On Communication in Leadership

Advice on Leadership

The Importance of Communication in Leadership

Hi Jenny,

In your work with others you have probably encountered that one person that always tells everyone exactly what they are doing to the point that it gets a little annoying to listen to. They don’t have a problem opening their mouths to everyone that walks by their office. They are so vocal that they seem to be boastful, arrogant, and conceited.

I have worked with that person before and it actually got on my nerves after awhile. As a result, I decided I never wanted to be that person. Seeing that person really had an impact on me. I try to be a good leader to those I lead and keep my boss informed on what I feel is pertinent to him, but I don’t tell either group every detail of what I do. I use discretion with both my boss and those I lead so no one gets bogged down with all the details. I have taken this approach ever since I became a leader and to my knowledge it has gone pretty well.

My Experience

Recently, I learned an important leadership lesson that completely shifted my views. There was some movement at work and my boss got promoted. Then to fill his spot, my coworker got promoted to became my boss. My coworker is a great guy and will be a great boss, but I was disappointed, to say the least, that I didn’t get the promotion.

Afterwards I had a discussion with my previous boss to see why I was not the top candidate and chosen for the job. His response was that over the last year the other guy stood out. I asked him why I didn’t stand out and he explained that it was because I hadn’t done what he did. I started to go through some of the things I had done and all the details that were involved with each. He was somewhat surprised to hear everything that I told him. He didn’t realize all the details involved in each thing that I had done. Not filling him in on every detail had come back to bite me…

The Lesson

This has forced me to change my way of thinking. I realized that by communicating what you are doing to your leaders and others, you are keeping them informed. It is especially important to communicate the details of what you do. By communicating the details, you keep your leaders up to speed on what is going on. This helps them make informed decisions and keeps them from getting blindsided.

You can do this in an appropriate way so you aren’t arrogant or boastful. To avoid being boastful, arrogant, or conceited, chose the appropriate forum to let them know the details. For example, I am now going to send more frequent periodic updates to my boss explaining what I am doing. I am also going to be much more detailed in my monthly reports. My updates are going to be informative rather than requests for help on decisions. If, on the other hand, you tell your leaders in front of everyone and use the phrase, “I did… and I did…” it may breed animosity and frustration amongst others. They will also probably think you are arrogant.

I hope that sharing my experience with you will help you, so you don’t have to go through the same challenge as me. If you have gone through a similar experience, learned a similar lesson, or have any other thoughts you want to share with me, please feel free to send me an email. I would love to hear from you.

Go forth and be a great leader!

Brandon

LeadershipDoneRight

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Hi Brandon

Thanks for this lovely insight and your experience and lesson learnt on leadership.

I had a similar sort of a situation. My boss and I had a great relationship. Till I asked for a promotion. Soon after he tried his best to demotivate me. Every time I would update him on situations, he would ignore my emails, and finally he said stop clogging my mail box. No impositions, just suggestions. No arrogance just working for the betterment of the organization. It’s a shame that every time I approached him for feedback, I was told “am really busy”. Till eventually he said “yes” we will meet up and called a meet with HR telling me am redundant (excuse the pun here).

But me asking for a promotion was not the start of the torment he put me through. The start was when I was asked by him to do something which showed a lack of integrity. Sack someone by putting so much pressure on them, for things they didn’t do. And when he realized that I would not support him in his unethical ways, he knew, I was of no worth to him and he should promote the person who did. The same person who handed me my redundancy letter and took credit for all my work. It’s not that the boss didn’t know it. It’s that he supported it for his own benefit. Am very happy with my decisions, even though right now I have no job my values are in place. No regrets!

Thanks so much Brendon for you e-mail. It truly helps to get inputs and I value them. 🙂

Warmly,
Jenny

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