𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗖𝗮𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹
Updated: Jul 22
To boost business growth, you usually need to hire more people. At most startups, their largest investment is human capital.
Effective communication between people facilitates success while poor interactions are distracting or even derailing.*
My next two posts will try to effectively explain the value (today) and how to solve problems (later this week).
𝗦𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗲𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀:
𝑂𝑛𝑏𝑜𝑎𝑟𝑑 𝐸𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑦 – Ramp up employees quickly with proper context and training.
The reward is faster productivity and recognizing poor fit sooner.
𝐷𝑟𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑤𝑡ℎ – Set client expectations effectively and acknowledge any issue immediately (especially if the solution is delayed).
The reward is customer retention leading to long-term success.
𝑆𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑘 𝐼𝑛𝑛𝑜𝑣𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 – Encourage creative solutions and efficiency by collaborating across teams asking how to give and receive help.
The rewards are meeting new industry needs and responding best.
𝟱 𝗧𝗶𝗽𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗘𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗹𝘆
𝑆ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑉𝑖𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 – Explain goals and objectives to give context and to creatively discuss multiple paths for the same destination.
𝑆𝑒𝑒𝑘 𝐶𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑦 – Emphasize what you share in common, from hobbies, experiences, and concerns, to build relationships.
𝐸𝑚𝑝ℎ𝑎𝑠𝑖𝑧𝑒 𝐿𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 – Establish training and allow constructive debate on mistakes to accentuate the fact that we can all improve.
𝐴𝑠𝑘 𝑂𝑝𝑒𝑛-𝐸𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝑄𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 – Encourage non-Yes/No responses, e.g. “What do you want out of this session?” to learn true insights.
𝑀𝑒𝑒𝑡 𝑅𝑒𝑔𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑟𝑙𝑦 – Engage recurring 1:1 and team meetings to discuss updates, develop ideas, and resolve setbacks.
Effective communication facilitates success while poor interactions are distracting or even derailing.
𝟱 𝗪𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗽 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗚𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝗪𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴
𝐼𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑓𝑦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘍𝘭𝘢𝘸 𝑜𝑓 𝑇𝑒𝑐ℎ – Recognize how arguments can start when quick messages lead to a huge misunderstanding.
Communication relies more on body language and tone than words. If there's a problem, change you channel.**
𝐾𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝐴𝑢𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 – Speak to people's needs and motivations. Be aware of demographic and cultural differences which could cause confusion or worse circumstances.
𝐵𝑒 𝑂𝑝𝑒𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐻𝑜𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑡 – Realize that the loss of trust leads to the destruction of business. For that matter, understand that dishonesty ultimately takes more time and energy to maintain than honesty.***
𝐹𝑎𝑐𝑒 𝐵𝑎𝑑 𝑁𝑒𝑤𝑠 – Launch into discussion around lost clients, terminations, and other problems. Concentrate on what can be learned and commit to move forward.
𝐸𝑛𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝐹𝑒𝑒𝑑𝑏𝑎𝑐𝑘 – Check if people around you will disagree with your ideas. If not, you have a huge problem. Build a challenge network to seek constructive, necessary feedback.****
Allow people to give you their opinions in meetings and in private. Seek opinions by asking tough questions like, “What’s one way this presentation could have been better?”
Plus, I’ve seen this a lot:
“𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒆 𝒃𝒊𝒈𝒈𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒎 𝒊𝒏 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆𝒏 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒆.” – George Bernard Shaw
For instance, a manager tells me that an issue has been discussed, but when I speak with the employee, they have no idea about the concern and perceive they’re doing a great job. Time to reset.
Inflection points occur when the team expands because scaling requires an increased emphasis on clear instructions as there is less informal interaction.
Communication may feel burdensome and unnecessary in a fast-growing startup. However, benefits ultimately include faster responses, more creative solutions, and stronger relationships.
* Another post on Leadership Communication can be found here: https://www.webuildscalegrow.com/post/a797de6a
** If the conversation is going poorly, find a way to talk in-person or the closest version. If you’re really angry, wait until the next day to talk so you can be more productive and sympathetic in making your point. Many times, an email or text was simply misinterpreted, and a conversation will make the intention clear. Other times, you may not fully agree afterwards, but can understand the other person better and can focus on the task conflict versus the personal conflict.
***Post on Founder Candor can be found here: https://www.webuildscalegrow.com/post/52485455
**** Post on Challenge Networks can be found here: https://www.webuildscalegrow.com/post/8a32d43e