Recently I took my car to get the oil changed at a new service station in town. As I pulled in to the “stay-in-your-car” bay and the technicians began working under the car the back-and-forth dialogue between the employees piqued my interest.
I noticed that not only was the team communicating about every line of the oil change checklist, but they all consistently responded with the same audible response. After each task was announced, the phrase “heard that!” echoed through the station. It didn’t matter whether the task was moving an oil filter from the shelf to the floor, directing a new car into an empty bay, or requesting a different size wrench, every employee joined in the cacophony of “heard that!” as they continued working on their individual tasks.
While I sat in my car listening to the ongoing chatter, which must quickly become mundane for the technicians, but was fascinating to me, an outsider, my mind wandered to the various teams I have been on over the years. One of the most crucial aspects of any team is the level of communication that the team members work to achieve. I have been on teams that had very little group communication, and others where there was an unprecedented level of inside language and cultural jargon. But no team that I have been a part of focused enough on what these oil change technicians did exceedingly well: Communication Confirmation.
We often see our responsibility when it comes to communication as crafting and sending our message in the clearest way possible, but what would happen if we modeled for others the value of confirming when a message is received? This is a vital part of the coaching process as we offer a version of “heard that” when listening to a coachee by either repeating or rephrasing their statements to make sure that what we heard is what they intended to communicate. Whether you see yourself as a coach with your team or not, the value of confirming that other’s messages have been received, and received accurately, cannot be overstated.
What would it mean for your team if you practiced this “heard that” mindset?
How would it impact you if others on your team took the time to confirm what they heard you say?
What can you do this week to move the needle on team or organizational communication to minimize miscommunication and maximize the cohesion that comes from accurate communication?
Warren Buffett is credited as saying that “in looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”
Recently while working with a client to further develop their leadership development process, we surveyed several top leaders from a wide range of industries including Fortune 100 companies, non-profits and government entities. When we asked them what leadership qualities they looked for when recruiting and selecting future leaders, the resounding consensus echoed the sentiments of Warren Buffett’s quote.
Integrity matters more than we often think, especially at the current speed of business that requires our leaders to have high levels of competency and intelligence, as well as skills with both technology and people, often simultaneously. The value of integrity can often get lost in the shuffle of adding a new employee with the right credentials or a great sales record. However, the impact of inadequacies in those areas pales in comparison to the damage that is done to an organization when a leader crashes due to a lack of integrity.
It has been said that integrity is defined as doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
What could be more valuable to a team or organization than that?
How might your team benefit from a more intentional focus being placed on integrity?
Or perhaps…what can you do to model the value of integrity for your team?
As a final thought, it seems that the majority of the time that we hear about the impact of integrity is it the result of someone lacking it. These failures tend to dominate the narrative in the media as well as our minds as we hyper-focus on those who acted without integrity. For just a moment, allow yourself to imagine what your team would look like if instead of being worried about failing because of an integrity deficiency, the culture of your organization was anticipatory and hopeful about being caught HAVING integrity.
What might you do as a leader that could shift the thinking of those you lead to begin valuing integrity on the same level as competence, intelligence and execution?