Developing Command and Management Skills Includes Leadership Communication
CommandReady regularly shares techniques to develop your leadership skills. Leadership requires problem framing, goal setting, planning, teambuilding, and inspiration. Yet none of those abilities will result in success without leadership communication both up and down the chain of command. Figuring out the best method for your team can save frustration, time and money on your projects.
Methods of Communication
Methods of Communication are as varied as methods of leadership. Setting up the best recurring methods of leadership communication for your team, will keep the information flowing. For instance, you have a daily or weekly managers’ meeting. In those meetings, your boss conveys to you and your peers, short term and long term expectations. Since you’re a leader too, you also need to organize a method of communication with your team or subordinates. The method you choose is up to you. It could include daily stand-ups, or a safety brief each morning. Another option is daily reports in meeting form, to bring everyone up to speed. By opening up the form of meeting that works for you, you open up a line of communication for your team.
The daily stand-up is a 15 minute time-boxed, status check meeting, usually held at the same time every day. In the stand-up, the team shares the last 24 hours and plans the next 24 hours. It is a way to communicate status, and use the inspect and adapt approach to your projects. The standup covers what you (or your team) did yesterday, what you (or your team) will do today, and what, if anything is blocking your progress. In a daily stand-up, you may need to lead in the beginning to make sure everyone understands the flow and your expectations in the meeting and their work.
The benefit of the daily stand-up is alignment of your team, with visibility across the project. Mandatory stand-ups also help hold a team accountable through the member progress updates. The biggest pitfall of the daily stand-up is when it goes on too long. People become distracted by deadlines, cell phones, or anything but the meeting. Limit the Stand-up to 15 minutes. Keep the focus by giving team members the questions they will need to answer as succinctly as possible.
- What I did to help the (name here) project yesterday.
- What I will do to help the (name) project today.
- What I view as potential obstacle to this goal.
Daily Safety Brief
The Daily Safety Brief (DSB) is another 15 minute daily meeting. In this meeting leaders can address safety challenges in the workplace. The briefing is still facilitating communication and teamwork. Attendees are all made aware of the challenges the team will face. Value in the daily safety brief, lies in its regular communication between a leader and the team. The leader can cover the project status, obstacles and direction to the entire team in less than 15 minutes and allow questions if needed. The same pitfall lies in the daily safety brief as in the daily Stand-ups. When people contribute, it can run too long. You will need to set the time and the tone for the DSB for it to be productive communication.
Some leaders want daily reports. Daily reports delivered orally with all team members attending, allows communication up and down the chain of command. Some leaders prefer to deliver and receive their reports in writing. Written report create communication gaps that can result in problems later. Even with written reports, a brief meeting can align the team, add accountability and transparency to the project.
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