FROM CONVERSATIONS TO CULTURE
BY ROSE KELLY
How great leaders get extraordinary results.
Trust is a two-way street. It doesn’t come with the title or with business ownership, nor does it come from paying the highest salaries, being everyone’s mate, having the best parties or from rescuing people who get into strife. Yet it appears to be at the heart of business success.
Trust is the concrete which holds together teams, it is the glue that fixes gaps when they appear, it is the magnet that draws people in to maximise results. Trust and the ability to build and sustain it is at the heart of great Leadership, and it ultimately impacts on the results that business leaders achieve.
Moving forward in business, whether that be to grow, innovate, expand, acquire more businesses, or to deliver on excellence depends very much on the ability of the Leader to stay forward looking and keep their eye on the vision ahead. In fact, we know that a major obstacle in businesses which don’t keep moving forward is exactly that… the business owner, key person or leader is dragged back into the business and loses sight of where the journey is headed.
To stay future focused, the business owner relies on the team to do the business of the day, to deliver, in fact to excel and produce at a high level, and in the case of real estate to serve… whilst they are not being watched over. This requires TRUST, and plenty of it. So how do those businesses build trust it and maintain it.
It is clear that great culture is at the cornerstone of great business success. Culture builds engagement of the team, and engagement is directly linked to productivity and ultimately profitability. Where does the great culture come from? The quality of the culture depends on the quality of the relationships – relationships which are high in TRUST. Trust and the relationships that evolve are built around and sustained by the quality of the conversations at every level in the business.
All too often, and sadly conversations either do not happen or are ineffective. Great communication skills – ‘the gift of the gab’ if you like, are not necessarily an inherent trait. However, they can be learned. I meet leaders everyday who are frustrated with unacceptable behaviour, poor performance, error rates and losses. My first question is always the same: “What did they say when you talked to them about it”. I received a response such as… “Oh, I have not mentioned anything yet”, or “yes, I suppose we should talk about it”, or “I’m concerned they will just leave and I will have a bigger mess”. These are all missed opportunities because of the lack of purposeful conversations.
Conversations are the one over-arching tool you have with which engage and influence your team, as well as shape their behaviour, mindsets and outcomes to match the culture you are striving to achieve. They give you the opportunity to bridge the gap between what is happening in the minds of others to what is happening in yours. In all areas of your life, they can be a source of energy and a launching pad to create new opportunities, new learnings and new realities.
Many business leaders do not understand how important healthy conversations are to the productivity and success of a business. Great conversation skills are learnable and can be used to dramatically improve individual and team performance. Every conversation you have with another person has the power to change what is happening in their brain, to stimulate new thoughts and then to create new behaviours, attitudes and reactions.
Effective conversations are at the heart of how organisations create shared meaning around what it is they want to establish and why so that employees get excited and are clear about the future and what they are all trying to achieve together. These types of conversations build trust, cement relationships between you and your team and across the team and ultimately create a culture that is engaging and productive.
Leadership is challenging, there is no doubt. There is a myriad of demands on your time, energy and resources. However, if you want to achieve more and move to the next level as a Leader you cannot do it on your own. Leveraging your talents and energy and scaling up will only be possible when you harness and direct the talents, energy, enthusiasm and skills of others. Use conversations to build the relationships that will build the culture that will result in you and your business’s success.
If you would like more information on how to have great conversations reach out and I will be happy to help you.
I look forward to hearing from you.