Communication tips for leaders: when times are uncertain

This transformation guidance is more personal in nature. In the last post I posed some questions about communication in tough times.

Here are a few tips if you are open to mental work:

Take steps to rid your uncertainty with the present (or past). Be certain about the future.
How? There are many ways to do this. I’ve found some that work well for me that I’ll touch on here and can expand if you are interested. I’ll focus on leaders, who are often processers and problem-solvers.

If you are a problem-solver you may not feel settled without fixing whatever it is right now. Many will say that the best thing to do is to focus on solving the problem. That was me. I’ve made progress.  Sure I still solve problems – lots of them. It is that I select the problem and typically tackle it very early when something still can be done about it, sometimes even catching it before the problem is well known.

Here’s a warning about problem-solving: focusing on a problem to fix it will put you mind in a place of what is wrong rather than a place of what could be right. Focusing on the problem positions you to… attract more of that problem! You don’t want that. Here’s what you can do, and it is often used in sales, and part of the Napoleon Hill teachings, so perhaps you’ll recognize it. First you neutralize the customer’s mindset, then ask questions, then make your proposal. Your twist on this is that you are your customer.

Pivot yourself from thinking about what you don’t want to what you do want. Start asking questions related to how you might get what you want. Propose ways you can make what you want happen; and claim it as certain. Now rather than thinking “problem!” or even “solution (to problem)” you are thinking “strategy! …to claim a better future.”

If you are a processor/analyzer you may feel the need to figure out to the “t” why this happened. Ok, another confession… this one also is me. Try to process only to the point of learning what the mistake was – and what triggered it – and don’t try to solve it. Hale Dwoskin of Sedona Training Associates asks, “Do you want to understand the problem or would you rather just not have the problem?” Good point.

Let me know if you’d like to hear more on this subject or if it is too “out there” for you. Comment, send an ASK Lori question or (if ASK isn’t up yet) send me an email at lori@abrige.com.

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