Your team’s biggest challenge today may have nothing to do with an external competitor. Your biggest challenge may be an inability to communicate effectively.

Quote by Robert McCloskey: “I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

Principle: As a leader, you’ve acquired a great deal of knowledge in mastering your craft, experienced many practical life lessons, and you’ve spent hours developing today’s game plan for the team.

The good news: You are prepared.

The bad news: The team is not,…yet. They can’t possibly see today’s opportunity and game plan like you can. By virtue of your dedication to self-improvement and the hours you spent developing the right strategy for the team, you’ve created a gap in understanding.

Application: Reduce the gap in understanding by communicating at their level of understanding.

1- Clarify what is expected and why that’s important. Use words they are familiar with – clear, simple.

2️- Communicate no more than 3 activities (3 keys to success)

  • Avoid saying – “and don’t forget…” after the 3 keys to success are communicated.
  • Avoid saying – “we have been really good so far, but… then a negative”
  • Avoid negative non verbals – our mouth isn’t the only part of our face that speaks. Be careful with your body language, tonality, etc.
  • Avoid saying – “this will be hard…” you just gave the team permission to lose.

3️- Balance expectations between efforts and outcomes, so the team feels they have more control.

  • Efforts = in our control
    ▪️Focus on positive attitudes and resiliency today.
    ▪️I’m expecting a commitment to teamwork (supporting each other).
    ▪️Let’s focus our efforts on attention to detail.
  • Outcomes = less in our control
    ▪️Win / Results
    ▪️30 shots on net
    ▪️1000 units produced, etc…

Avoid the curse of knowledge. It’s not what you say, it’s what they understand!


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