It is always communication. I have never worked with a school, or organisation that has not said communication could be better. From the exasperated headteacher who despite daily briefings and regular memos, bemoaning those staff that are still missing deadlines, to the member of staff that is getting "mixed and confusing messages".
From the highly effective and successful schools to those who are struggling to raise standards. It is still the same message. Communication could be better.
Jim Rohn I believe once said: "Communication is the response you get". So why do we not always get the response we expect? Communication is a huge topic and is also a huge challenge to improve and address in an organisation with no quick or simple fixes. However, the fundamental of improving communication are simple even if the process is not. And it starts with recognising that communication is a two way process. We require to think not about our communication (verbal, non-0verbal etc) but also how we listen.
We work with leadership teams in all kinds of organisations, and often use the Thomas DISC profiling process to help individuals understand how they like to communicate and be communicated to, and also that not everyone is like them! More importantly, in what ways they are not like them in terms of giving and receiving messages.
Sometimes this is like a “scales falling from the eyes” moment. And it is can be the first major step to improving the effectiveness of communications. It is certainly a lot of fun and a lot of learning for most participants.
As well as Thomas DISC there are other models exploring how behavioural and communication styles can be profiled, including Meyers-Briggs and Hermann Brain Dominance Indicators. We prefer to use DISC both for its simplicity and power. It doesn’t mean that it is any more ort less effective than the others. What is important however, is that when faced with one of the biggest challenges or objectives for improvement: communication, some framework and process sis used to actually take action and secure change. We find DISC very effective in achieving that.
DISC identified four basic communication styles. We all communicate across each of the four dimensions to some extent but more naturally communicate in one of the four styles most of the time.
The four dimensions (quadrants) are:
By way of example, an Influencer at their best would tend to be participative, creative, energised and supporting. At their worst, they could be verbose, speak more than listen, miss details or not devote enough time to important details. Dominants and Influencers, by nature, would not necessarily have strong emotional ties which inhibits effective communication between them. Recognising that we all have various styles and can adapt is that first powerful step to mindful adjustments for better communication.
This is a massive and complex subject, but we have been delighted to see tremendous cultural change and imp[roved communications between individuals and within schools as a result of our work based on the DISC profiles.
To find out more or simply book a call to discuss this with us in further detail then:
D;s: Make the call. Get on the phone. Let’s chat. No Obligation!
I’s: Well my friends, we want to work with you to get the best for your school in terms of communication. Why not give us a call? Let’s chat
S’s: Taking that first step is often the hardest. Why not think it over, talk it over with your close and trusted team members and then give us a call?
C’s: Happy to provide you with all the detail you need, testimonies, research based evidence etc. Let’s schedule a time for a detailed conversation.
Looking forward to talking with you.
Success formula #1: (BE X DO)WHY = HAVE
Why is it that sometimes we invest the time to decide on a goal, create strategies to reach the goal, action steps to execute the strategies, set time aside to do the actions, line up required resources, etc. etc. and still not reach our goal?
Well, maybe your WHY for the goal is not clear enough or strong enough. Do you know WHY you want to achieve the goal in the first place? Are you sure about that? Take your answer and ask WHY again. Then again on that answer. Now we’re getting close to the real reason. How badly do you want to achieve this goal? Is your goal a want to have, or an absolutely must have?
In the formula above, the HAVE is your goal – what it is that you have, once you achieve your goal. The DO is the action part of things – the things you must do in order to have what you want. The BE represents who you need to be in order to do the things you need to do in order to have what you want to have.
Why do we multiply BE X DO? You can have a very large BE, and if you don’t do much, you won’t have much. It works the same way with DO. You can do a whole lot, but if your BE, also known as Mindset is small, you may not be capable of doing the correct things well, or end up doing the wrong things, resulting in a small Have.
Why do we put the BE X DO in brackets, and put it all to the power of WHY? Simply this – if you truly believe in your WHY, or your Reason for accomplishing your goal, you will BEcome the person it takes to DO the things necessary to HAVE your goal. If deep down it is not absolutely mandatory for you to reach your goal, you likely won’t reach it. If you have a burning desire to achieve your goal, you will achieve it.
Think back - have you ever set out to reach a goal that you weren’t passionate about? Did you reach it? Conversely, what about something you just had to have? Did you end up having it? If you are having any trouble setting or reaching your goals, re-examine your WHY.
Make sure your goal is something you are excited and passionate about. That passion and excitement is like the energy of a big flywheel – it will keep you going when you run into resistance on the road to reaching your goals.
This is for you. Yes you. You may have them fooled but not me. I am not challenging your capability, impact or success, but I know, like you do too, that there are some things inside there, behind the smile, behind the confident gaze, behind the energy and projected confidence that you are keeping to yourself. You can't let it show.
Here is my message to you - its ok to open that door just a little. In-fact it is not ok to keep it hidden. Its not ok for you, your family or your learning community.
But I digress. I have got you here perhaps under false pretences you may be thinking?
After all - the article is about Glen Mills? Yes it is. Glen Mills. And you. So lets get started.
Who On Earth Is Glen Mills?
Like all great sportsmen – Usain Bolt has a coach. His name is Glen Mills. You have probably never heard of him. He can’t run faster than Usain Bolt, he can’t do Bolt’s training for him, and he can’t eat the diet for him either. But without him, Bolt would not be the incredible athlete that he is today. Why is that?
Glen Mills is credited with turning Bolt into the icon he is today. Mills is Head Coach of the Racers Track Club in Kingston, Jamaica which is nick-named the 'Sprint Factory'. He's been coaching for 42 years and is behind the reinvention of Bolt from a 'talent with potential' to world No.1
We recognise fairly readily the sporting analogies. However when it comes to leadership, particularly headship, it is a different story for many. What is it that stops us (confession time - actually not me – I have a coach too…. ) from applying that same logic to our professional circumstances? Maybe it is because we try to be the superhero and do everything ourselves. To stick with the race analogy, we know we can run fast but are we ready to be transformed into a gold medal winner?
Like Glen Mills, good executive coaches focus on the technical, the strategic, the motivational and on the mindset. These all need to come together to produce a winning performance. They all need attention. We add to the mix- the demand, the accountability, the pure instance that a coach brings to the “coachee”.
I address many of these issues in my workshops and seminars and one-to-one work with heads. Why? Because it gives those individuals the opportunity to think afresh, and look at their leadership from a different perspective to the inside out. We can overcome to some extent faulty thinking, filtered view-points, inappropriate belief systems and simple lack of focus or ability to manage over-whelm. Together we can gain fresh perspective and motivation. The most important thing is that a decision point is reached, and it is an informed one, and the change begins...
And that is the most important thing. It isn’t about the coach – any coach. It is about you. You the Leader, you the person. Helping you to run faster, further, smarter… It is your race. I will help you run it better.
I often enjoy the point in a meeting where we get to the “ I am going to get you to do things you might not want to do to get to the place where you definitely want to be” . So many say “Yes – I need that”.
If something in this has resonated with you, or caused some excitement or discomfort, then why not drop me a line? All we are going to do is have a chat....