Are you ever frustrated or disappointed because you are not getting what you need in a work relationship? Then notice whether you are actually asking for what you want. Are you stating your needs explicitly?
Sometimes when I coach senior leaders, ‘alignment sessions’ are included near the start and end of the coaching program. This three-way conversation between the executive I am coaching, the CEO, and myself is often a fascinating insight into a working relationship.
So often I witness important conversations left unvoiced. When the two leaders are with me, they’ll say things like ‘I don’t know the best way to give you feedback’ or ‘I sometimes question if the comments I’ve made motivate or demotivate you – I just can’t tell’.
Why is it okay for them to say these things in front of me? What is preventing them from having these conversations when it’s just the two of them in their day-to-day work?
I observe similar dynamics when I work with executive teams.
The more you align your internal intention (what you’re wanting to achieve) with your external behaviour (what the other person sees) the more powerful your communication will be.
And if you are not sure what the other person is thinking, ask them.
Conversations left unvoiced in your head create disconnect between you and your colleagues. Questions, ideas, and testing of hypothesis are best spoken out loud – with sensitivity and empathy of course.
Powerful, empathetic and clear communication is a hallmark of fearless leadership. Communication that builds and not bruises.
What could you do today to make the conversation explicit? What will you do today to voice the unvoiced?