I believe that no communication is still communication.
Here is an example of what I mean.
I was coaching a principal and they were frustrated by their team's ability to identify and solve problems.
I continued to ask questions to get a better understanding and identify the root cause of the problem. I asked, "Well, how long did it take you, in your journey as a school leader, to identify and figure out those problems? To see those fires before they accelerate?"
They noted, "Four of five years but I do not have that time for them. I need them to be there now!"
"I understand," I replied. "So when you point these issues out, what do they say? What action are they taking?"
"I don't tell them," they noted. "No one told me and I figured it out."
"Correct me if I am wrong but I thought I heard you say you needed their growth to accelerate? How will they know something is wrong or the results are not meeting your expectations if you do not communicate it?"
I went on to explain that the gap in execution typically starts with the lack of clearly communicated expectations combined with timely feedback on the results.
I was able to help this leader close that communication gap by teaching them a very simple process (VRO) I learned from the book, No Fail Communication by Michael Hyatt.
Vision: State the vision and expectations you desired.
Reality: State the current reality. What actually happened.
Opportunities: Share opportunities in which they could improve their thinking or actions get better results to achieve the vision.
Here is an example: If you happen to find an unsupervised class, or a class that is not transitioning based on your expectations, then and only then do you have the ability to have that accountability conversation. In the moment.
That sounds like this.
Vision: Restate the expectations: Mr. Miller, we agreed to ensure all students would transition in the hallway, without talking, and would be monitored by an adult at all times.
Reality: State was what observed: However, when I was walking in the hallway I noticed your class was walking without supervision, talking and disrupting learning in the other classes?
Seek to understand (ask a question): Help me understand what I saw? How come you were not there with them?
Be sure to listen to their answer to identify the specific gap.
Opportunity: Options to Improve: Provide or model for them the specific information they need to improve their actions.
Be sure to restate the expectations: Communicate the explicit expectations one more time.
Follow up and praise: Be sure to inspect what you expect over the next couple of days and praise the teacher for improving. Remember, praise the behavior you desire to see, you will get more of it.
This formula works in any situation, with any member of your staff or team. It works if you work it! Just give it a try.
After just a few months using this model, I am excited to share that leader is communicating at a higher level and noticing a significant change in the results they are getting as a team. They are living a more empowered life with less stress and more focus on improving the school for the long term. Most importantly, there is a new found trust and the team is more cohesive and solving problems on their own.
Remember, no communication IS still communication and the health of a relationship, team, organization is fully depending on the average lag time between identifying and discussing problems.
And now, I want to offer you the chance to grow in that same way that principal did.
Join me and my teaching partner Katy (Monday's at 4:30 EST) as we discussed what we are learning from leadership expert Michael Hyatt, a leader who have mastered the art of communicating effectively.
The best part is… you can attend for free!
I could go on about the power of masterminding around a common curriculum for a while, but I’ll let you see for yourself…
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