Leadership Communication And Team Dynamics
Leadership Communication And Team Dynamics
by Marcia Xenitelis
Transformational leadership is all about steering the organization through change and that business outcomes are achieved because of the commitment and engagement of employees. One of the essential skills required to achieve this is to communicate change to their teams, however frequently they are not equipped with the appropriate tools to help them focus on the key message and to ensure that their team members are all facing in the one direction towards the new organizational vision.
Leadership communication is all about structure and key messages and the easiest way this can be managed is through team briefing. This is a formalised tool that ensures all leaders and managers communicate the key messages and provides feeback about what employees what to know more about. There are three levels of messages that are cascaded through the organization.
1. At the first level the Company President will brief his direct reports about the key issues for that week that he wants communicated to all employees. 2. This information is then distributed to all the executive team members who then are required to communicate those topics to their teams together with what they consider the top 5 issues for their division and then the top 5 topics for their respective team. 3. It is only the last section of a team brief that changes as this is directly related to how the corporate and divisional issues for the week relate to specific team issues. This section of the team briefing will always change depending on what the team is working on.
The reason this works is simple. The only aspect a manager has to think about is what is happening in the organization that will effect his team that week or month depending on the frequency of the team briefing process. The rest of the information is already determined by the divisional head and the CEO. The team brief should only take around 15 minutes so it can be incorporated into a regular team meeting.
And most importantly it is constant as the CEO has his Executive team meeting dates set for the entire year and this ensures that everyone from the Executive team to the frontline know what is happening in the organization.
Transformational leadership is not just about ensuring that all employees understand the new direction of the organization. It is also about changing the behaviour of leaders and managers so that communication with their teams is consistent and aligned with what other employees are being told in the company. Regular followup by the company president or divisional head simply by asking employees if they have attended a team briefing will ensure that they occur as required.
These are the essential factors in team briefings working.
1. Team briefing must be an easy to understand process. 2. Transformational leadership is all about changing leaders behaviour - this process needs to be owned and driven by the CEO to ensure that everyone understands the importance of it. 3. In the first and second section of team briefing the topics must be easy for managers and leaders to communicate and understand. 4. Ensuring that there is a feedback loop is essential to ensure that managers and leaders are comfortable in conducting team briefings with the knowledge that if there is a question that they can't answer they can quickly find that answer and let team members know. 5. It should only take .15 minutes for a team briefing - this also ensures that managers and leaders feel comfortable that the process wont take up too much time.
When it comes to cascading information in a face to face format via management remember that as with anything, there will be some topics that employees want to hear directly from the CEO and other topics they are happy to hear from their manager. Generally when it comes to significant issues such as retrenchments, closure of offices and mergers or acquisitions employees generally want to hear this from the person at the top. Day to day, week by week and month by month operational issues they are comfortable in hearing from their manager who manages their daily work.
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To learn more about transformational leadership and team dynamics visit www.transformational-leadership.com
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