For nearly the last year in this column, we’ve been looking at some very specific steps we can each take so the toughest conversations we may ever need to have with a close friend or family member can be done with the right balance of candor and care. While I believe each of those steps taken individually can indeed make a difference, I’ve seen firsthand how much combining several of them can produce exponentially better results. But just knowing it’s so may not always be enough to spur any of us to work through what can often be a difficult process – especially when doing nothing at all is far easier at any given moment! With that in mind, now and over the coming few months, I’m going to work on making a case for why the juice really is worth the squeeze!
I just finished writing a book, which will hopefully be in print by the end of January 2024, called What’s Killing Your Profitability: It ALL Boils Down to Leadership! that outlines how various “soft skills” are too often written off in the business world as being “touchy-feely” or “intangible”. Throughout the book, I share studies and statistics detailing how poor communication and ineffective leadership cost businesses significant amounts of profit each year. Since this column has always been focused on how more effective communication can build better relationships with our friends or family, that idea of profitability doesn’t quite fit – but the approach isn’t at all different! And the results may be even more critical…
I begin hammering the importance of great communication skills in chapter two, High Risk Areas, by detailing how great communication leads to less downtime and higher employee engagement, referencing something I’ve shared here in the past from John Maxwell’s Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, “We’re bombarded with thirty-five thousand messages a day,” as a big reason we need to make sure the message we’re sending is good enough to standout! From there, I contrast all the time that’s lost due to confusion with the potential for earning increased employee engagement when our message is clear and caring.
I doubt many of us will ever review those metrics in a family meeting but don’t miss how important each of those things are to building better relationships with those we care most about! How many times have you been frustrated with a child because they didn’t do what you asked, then realized they didn’t understand your expectations? (While that could easily have been because they weren’t paying attention, that may have been because our message didn’t stand out…) And how much better would all our lives be if every important relationship was so strong that any tough task received every bit of discretionary effort and didn’t take forever? In case you’re wondering, that’s what high employee engagement yields – and that same discretionary effort could likely get the dishes done faster or the trash taken out with few arguments.
Hopefully this begins painting a picture of how important great communication is at work AND at home, but we’ll take a deeper look at its ties to some of the individual profitability killers, as well as why those things matter just as much with our friends and families, over the next couple of months!