Breaking down communication barriers to grow…

Even if you think you have a great rapport with someone, you’ll always be receiving some form of filtered viewpoint designed with your authority in mind.
 
It’s hard enough talking to leaders and people in positions of authority. Don’t make it harder artificially.
 
Here are some things you can do to reduce the friction others may feel when communicating with you.
 

Institute an open-door policy

Publicly and privately state that you want people approaching you and giving you unsolicited feedback or dropping in for a chat.
 
Make sure you are approachable. Any barrier you put is just one more roadblock to communicating with you.
 

Recognize your open-door policy is ineffective

Already instituted an open-door policy? Great — it probably won’t work.
 
Many people won’t come up to you for various reasons — shyness, busyness, etc. Arrange a specific time yourself to hear people’s thoughts and opinions in addition to your open-door policy.
 
You can’t be passive about promoting communication — open-door policies are the least you can do.
 

Remove physical barriers

Your office desk is the second biggest barrier to effective communication next to a closed door.
 
The typical office layout involves a desk in the middle of the office, with a chair close to the doorway for guests and the office owner’s chair in a seat of power between the wall and the desk.
 
The problem with this layout is that it creates a very real physical barrier between you and the person you are communicating with. This physical barrier is enhanced by any other item on your desk — typically a monitor.
 
Break down the barrier — position your desk against the wall so that any guest that enters your office to talk is sitting in front of you with no barriers in-between.
 
Remove those headphones, move that coffee mug to the side.
 

Get out of the office

Another person’s office is viewed as hostile territory. Human beings have a psychological aversion to crossing that door frame — the threshold between the outside of the office and the inside — the safe area and the lion’s den.
 
In an office, the lines of authority are clearly defined and communication flows through that lens.
 
You’re unlikely to get effective communication within it.
 
The solution? Get out of your office. Talk to people in their office. Bring people to coffee shops. Grab lunch.
 

Reach out to people directly

If you want to hear from someone, ask them explicitly what their thoughts are.
 
Ask them regularly. Ask them through different mediums — in person, over chat, email, etc.
 
People have different comfort levels communicating through different mediums — find the one that works the best for the person you are communicating with.
 

Build rapport

You’re more likely to receive honest feedback and ensure solid communication if people feel comfortable and safe communicating with you. You can’t build that sense of safety or camaraderie with communication limited to work tasks.
 
Ask people about their day, how their work is going, or what they did that weekend. Build relationships with people, even if they aren’t even in your department.
 

Avoid silos

You can see these environments start to form — groups begin to silo themselves or cut off visibility and communication in the name of privacy, security, or some other reason.
 
Perhaps they begin to place certain information on a “need-to-know” basis, or suddenly make their meeting notes private. Maybe they stop inviting non-group members to lunch.
 
Many times there’s a valid reason to do so — especially in areas where a breach in privacy can be a massive issue (eg. HR, medical, defense, etc.) or a loss of focus can result in decreased productivity (eg. training, junior employees, highly complex endeavors, etc.).
 
However, many other times these silos are created with no other reason than to simply create an in-group, exercise authority, or develop miniature empires to stroke egos.
 
Over times, these silos were to operate independently, contributing to a dysfunctional communication environment that makes delivering accurate messages and operating effectively much more difficult.
 
Effective communication is hard, but not impossible. Leaders can make small changes in their behavior and the environment that lead to compound results down the road.

The True Cost Of A Bad Hire — It’s More Than You Think.

While the financial impact is quantifiable, top CXOs actually rank a bad hire’s morale and productivity impacts ahead of monetary losses
 
Why? A bad apple spoils the bunch, so to speak. Disengagement is contagious, which may be why employers can’t seem to defeat it.
In many ways, a bad hire’s effect on company culture echoes beyond the employee’s tenure. Poor performers lower the bar for other employees, and bad habits spread like a virus. 
 
Unfortunately, bad hires aren’t always easy to spot, while this affects the startup’s ecosystem, culture, quality leaders and much more
 
Avoid Bad Hires at any costs!

Do one thing at a time. Period.

When you’re extremely busy, there’s the temptation to multitask.
 
Have you ever had that moment when two people are texting you, one is sending you WhatsApp message, and the other is trying to get you on the phone? When it happens, the initial impulse is to jump from one to the other and answer everyone as quickly as possible.
 
But try to fight that instinct and instead focus on each conversation to give it the attention it deservesFor example, if on a call, try to be 100% present. That means no texting or looking at email.
 
When you multitask, you end up with two (or more!) suboptimal results. Give all your attention to a single interaction at a time, and the outcome will be better.

What’s the best use of a leader’s time?

As a leader how you spend your time will make or break the success of ur company. I think here are the top three focus areas:
 
#Recruiting + Hiring
 
The team is the most critical aspect for the success of a company. And hiring has to be topmost in the lists, a cultural fit team with the best skill set in the given budget, requires a lot of balancing act for the leader.
But its the only way to grow and reach ur vision.
 
#Considering your team’s long-term strategy, vision, and culture
 
Keep thinking and driving the long term strategy and vision for the company, this will be the beacon for everyone to follow.
 
#Communicating the direction to everybody all the time
 
Consistently communicating with everyone to guide and show them the right path. If the driver of a bus is not showing the right direction how the team will move forward. Let everyone apply there skills, their forces but u need to be the director of them.

 

But how about for you? Do you find yourself spending time in these areas as a leader… or not?
 

How to build company culture…

Culture is one of the most critical pillars that keeps standing in the ups and downs of a company. It defines the success and growth of the team and the company.
 
Also wherever there is a team, a culture (good or bad) is already set within the team. Defined by the leaders and top management etc.
 
So how to build or rebuild a culture? Here are a few pointers:
 
#Personal accountability
 
You must model the behaviors and basic underlying assumptions you want to be true. Greatest shortcoming of a leader is wanting others to do something that she doesn’t practice it herself. For instance, a leader wants to set up “ownership and trustworthy” culture but doesn’t own her own weaknesses and expects employees to be upfront and own things. See the disconnect?
Others in the team will emulate what you do, so exhibit those basic underlying actions yourself and the team will follow.
 
#Consistency
 
Whatever culture we want to set, it should be consistent over a period of days, months and years to build it. It cannot be that one day we want ownership & trust, other days we want hierarchy and formal structure.
 
Also whatever process we want to follow to inculcate the culture, All hands meetings, one on one etc should be consistent. Yes, there will be learnings but the core process has to keep hitting the cultural attributes.
 
#Use All Mediums or Communication Channels
 
In today’s environment, we have different ways of communicating with the individuals or team. It can be meetings, remote video calls, internal social media, WhatsApp groups, etc.
 
Use all these to communicate the same core attributes, for example, if All hands meetings are for openness and gathering ideas, displaying an open culture of ideas. One on Ones and any team meetings should have the same theme, openness towards any ideas. 
Now, this is no grand formula by any means for creating the culture that you want. Shaping a company’s culture and tapping into a team’s basic underlying assumptions is more art than it is science.
But consider these three elements — personal accountability, consistency, and richness — in how you’re upholding the basic underlying assumptions you want to make more real.
Pick one, commit to it, and see progress build over time. Slowly, but surely, you’ll see the difference.

 

Capacity to Choose…

We always have a choice.
 
Wherever, Whenever, Whoever we are, we always have a choice.
 
If someone is not listening to you, choose to persuade them or choose to ignore them. But its ur choice.
 
If you don’t like your job, choose to work for money, or quit and find a job which u like.
 
If things are not working according to plan, choose to fight or choose to change the scene, maybe u r not meant for the scene.
 
The most important part is to explore and find the right choice (And this may take a while) and fight for it till the end.
 
But there is always a choice…
 

Two Wishes…

When you’re feeling stuck with your project, step back and grant yourself two wishes.
 
What will improve if you get these wishes? Put these in a piece of paper.
 
Now that you have got it, how to progress in the project. What are you going to do about it?