a team will go through an entire season without challenges or setbacks. The great teams push through and stay the course knowing that perseverance will help them reach their ultimate goal. In fact, it’s often the challenges they face that lead to their greatest accomplishments. When they overcome each obstacle, it empowers them to tackle the next challenges that arise. This strengthens them to accomplish the goal of winning a championship that they only dreamed about at the beginning of the season. 

As a leader, model these four steps to your followers. They need to see you navigate the ups and downs of the journey toward achieving big goals. Help them focus on the small wins and celebrate with them along the way. Encourage them about what they’ve accomplished so far in order to progress toward the ultimate destination.

If you need help determining how to grow in critical leadership areas, let’s chat to discuss how I can help you. CLICK HERE to learn more about my coaching services and we’ll schedule a time to talk about how working together may be just what you need to grow to the next level.

Until next time…make today GREAT!