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How Leaders Can Prepare for Communication with Teams

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson goes over some of the questions you should ask yourself prior to communicating with a team. These questions will help you sell an idea or new direction.

A Mutual Purpose

Good leaders know that, at work, one of the biggest keys to success is a mutual purpose between a leader and his or her team. In other words, there is an understanding between both leaders and employees that they are working toward a common goal that is of benefit to everyone.

This mutual understanding isn't always easy to reach. Yet if a leader knows how to sell an idea, it can be done.

In this lesson, we go over some of the many questions a leader should ask themselves prior to communicating with their team. These questions will help them sell an idea, goal, or instructions and, by extension, establish a mutual purpose.

Selling the Idea

There are two major ways in which you can communicate with your team. You can, in so many ways, give directions, or simply tell your team what they need to do and leave it at that.

However, many have realized that always depending on this strategy may not be the wisest decision. So, there's another way. We call it the sell strategy, where a leader convinces or persuades the team that a course of action is a good idea.

Why might this be a more effective strategy than simply telling the team what to do?

Well, there's an old saying that control is an illusion. Leaders, at best, may have the ability to hire and fire an individual. But to control them by telling them what to do? Only for so long.

You can probably think of an experience at work where, when things started to go wrong, loyalty and control started to fray while disorder started to creep in.

The best leaders don't tell others what to do. They let their team members convince themselves it's the right thing to do. Those team members, in turn, go on to persuade other colleagues.

Asking the Right Questions

So, when preparing to communicate with your team, you need to ask yourself numerous questions to ensure that the directions or discussions you bring forth to the team are:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Precise
  • Ultimately sell an idea

Here is a list of some of the things you should consider:

1. Did I account for various learning styles? Your team is likely a mixture of individuals who think differently. Sell the idea using words, media, and other strategies that appeal to as many of the team members as possible.

2. Am I prepared to answer a lot of questions? Play devil's advocate. Come up with potential counterpoints your team might make or clarifying questions they might have. Then, answer them yourself before you present to the team.

3. What emotional response do I want to elicit? Although we like to think we make decisions purely on rational, logical, and objective grounds, this simply isn't the case. Figure out what relevant emotional appeal you can make to sell your idea and pump up the team, as well.

4. Have I done the research? It's hard to be clear or precise about something unless you know what you're talking about.

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