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  • Kelsea Koenreich

Building Better Team Culture Through Clear Communication

When we change the way that we communicate, literally everything changes. 


For me and most of my clients, we started as solopreneurs or small teams. And then all of a sudden, years down the road, you have this team in place and you're leading without really knowing all that entails. Plus, put raising children on top of that and most days you are figuring it out as you go.


We all bring our baggage and bullshit, including our communication skills, into our business as we do with many things. And with that comes a lot of issues that we don’t feel equipped to handle. But one of the best changes we can make is learning how to better communicate, in all of our relationships. 


I'm excited to teach you how to be a better communicator and how it's going to help your leadership, your team and YOU feel better. Even if you think you are communicating well, you are probably missing the mark in some areas – today’s blog will help.


Overcoming Communication Challenges in Business


I was talking to a client this week discussing her points of stress and what specific things in her business deplete her. 


She was talking about how she is always late because she has back-to-back appointments, so if one runs behind then she is late the rest of the day. During the appointments, she doesn't want to cut people off when they are expressing emotions, or sometimes she will have women that are crying. 


We were all taught manners and not to interrupt people. 


Be quiet.


Be small.


Be a good girl. 


All these things are being carried with us. She talked about how much stress it creates for her which turns into resentment because now other patients are being affected and could be upset with her. 


This is just one example of fear that we have around communicating, because we believe that when we communicate about our wants and or needs, we are not being nice.


One of the things that I shared with her and I often say is boundaries create respect.


When we are giving somebody a service, it's easy for us to over give because we love our work, we love our people.


At a certain point, we forget that when we are giving past a certain point, it's taking away from us. And the effect of that can sometimes be frustration and resentment.


Another example of this is with a client, and many of my clients have done this, you've probably done it. I know what I've done it at certain points. 


They have a team and find themselves frustrated with a certain team member or multiple team members and the quality of work. They aren’t meeting standards or expectations and instead of telling them – they do the work themselves.  This is a slippery slope.


It's very hard for you to build trust with your team when you aren't empowering them with fully trusting that they can do things. 


In both these instances, we have women with very successful businesses and support teams in place, but they aren’t using their voices to ask for what they need.


They have the ability to clearly say what is working, what is not working, what expectations are, what boundaries are, but feel held back because either it feels easier in the moment to just overlook it and not have the conversation or because you don't wanna be mean. 


You don't want to say anything to hurt anybody's feelings. 


You don't want anybody to be mad at you.


I don't think there's any of us, women or men, that wants somebody to dislike us. 


But in business, because scarcity can drive us, we're accustomed to meeting everybody else's needs and when it comes to communicating, we forget about our own needs. 


This is why we have to learn how to have conversations that are uncomfortable. 


The Power of Clear Communication


What I found in working with women across all industries, women with teams of all sizes, is that clear communication is the solution for almost every issue.


I believe the majority of problems are coming from a lack of clear communication.  If we think about any problem that we are experiencing, in our personal or professional lives, there is some point where you could identify a lack of understanding, clarity or disorganization that happened.


We could trace it back and break it apart to where there was some breakdown of communication or no communication at all. When our teams are not meeting our expectations, are we being clear about the expectations when we delegate?


Truthfully, it is easier in any problem to blame someone else. It is much harder to take responsibility and ownership. But responsibility and ownership is leadership. Good leadership says, “I didn't give you clear direction on that. Here is clear direction. Please try again. That's on me”.


Whatever problem you're experiencing in your business right now, I want you to think about where you could be more clear, where there might be a misunderstanding. Where there might be a lack of clarity because I guarantee you one or all of those things are involved. 


I want you to think about where you are not effectively and clearly communicating.


There is nothing more important when we are delegating, running teams, andleading inside our household than being clear and speaking up. 


When we're talking to our children, if I tell my son to go upstairs and do his laundry, at this point, he knows what that means.


But when he first started doing it–I had to say, put your pants here, put your shirts on the hangers this way. We have to take responsibility in how we are delegating and communicating. When you delegate, you need to be giving the who, what, where, when, why. 


It's easy to fire something off to your team in Slack. Things are fast moving and we get ideas randomly, and that's great. But you also could be overwhelming your team by operating that way. I have been that person and I saw the overwhelming ripple effect that caused. And so I make a conscious effort to not do that, to take the time to plan for clarity across the board before I'm delegating things out. 


And do I miss the mark sometimes? Absolutely, I'm still human. But I know my team is always happier when they have full clarity. It makes things so much easier than just being reactive and assuming that people can get it right when they don't have all the information.


The people that work for and alongside us cannot read our minds. We do this a lot with our partners too, expecting them to know that we want something done a certain way. 


There are also times you will clearly explain something to a team member or to someone and they still won't get it right. But, instead of being frustrated and resentful, ask questions.


Instead of taking it upon yourself to take on the task so you can get it done right, look at what you communicated. 


Was it actually clear? 


Was it clear to you or was it clear to them


Did they express that they understood? 


If they're not asking questions, that's on them and you can encourage them to do that. But ownership and accountability for us comes first because then we can control that. We can make a difference. 


Clarity is Queen


So when you're delegating, you need to tell people when you need it done by. You should absolutely be utilizing project management software if you aren’t already, regardless of your industry. Delegating to your team isn’t emotional, it’s transactional and should be clear.


You need to give the where. You need to give the what. You need to give the why.


It is important for people to have a full understanding of decisions that are made. This doesn't have to come from a place of being an over-explainer, but we need to formulate the habit of asking for help in a way that is helpful for the people we're asking it from.


There is a clear trickle effect of the example you are down to your team. If you are being urgent,  spouting things off, just expecting them to catch all these balls and figure it out, you're setting them up to fail and you're setting yourself up to be frustrated.


When we communicate clearly about what we need and we give the details, when we give the details that are necessary to fulfill that need, we are more likely to get that need met.


Clarity is queen.


The goal is to make sure that you are providing complete clarity and when you don't, take responsibility for that.


You need to have a clear plan before you go spouting things off. Do not run your meetings without an agenda. Have a clear sequence of events that will provide clarity. Set meeting agendas that make sense, that give people the details that they need.


I want you to think about scenarios when you've been frustrated or resentful in your business. Then I want you to answer the question, what could I have done better?


Don't make it about them. Think about any of those scenarios. What could I have done better? 


Then moving forward, I want you to think about the clarity that you're going to bring to every interaction that you have. Whether that's delegating, asking or presenting something you need, whether that's in a conversation with your children, your partner, your team.


I want you to think about how you can be more clear, give more detail and make sure that they have everything that they need to meet the expectation that you have?


I don't want you to expect people to read your mind. I don't want you to be so busy in your day to day that you feel like you don't have time to give those details because spending that extra few minutes upfront to give a clear plan of action to people is worth it. 


So it's better to take those few minutes upfront, it will help you long-term.


I want you to put it in place when you're going to communicate.


Take a second to think about how you can express yourself clearly. 


I also want you to challenge yourself to take responsibility and ownership for any sort of dysfunction or disorganization that is currently in your business or home. What is your role in that dysfunction? 


If you can identify that role, then you can change that role. That's the beauty of ownership. 


Unlocking Freedom


So, if you want less stress, if you want less overwhelm, you need to be a better communicator. You have to be willing to have uncomfortable conversations. You have to be willing to take responsibility for when you aren't given clear direction. 


And when you do these things, when you can go to your team or any conversation that you have with full clarity, it is such a relief for you and for them, can strengthen your relationships and really build that trust that you need with your team to be able to delegate more. 


If you are an established mom founder and you are recognizing that it's time for a change in the way that you run your business and you really need to restructure your business for more freedom, be that time freedom and flexibility because you're running yourself into the ground and you're overworking. I built The Female Founders Freedom Framework and it is a free guide that will change your life.


I assess eight areas of your business, giving you non-negotiables that you need in your business to be able to have freedom, flexibility and continue to succeed, as well as some reflective questions, action steps for you to change. 


It's really, really good y 'all. So head over to https://www.kelseakoenreich.com/female-founders-framework. That's a lot of Fs. Grab that for free today.

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