As you lead your team, how can you communicate positively? What are the keys to healthy communication? And how can you win others over in a genuine way so that they want to follow you?
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In this episode, Holly and I talk with wife, mom, and entrepreneur Natalie Gingrich about how we can win others over and communicate positively as we lead.
Natalie breaks down the common mistakes leaders make in communicating with their team, how to deal with conflict in the workplace, as well as how communication affects hiring, firing, and developing teams. Plus she gives us the 2 keys she has used for being able to communicate positively through the years.
Natalie’s Leadership Experiences:
Natalie is the founder of The Ops Authority and host of The Ops Authority podcast. She helps women create a business that supports others. She wants women to understand who they want to be and help them cultivate that vision.
Growing up, Natalie felt like a natural-born leader. She was raised by a single mom who surrounded herself with leaders so Natalie followed that example. Her mother set that standard on leading ethically and holding tight to her beliefs.
Faith has always been a part of her life and she believes her values differentiate her from others in the workplace.
How to Communicate Positively in the Workplace:
The Biggest Mistakes in Communication
Natalie believes a lack of understanding of who we’re talking to is the biggest mistake in communication. Leaders need to get to know their people.
“For you to be an effective communicator and a good leader, a good steward of your mission–whether that’s at church, home or work–you have to understand who you are speaking to.” – Natalie Gingrich
How to Avoid Miscommunication
Assumptions happen when we don’t know how someone on our team learns (audio, visually, kinetically) or their preferred communication style (facts, checklists, Voxer, video).
To avoid miscommunication, meet people in the middle, even if that means extra work for you. You can also ask them to repeat back to you what you said or to get on a video call so you can talk face-to-face.
What Does (or Doesn’t) Work with Handling Conflict
Conflict happens as a result of a misunderstanding. Conflict simply represents a difference between two people; it’s not an argument. When you think of conflict as a difference, you can handle the situation with grace and respect.“Conflict is always a difference.” - Natalie GingrichClick To Tweet
To avoid the gap in understanding:
- Ask “Who is this person? What do they bring to the table? When do they let down their guard?” Allow people to just show up as they are.
- Ask “What are the values of the other person?” Then meet them there.
“How do we fill the gap? It’s by knowing the other party; knowing where their heart is and what serves the greater good, not just yourself.” – Natalie Gingrich
How to Bring Up Hard Conversations
Natalie offers three keys for handling hard conversations with your team:
- Say, “Here’s how you can do this better.”
- It all starts with knowing the motives of the other person.
- Ask the other person, “What are your gifts? Where do you want to go? How can I help you do that?”
The two keys to communicate positively are knowing your values and building relationships with those you lead.
Without a clear understanding of what’s important to you and the other person, miscommunication and assumptions take root. Without a solid relationship, hard conversations become even harder.
How Communication Affects Hiring, Firing, and Developing Teams:
When it comes to hiring, we need to assess what we need. We can mis-hire because we don’t know exactly what we need. Build a job description based on your values and the desired outcomes, e.g. a 35% email open rate for a copywriter job.
Sometimes we get so desperate that we overuse people, especially in volunteer or church positions. It’s possible to abuse, overuse, and burn out your top performers.
“We should be focusing on developing a wider array of leaders and not just looking for those high-performers that we know can get the job done, because we’re probably going to burn them out because we’re going to give them way too much to do.” – Esther Littlefield
Natalie’s Recommendations for Your First Hire
- Understand where the gaps are.
- Track what doesn’t bring you joy or isn’t in your wheelhouse.
- Track where you spend your time and document your processes for three days.
- Note the themes of the tasks that you don’t like to do.
It should take between six and eight weeks to bring someone on.
Natalie’s Perspective on Firing
- Remember that firing is extremely emotional for both parties.
- Before firing someone, they must have an opportunity to course-correct.
- Be clear and candid. Ask questions like, “Do you want to do this? Where are you? Is this still where you want to be?”
“It’s a joint relationship; someone doesn’t fail alone, and someone doesn’t succeed alone.” – Natalie Gingrich
Natalie’s Leadership Tips:
- Be true to your values all day, every day.
- Her favorite tool to discover how she’s wired is Strengths Finder.
- Remember that planning on the front end can help you show up and leads to improved leadership ability on the back end.
- For younger leaders, Natalie offers this wisdom:
- The depth of relationships is so important.
- Be confident in how God made you.
- Watch out for your ego.
- Remember you’re made on purpose to fulfill a purpose.
Leaders Are Learners:
Natalie is learning all about the Enneagram right now.
Connect with Natalie Gingrich:
- Grab your free guide to define (or refine) your mission, vision, and values
Natalie Gingrich is the founder and host of The Ops Authority. She has been in operations for two decades – either in healthcare, corporate America or as an entrepreneur. Her goal is to bridge the gap and overwhelm when it comes to processes and systems, growing a team, and setting up solid business foundations.
She spent 15 years in corporate operations and leadership at a Fortune 150 company. When given the opportunity to leave, she put the knowledge, certifications, and experience to work by creating her own consulting firm as well as a certification. She developed the Director of Operations certification to equip existing ops experts a flexible profession, outside of corporate but still playing a huge role in small businesses, globally.
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Episode Sponsor: Confident Conversations
As a Christian leader, we want to encourage you to continually work on this area of communication. No matter where we are at, there is always room for improvement. Be sure to take something you heard from this episode and put it into action.
And if you’d like to learn how to communicate more effectively, I’m creating a resource for you called Confident Conversations. This will help you know how to approach hard conversations as a female leader AND give you a starting point of what to say during those hard conversations.
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