Explicit Communication – Client Workshop
Communication is the backbone of every organization.
Leaders need to communicate the vision and align people to take action. Explicit communication is making sure your words can not be misunderstood. When you are explicit, you leave no room for doubt. In this lesson, we discuss the seven elements of an effective request and how you can improve your listening too. Please share this page with your employees to foster new conversations about explicit communication. This training is designed to help you communicate so that others can understand you and your employees can feel understood. Please don’t share it outside your teams without written permission from Gene Hammett.
Download slides from the workshop.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
Gene Hammett: This is explicit communication. I’m gonna explain exactly what I mean by explicit in just a minute, but we all know communication is the kind of the cornerstone of, growth or the backbone if you will. Everything that we do in our organization requires us to either listen to someone, share ideas, or get a commitment back from them.
[00:00:29] And so communication doesn’t actually get easier as we grow the company because we add more people. It gets a little bit more complex. Jennifer’s company is very big and it gets more complex. Is that true, Jennifer?
[00:00:42] Speaker 2: We are. Yes, I, right now we’re at 50 people, but I have worked in a company of 16,000.
[00:00:49] Gene Hammett: yeah. Yeah. It gets more complex. And so we have to have a little bit more rigor to creating you know, the communication that really supports the culture and, and getting work done. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s all about, you know, the results that we’re creating, the way people are growing, and all of the things necessary for us to create a long-term business.
[00:01:11] It’s and I think a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to communicating better. So given that I’m gonna jump into the slides because we’ve got kind of a quorum here, I’m still expecting a few more people, but the best thing I can do is just keep the going button. All right. So. I think that that would if I tried to really sum up this communication thing is getting employees to get it right the first time I want to pause here for just a second, this is interactive and I’ve got a little bit more, we’re going to talk about this, but has anybody ever said something to an employee and they didn’t get it right the first time?
[00:01:58] Is it just me or I think this is a common thing and it’s a little frustrating, cause we’re, we think we’re clear, but we’re not as clear as we could be. And that’s what really, what this is about today. I want to before I jump into this, I’m going to check the All right. So we have everybody here so far.
[00:02:22] So I’ll check this again. And just a minute, I have to switch back and forth because I made that mistake. All right. So this is my iPad. I will be able to, to, to, to write some things a lot of The people here are, are clients of mine. David is a special guest that’s come in, to listen to us. Mike, thanks for turning on the camera.
[00:02:42] Looking good. The podcast is, is kind of the common bond with most people. You know, if you’re a guest on the show, like David has been on the show before and the podcast is growing. So I can’t always say this being honest with you, but I’m just going to proud because I get to share. And some of the growth that you guys grow your businesses really fast.
[00:03:02]May’s downloads were up 200% on the 12 months average April was up even higher. So it’s good. This is trending in the right way. This month looks good. I don’t, I think it’s going to be a little bit slower, but maybe it’s because people think about vacation. What’s really different about growth.
[00:03:18] Thinktank is we interview founders, CEOs of the fastest-growing companies to figure out what makes them tick, what makes them work. And a lot of the stuff that I, you know, all my clients are from the Inc 5,000. So I just want you to guys know kind of where we are, David. We already said, hello, Jennifer.
[00:03:36]I’ve worked with, with, with Jeff, the CEO of that company before, but Jennifer’s here as a guest. This is a part of the fast-growth boardroom. And I’m just setting context here in the fast-growth boardroom. We do content like this every month. I get to pick the topic, but it’s based on where I’m seeing my clients and where I’m seeing some breakdowns and I see some opportunities and I want to create something that’s preserved.
[00:03:59] The idea for this content is that it can be shared across everybody in your company. So if, once this is recorded and set down, you can actually take this and share it across your company. You don’t have to worry about licensing or anything. I mean, I do want, you know, it came from made. Okay. Take it off as your own, but you coming here, gives you the right to do that.
[00:04:19] And then everyone who is a client actually gets this across their company. Fast-forward boardroom is more than just content and training. It’s coaching as well. And there’s a community. This is, this is a unique kind of place where fast-growth companies can come together. And so we’re here to be extraordinary leaders.
[00:04:36] We’re here to create high-performance teams and we’re here to increase the value of our company. So at the end of the day, those are the results I’m looking for with my clients and just putting that all out there. Before we jump into this, let me just check this again.
[00:04:51] Speaker 3: There’s one more person.
[00:04:55] Gene Hammett: All right.
[00:04:56] I will check this. Come back again. Sorry. I have to do this. All right back into the slides. So fast-growth boardroom is something where you can learn to become an extraordinary leader, in a unique way. And this is just one of the portions of that, that the upcoming dates for those that are members the coaching call is on July 1st are the first Friday of July.
[00:05:21] And the next workshop that we’ll do is take your time work. This is, this is just I get asked all the time as my business grows, I’m letting go of some of the day-to-day. What do I spend my time on next? And that’s what we’re really talking about working on your most valuable projects as the company continues to grow.
[00:05:38] And that’s the third, Friday of July. So dates to remember September 15th to 17th is when we’re going to race Porsche’s and do a two-day leadership event. So that’s on the horizon. We’re going to do a winter event in January. I think it’s going to be Whistler, but we’re really waiting to see what happens with traveling through countries.
[00:06:00] I know Canada is being very strict and so they may, they may not have their stuff engaged around, travel for us to plan this. So we’ll, we’ll find something local. And then our spring event we’ll be doing buggies next year. So just put those on your calendars. Bringing together people from different businesses, you always have to be mindful that this is confidential information.
[00:06:23] I’m going to ask you guys to share with us, and this is very back and forth, but just keep in mind that this is between us. This is not to share someone’s secrets. And if, if you can, can, can not share your secrets and feel more comfortable about that. I would really appreciate it. We also want to create a safe space.
[00:06:41] We’re not going to attack someone for their thinking. I’m going to ask you some questions and want to get your input. So I asked this question sometimes in pieces of training. It’s like, how do you sabotage yourself? I’ll share with you how I sabotage myself. Sometimes when I’m on training like this, I will get distracted and check my email.
[00:07:02] I will get distracted and maybe check social media. And sometimes I will just let it, I will phase out and I won’t even be, I won’t hear a single word. So I’m just being honest with you sometimes when I’m zoning out, that’s what happens when I’m in some of these training things. And I want you to just be aware of how you could sabotage yourself today, because I hope that you’ll commit, to just being here fully present and really getting something out of this so that you can actually.
[00:07:32] Make this time work for you, as opposed to just checking your email, it’ll still be there. It’ll, it’ll, it’s not going anywhere, but I feel certain that if you lean into this, you’ll get something out of it. Is that fair to say for you guys?
[00:07:47] I’ll take that as a yes. I want to challenge your, your learning a little bit. So if you do feel challenged, if you feel like it’s not quite right, that’s okay. That’s you, you’re, you’re finding the edge of which it’s uncomfortable for you and that’s where growth happens. And so just being mindful of, this it’s not to attack anyone for not getting it right.
[00:08:08]Cause, cause we’re all evolving, but just, just being mindful of that. We, we don’t have a big a crowd as we did last month, but we, we want to make sure that we’re as succinct as possible. When we’re talking, you know, get to the point, ask your question, or I’m asking, for example, so state your examples, but be as succinct as possible.
[00:08:27] This is a great place to lead by example because you ever have an employee who has a lot to say, I mean, all the time, David, he felt that I said Jennifer space. So let’s be succinct. I’m going to check one more time to make sure that we have not missed someone. All right. We’re back at it. So be succinct.
[00:08:57] Here’s the first question for interaction. And this really is just, just kind of tuning in. What do you want for your team company or yourself? I’ve got my iPad here. What would you say that you want.
[00:09:12] I know it’s a big, broad question, but what is it you think about all the time? What, what is, what are you really driving for?
[00:09:20] Speaker 2: The company that I’m at now was three disparate companies about I guess two years ago. And they’re actually still working on coming together to be cohesive and communication is one of the largest issues.
[00:09:34] Speaker 3: Okay.
[00:09:37] Gene Hammett: And when you say coming together, what would just give me a little bit of depth around that
[00:09:41] Speaker 2: it’s three disparate types of customers. So there are different processes, but driving home, the fact that you know, invoicing is just invoicing or simple, basic processes can be the same is a bit of a struggle.
[00:09:54] Gene Hammett: Okay. I get that. What else, what else would you guys say? What do you want from your, your company
[00:10:02] Speaker 3: industry?
[00:10:04] Gene Hammett: Say that again, industry impact. Okay. And how do you measure that?
[00:10:11] Speaker 4: user adoption. Okay.
[00:10:19] Gene Hammett: David, I know you’re working, on big plans to grow that.
[00:10:24] Speaker 3: I
[00:10:24] Speaker 5: think the biggest thing for us, I think we have a winning recipe. It’s just a matter of, I mean, the communication piece is so brutal to make sure that everyone continues to communicate and just really
[00:10:38] Speaker 3: clearly
[00:10:40] Speaker 5: that whatever, we’re all thinking, we’re all aligned.
[00:10:43] So I guess
[00:10:44] Gene Hammett: succinctly alignment one of my favorite words inside of, of organizations, I don’t think we find alignment often enough. Mike, would you add anything to this on what you’re creating?
[00:10:59]Speaker 3: I don’t know that I’d really add anything. I mean, you and I talked last week about alignment and messaging consistency and in delivery across all, all the all your personnel. So I like alignment a lot.
[00:11:14] Speaker 1: Perfect.
[00:11:19]Gene Hammett: I’m going to go ahead and add in here. You know, there is some money that we want to create. We’re here, we’re here to grow the business. We’re here to create the right people. We want to grow the people too. Right. So communication is, is, is about all of these things, but it’s also about getting someone, to move forward.
[00:11:40]I’m going to check one last time on our, all right. We’re moving forward. I want to talk about bricks for just a second. And I just, this hit me and maybe this analogy doesn’t work for you, but I talked to so many founders that are much like you guys that are come here today that want to grow the business, but yet they’re so critical to the success of the company.
[00:12:07] They’re making a lot of the decisions and they’re still holding on to probably too much. And I know that you’ve let go of a lot in the last probably a year, but you’re probably still holding onto too much. And so this analogy is every time you are, you do something that someone else can do. You’re putting a brick in the wall of your prison.
[00:12:34] And eventually when you put in enough bricks, you’ve put a wall around yourself and you, it’s hard to break out of that is this analogy makes sense for you guys. And so one of the specific things we’re going to do is talk about how do we get people to take action from our words from speaking. And that’s, that’s a big part of this today, but I just thought this might, if you really understand this, does this resonate with you guys?
[00:13:03] I know Mike, you’ve been through some journey with me over, over the last couple of like year and a half. Letting go of certain things, you get to tear down some of those bricks and you get to have some freedom because I think a lot of people still want to have freedom as they grow their business and not be combined.
[00:13:19]Communication is the backbone of, of, of every company. We talked about this you know, if we just sent her around alignment today, we’re talking about how do we get alignment through our communication? And just a moment here for this. Have you guys ever felt misunderstood? Okay.
[00:13:44] Speaker 1: Yes.
[00:13:47] Gene Hammett: How does it feel when you feel misunderstood?
[00:13:53] Speaker 5: Terrible. I mean, honestly, I recently had an experience where one of my managers reduced someone’s pay without it shouldn’t happen. Right. But she just totally screwed up. And I’m the one that was blamed for all of
[00:14:07] Speaker 3: it. Yeah.
[00:14:11] Gene Hammett: Anybody else felt misunderstood.
[00:14:14] Speaker 1: Okay. It’s just frustrating.
[00:14:23] Gene Hammett: Yeah. This happens. Not just in our work life. This happens in our home life too. If you have a teenager, you’re going to, I know Mike’s got a few, you’re going to feel misunderstood quite a bit. Jennifer, you laughed and you must have kids too. It really doesn’t create alignment right. To, to, to, to say something, expecting that other person to have gotten it and they don’t get it.
[00:14:47] And that’s what we’re really talking about here. And how do we, how do we really improve this kind of thing? So I don’t know if anybody else has taken this here, but I do a feedback form within teams. And I do this leadership feedback. This is one of them. I’m kind of curious if you guys have a chat could you guys see put the number of where you are in your organization?
[00:15:11] So the question is how would you describe your communication skills of the team as a whole?
[00:15:18] I know Jennifer, you had mentioned that there’s not, there’s not the way you want it to be, but what number would you give yourself if you’re,
[00:15:25] Speaker 2: so I would say we’re somewhere between four and a half and five, depending on the day. We’ve made vast improvements, but then, the keyword is alignment.
[00:15:35] Sometimes people don’t understand, you don’t have to agree to just do the job.
[00:15:40] Gene Hammett: Ah, you know, alignment,
[00:15:45] the phrase I typically use in my coaching is like, it’s okay to disagree. But at some point in time, we’ve got to hug it out. Right? Yes. And, and, and, and really is important to be able to do that. I think David, where would you put yourself and your company on communication?
[00:16:03] Speaker 5: Put us right around a five. If you asked me three weeks ago, I would have put us higher.
[00:16:08] Speaker 3: put us at a five
[00:16:11] Gene Hammett: and Rico, anything different for you?
[00:16:15] Speaker 4: I put us at an eight. We made a lot of I, we invested a lot of time, energy effort in improving communication, Q3, and Q4 of last year. And I feel like we’re getting into the right
[00:16:25] Gene Hammett: rhythms now. That’s fantastic. I mean, I kind of want to give you ahead of the rod pause, but I’m going to go with the curious thing.
[00:16:33] What did you do to get to an eight?
[00:16:37] Speaker 4: So we implemented EOS and started following the EOS, you know, kind of formula level, 10 meetings, and stuff, and that helped us get more organized to help ensure that cascading messages were communicated to the right people. And then I had everyone read five dysfunctions of a leadership team.
[00:17:00]It’s a great book and it basically breaks down like encourages this idea. Yeah. If you disagree with something like have that conversation and group forum because then you can, everyone parties can kind of see and understand the dynamics and encourages you to kind of like duke it out. Like you would siblings, but understand that, as you walk away with it just like siblings, where you hug at the end and you just move on and it’s just a business thing.
[00:17:24] So those things have done well, and it really has become a competitive advantage. Like the speed at which marketing and sales are moving and the alignment there and various other departments in our company. I think the growth that we’ve been seeing is definitely attributed
[00:17:37] Speaker 3: to it.
[00:17:40] Gene Hammett: Perfect. This book is, is a really great book.
[00:17:43] If you haven’t read it, it’s by Patrick Lencioni. And he’s got a lot of other books too, but it really is a powerful fable of, of business. So we’re going to go a little bit further with that today. Cause I think that we could do better with this. I think that you know, even I know I’m very familiar with, what’s an EOS it’s a good tactical framework for, you know, running the business and there’s a lot of good pieces in there, but there are some things that just don’t address because you can’t address everything inside of that.
[00:18:10] So we’re going to go for it.
[00:18:13] Speaker 4: Excuse me. I said, hence an eight and not a 10.
[00:18:18] Gene Hammett: Here’s a chance for you to give me some feedback on this. Where are your communication skills? So not talking about the company. Where, where would you put your rank yourself
[00:18:33] and Reiko? I’ll let you go first. So I’d say
[00:18:37] Speaker 4: about an eight. I need to increase the frequency of communication with a company because we’re a big company. Done certain things like weekly CEO, speakeasies, where people can kind of join in and spend some time with me. But more formal, the higher frequency would be better.
[00:18:56] Speaker 1: Okay.
[00:18:58] Speaker 2: Have you asked the team if that’s what they want or is that what you think that they want more frequency?
[00:19:04] Speaker 4: The feedback I’ve gotten from the team is that we’re moving very fast and there’s a lot of things that are changing and understanding like the direction, like from one quarter to the next, like there’s a lot the top end and would love to know in like, you know, the monthly rhythm of, I do quarterly kind of updates and talks with the company.
[00:19:23] And I’d love to get into, you know, whether it’s monthly or semi-monthly, I mean, not sorry monthly or semi quarterly, just some additional touchpoint that can talk about like where we want to go with tech and yeah. A variety of other things. So they have said
[00:19:40] Speaker 3: they do want more frequency.
[00:19:43] Gene Hammett: I want to I think, I think, you know, it’s really important to understand frequency is important consistency and all those things.
[00:19:50] And, and some of the other stuff we’re gonna talk about today is some of the other elements. I’m not going to let everyone do this, but kind of write it down on your piece of paper. However you take notes, where are you? And maybe do what Enrico said it was, you know, what do you think you’re missing to move forward as you want to improve?
[00:20:08] Right? Is it, is its frequency? Is it consistency? Is it something else that you put your words to write that down now and it just we’ll come back to it a little bit later? All right. The reason why I call it explicit communication is that I was looking for a way, to share, you know, how do we really want to look at communication?
[00:20:30] That’s clearly stated, and can’t be misunderstood. And we look up the definition of this, which I’m giving to you is, you know, leaving no room for confusion or doubt, you know, what it feels like to be misunderstood, terrible, frustrating, but what we’re talking about today, and again, I’m not covering everything, we’re just able to cover a little bit of this.
[00:20:53]So that’s, that’s what we’re here to do and that, does that feel good? Like to be able to talk without being misunderstood? I think it does. The first thing we’re going to look at is to be a better listener because, you know, communication is not just the words that we’re we say, it’s how we’re receiving the words of others, how we’re receiving their, their, their response back to us.
[00:21:19] If as leaders I do find that listening is, is definitely something that can be improved. Question for you. Where have you, how have you improved your listening recently who would share with us something that they’ve noticed about their own listening?
[00:21:39] Speaker 5: I can share something. I know one of the things I’ve recently started doing in meetings is actually setting the phone to the side, taking the watch off, and letting that team member know, Hey, we are in an indestructible setting here.
[00:21:55] This is you and me. Let’s just go for it. Why don’t you do the same set your phone to the side? It can all wait for however long our meeting is
[00:22:09] Speaker 1: okay.
[00:22:11] Gene Hammett: Let me tune in with these other, with everybody else here. How does that sound to you guys? It sounds like a pretty good thing, but would you guys be willing to, adopt something so.
[00:22:24] Speaker 2: I think it’s important to be active and participate. And I, I generally do try to and then I scheduled time to get actual work done because I do have a fair amount of actual work. I do. I struggle with getting other people to realize that we’re not saving lives and that they can do that for half an hour.
[00:22:40] Gene Hammett: Okay. How have you improved your listing recently, Jennifer?
[00:22:46] Speaker 2: I would say I have, I’ve always had active listening. I think my biggest issue is people will say yes to me and I don’t probe. So I have a team that English is not their first language for some of them. And they say yes, and I assume they really mean it, but I’ve found over the last few months that they don’t actually really mean.
[00:23:04] Speaker 3: So,
[00:23:05] Speaker 1: yeah.
[00:23:08] Yeah. So
[00:23:09] Speaker 3: that they
[00:23:09] Speaker 2: understand,
[00:23:12] Gene Hammett: I, I know what you’re talking about there. It’s that little missing piece inside of our conversations to go now, did you really get what we just talked about? And do you understand the, you know, the request I’m making for you? We are going to talk about requests inside this.
[00:23:29] I think you’ll appreciate that if you already understand active listening anybody else wants to share with me something that they’ve done to improve their listening recently?
[00:23:45] I’ll go on. Well, David already answered one of these questions, so we can, I’m just going to put down distractions, but what’s getting in the way of you listing better.
[00:24:07] Speaker 3: I’ll
[00:24:07] Speaker 5: say there are times where I know that. Really should not be part of the decision. And there’s a bunch of other things. I don’t know if anybody ever has done this themselves, but it’s hard to stay really engaged and focused when conversations start discussing things that, you know, you’re not going to be involved in and you have million other things
[00:24:30] Speaker 3: your plate.
[00:24:31] Speaker 1: Okay.
[00:24:35] Gene Hammett: Listening to you and trying to write at the same time when I should not be part of the decision, you know, I get that. You guys understand what he’s saying there.
[00:24:44] Speaker 1: Yup.
[00:24:51] Gene Hammett: What I’m hearing you say here is there are, there are situations where maybe it goes deeper than you really need to be involved with. And you’re like, I just need to know you got it. I don’t need to know how you’re going to do this. Is that fair to say, David?
[00:25:08] Speaker 5: Close. I mean, it’s more like, okay, we need to come up with an action plan for this.
[00:25:13] Right? Rather, you guys need to come up with an action plan for this because it’s your responsibility to do. And then they’ll start coming up with the action plan on the spot. And so, I mean, as I’m talking about it here in this meeting, it would make sense to say, why don’t you guys schedule a meeting to come up with your action plan so we can stay focused in the here and now
[00:25:36] Gene Hammett: I will tell you, this is definitely they, all these things get in the way.
[00:25:40] One of the things that get in the way that you guys haven’t mentioned is honestly, a lot of people have something to say inside these conversations and, and leaders, haven’t a common ego. Okay, I’m listening. So I can respond to you as quickly as possible. I’m not really listening to what you say. I want to get my point of view in.
[00:26:01] I want to get my, my words out on the table and, and that’s another way that gets in the way of us listening. Does that make sense to you guys?
[00:26:16] I want to do a quick exercise for us because this is, this is really meant to be active. I call this reading the signals. So there are six of us here. I’m going to join someone. I’m not sure who it’s going to be. It’s gonna be pretty random. I think we’re going to do breakout rooms. If not, then we’re good.
[00:26:32] You’re gonna have to
[00:26:34] Speaker 3: let me try this.
[00:26:37] Speaker 1: Looks like
[00:26:39] Gene Hammett: I can’t do what I planned to do because I came in wrong. So. We’re going to do this a different way. I need two
[00:26:50] Speaker 3: volunteers.
[00:26:55] Gene Hammett: Who’s courageous enough to be a volunteer on a listening exercise. Okay. We got Enrico and Jennifer, you guys that’ll be interesting because we can observe this. I’m going to pick Jennifer to be the listener and Enrico. I want you to request Jennifer. You can use something in business. You can use something personal, you can make this up, but you’re going to request her and Jennifer.
[00:27:25] I want you to either listen to him being aloof or distracted, mildly interested or engaged. And you can respond to him. What, however, you want to do this. It’s not just you listening, but you going to pick one of those four. You’re not going to tell us this is almost like, a magic trick. You’re going to pick a card and not tell us what the card is, does make sense.
[00:27:51] Okay. And you’re going to listen to that way for about 30, 40 seconds. I’ll put a timer on Enrico. You’ve got a request in mind.
[00:28:04] Speaker 3: I think so.
[00:28:05] Gene Hammett: All right. So go when. Ready?
[00:28:10] Speaker 3: Cool,
[00:28:11] Speaker 4: Jennifer. Hi. So we’ve had this event coming up, engage in a couple of months and I really need to get a deck put together for the fast track to building a cow’s department.
[00:28:23] Any chance you’d mind running point on that and, you know, kind of circling up with the other teams to get the info and build the skeleton framework for it.
[00:28:31] Speaker 2: When is the exact due date?
[00:28:35] Speaker 4: Ideally if we could get the skeleton together, say two weeks before the event, the events on the 26th of July, the Friday, that’s two weeks before that.
[00:28:47] Speaker 2: Okay. And have you done any storyboarding or have any ideas or am I running with the team on this
[00:28:52] Speaker 4: exclusively? I have a rough agenda I put in place. So I’ve kind of like gone through, I’ve got a high-level agenda and then, you know, kind of scratched out details that each one of the topic points. So, but it looks ugly.
[00:29:05] Like I have comments in there as to like graphic ideas that I think would be good for slides, but you know, the rest of the information would need to be pulled in and then print up by the marketing
[00:29:16] Speaker 3: department.
[00:29:17] Gene Hammett: All right. I’m going to applause, you guys. So observing this, which one of the ways was she showing up a loop?
[00:29:28] Distracted, mildly interested.
[00:29:34] Speaker 1: Engaged, I thought,
[00:29:38] Speaker 3: what
[00:29:39] Gene Hammett: did, what did you feel in Rico?
[00:29:45] Speaker 1: I
[00:29:45] Speaker 4: mean, I would say, I would say engaged and the only other option I would think would be potentially mildly interested, but just because she was asking a lot of good questions. But I was also doing a lot of talking too. So it was hard to
[00:29:58] Speaker 3: tell.
[00:30:00] Gene Hammett: Yeah. That’s interesting. You were doing a lot of talking, so it’s hard to tell if she’s listening.
[00:30:06] Do you guys hear that? Is that a good thing? David, what are your thoughts? Questions?
[00:30:16] Speaker 3: Yeah. So at
[00:30:17] Speaker 5: In the beginning, I thought she was presenting as mildly interested, but then as they were having a conversation, she
[00:30:23] Speaker 3: felt very
[00:30:23] Gene Hammett: good. Yeah. I felt the same thing too. I actually, I’m going to go back. I felt the beginning of it.
[00:30:30] She was distracted and she was supposed to hold the same one, but it kind of moved toward mildly interested. And I bet it’s just because naturally she’s like at this moment and she actually moved from here to sort of engaged Jennifer, which one were you trying to do?
[00:30:49] Speaker 3: I was trying
[00:30:49] Speaker 2: to be mildly interested and I did have a lot coming in on teams when I started and I could
[00:30:55] Speaker 3: hear my watch going off.
[00:30:59] Gene Hammett: I’m not trying to brag here, but I think I fucking nailed that. Is that true?
[00:31:05] Speaker 2: And a little button to turn off the announcements. I don’t know where it is to make it nothing.
[00:31:10] Gene Hammett: You guys have given me this, that I, that I nailed that
[00:31:16] I did not plan this with Jennifer. This was not planned, right, Jennifer. What I picked up on was her eyes when Enrico first started talking and as he got into it, you know, I think if he had picked something personal, like, you know, can you get me a cup of coffee? You know, when you go to Starbucks or something, it wouldn’t have been as interesting, but like, it was an engaging conversation from the moment.
[00:31:45] And Ricoh picked something that was business-related. And so sh it pulled her into this mildly interesting place, which ended up being engaged is what I felt through that process.
[00:31:59] Speaker 1: What
[00:31:59] Speaker 3: is this type of way my team
[00:32:01] Gene Hammett: gives me, so what can I say? I have a way of engaging my team. Okay. Yeah. Good, good. Kudos to you.
[00:32:07] What, what does this teach you about reading the signals of someone a, in a conversation
[00:32:14] Speaker 1: super hard,
[00:32:17] Gene Hammett: especially if you’re trying to think about what you’re saying as a Monaco. If you’re focused on, I’ve got to get my message out and you’re not paying attention to how it’s being received. You can be misunderstood.
[00:32:31] Get that goes back to what Jennifer was saying too earlier. So we talked about the insights behind this. So the key here, I’m here, I’m seeing as this, it is hard to pay attention
[00:32:52] Speaker 1: to
[00:32:56] Gene Hammett: the listener when talking
[00:33:02] it’s hard, but is it important to pay attention to the listener when you’re talking?
[00:33:09] Speaker 1: Yes.
[00:33:12] Gene Hammett: Does it improve the way communication?
[00:33:19] And it goes both ways. If Enrico was holding his phone and trying to give her the same kind of thing, she would never pull into an engagement. She may have never pulled into mildly interested. And so it really helps to understand the signals and the body language and the even kind of the tone that she’s coming back to us.
[00:33:46]This is what real active listening is. Is this helpful for you guys?
[00:33:54] So this next part is, is about, you know, w you came here to make sure you’re, you’re not misunderstood, which means you want to be able to communicate in a way that coordinates action toward. You know, the impact that you want to make in your industry, the, you know, creating more alignment across these teams.
[00:34:15]Everything that you’re doing is about coordinating action is all this makes sense. I, when I went to coach training about 10 years ago, was introduced to speech acts. And I’ll be honest with you. I’m an engineer. I went to Georgia tech, industrial engineering numbers-driven. I was a project manager.
[00:34:37] I was, I was doing strategy consulting for 10 years. I have this incredible understanding of numbers and everything like that. And so when we went into the speech acts, I didn’t get it at first, but, but all it is is putting some rigor. Hi, we’re speaking. And we’re going to go through one of the speech acts here today, but, but.
[00:35:03] The speech acts, just so we have context around this. One of them can be a declaration.
[00:35:11] We have a meeting tomorrow at 10. We can talk about a request. I really need you to, to, to do this thing for the event coming up, you know, can we talk about, you know, what that looks like? So that’s a request. So these are just some of the, we can also do assessments. I’m not going into all the details today because there’s so much depth around this.
[00:35:37]And a lot of this comes from a program that I offer to corporations that want to create more alignment and communication. And, and it’s, it’s called leadership on-ramp and this is not a sales pitch at all, but it is. I help teams with my team. Be better at communicating and really coordinate action.
[00:35:56] And so what, what I’m sharing with you is just a slice of that because it’s worked so well across the teams that we’ve shared this with. But what are the common breakdowns when making a request? Do I need to describe what breakdowns are?
[00:36:15] Speaker 1: That’d be
[00:36:16] Speaker 3: great if
[00:36:16] Gene Hammett: yeah. A breakdown is, is basically a miscommunication or miss-step miss being misunderstood. And it happens in business mainly because we don’t give a really good thorough request and a thorough request as you’re going to find out in a few minutes has seven parts. I know it seems like a lot.
[00:36:43] And it is a lot because you want to make sure you’re, you’re not misunderstood. But what are some of the other breakdowns that we have in making requests?
[00:36:58] Speaker 2: So are you saying, what are we doing wrong or what, what are the things
[00:37:02] Speaker 3: that they
[00:37:02] Gene Hammett: want you specifically, Jennifer? Just what are you seeing across your organization?
[00:37:09] Speaker 2: People don’t understand timing, like, is it urgent? Is it nice to have, is it, when is it necessary?
[00:37:22] And my biggest issue is when people don’t understand why we’re doing something
[00:37:26] Gene Hammett: I’m glad you said that.
[00:37:35]I’m going to put
[00:37:36] Speaker 3: priority over
[00:37:36] Speaker 1: here.
[00:37:42] Gene Hammett: Anybody got one more to add here. What are some breakdowns you guys see?
[00:37:54] We can put listening, right?
[00:37:58] Maybe we can put distractions,
[00:38:03] Speaker 1: assumptions love that. Okay.
[00:38:13] Gene Hammett: When you understand the breakdowns, you can, you start to, to figure out, okay, how do we work around the breakdowns? This is one reason why I teach it this way is we want to make sure that people when we are making requests that they are understanding the timing and priority of that request. It’s our job is the person makes the record.
[00:38:35] To be able to put that in context. This is part, this is one of the seven things why we’re doing it. You’ll figure that out in a minute. Listening. Right. Well, we just did a listening exercise. It’s hard to listen to see if someone’s listening when you’re trying to figure out what you’re saying, but it’s our job to figure out are they really listening, removing distractions.
[00:38:55]And when people make assumptions, all of these are going to be addressed inside the seven parts. I know you’re excited. I can, I can feel it. I’m going to ask you, you guys go to this URL, download this quick little worksheet. It’s one page, but you’re going to use it and just a second. Okay. And so, and you can have it, you can share it with your team and you guys got it.
[00:39:28] Speaker 4: Seven elements of an effective request. Yup.
[00:39:31] Speaker 1: Yup.
[00:39:34] Gene Hammett: So when we look at the request,
[00:39:42] I took the short track here because I had the worksheet. So I just kind of ripped it off there, but you can follow along for whichever version you want. Then, the first part of the seven requests is a present speaker. What this means is you are not distracted. You are showing up, completely present for that conversation.
[00:40:04] It also means that you have chosen the right time to make this request. If you don’t have a present speaker, everything else is going to fall apart. And the same thing with the presentation. Our job is to make sure that we’re doing this at the right time place.
[00:40:26] Speaker 3: And
[00:40:32] Gene Hammett: think asking them, and I think Rico did this before. I think he started the whole last listening thing with a question, can you do this for me? Something like that. And so he’s asking a question because he’s expecting a response and then he should be picking up on is, is the listener present you with me so far, guys, this is pretty basic stuff.
[00:41:02] You, if we’re going to make effective requests, that can’t be misunderstood, you want to be present and you want to make sure that listeners present the next thing behind. This is the mood of the request. What do you guys think that means?
[00:41:21] Speaker 2: Is it something that’s urgent or it’s not going to be well received or it’s not good news.
[00:41:31] There was certainly a fair amount of not good news last
[00:41:33] Speaker 3: year.
[00:41:34] Gene Hammett: Yep. Those are definitely important behind this. I think the mood of the request really is how are you coming at this? When, when I, when I, if I was just teaching you straight upon in this, it would be, if you come to asking someone with a very authoritarian mood, right.
[00:41:55] If you’re really like directive and like it’s going to be a different engagement, then you come to someone with more of a caring approach. Does that make sense? This is really about how you show up.
[00:42:16] What, what intention are you bringing to the moon? Do you guys have questions about that? Many times I’ll ask especially in a difficult conversation and this is not meant to be a difficult conversation, but, but anytime that you are going to have a communication with someone, I think it’s best to take a breath or two, and maybe even way before when you’re planning out the request, you know that you’re going to ask someone to do something for you.
[00:42:45] You want to go, what’s the, what’s the best way of showing up for this? How do I, what kind of energy am I bringing to this moment? Am I excited? Or am I frustrated? Sometimes you want to be frustrated or sometimes you want to, you want to like, let, let it be really clear. If someone is not getting it, you’re going to move toward a more direct one.
[00:43:08] Then then just a more carefree approach. You guys understand that. And it really is. This is just about being very intentional about the seven aspects and you just taking them at a moment and say, how are you going to show up for this and, and being clear about it. All right. The heart of this, the seven parts of this effective request is these four things.
[00:43:38] Because once you have those first three, we can come into the four and say, what does success look like?
[00:43:55] I think all too often, we’re not communicating in a way that we can really show what the conditions of satisfaction are. Would you guys agree to that?
[00:44:08] Speaker 1: Yeah,
[00:44:09] Gene Hammett: this, this is a really important distinction around where are you? You really are delegating and empowering someone. You shouldn’t have to tell them how to do it.
[00:44:20] I hope that that you’re working with people that have the capability to figure out the, how, even if they’ve never done it, but you should be able to say at the end of the day, this report will be on my desk by Friday, and it will have all the core elements and it will be exactly what the client’s expecting.
[00:44:43] And you, you can add even more to it. I’m just going to give you their short route, instead of just saying, get the report to me by Friday,
[00:44:52] your job, as, as a person making a request is to make sure that the conditions of satisfaction are included. It’s as clear. And really that the th the answer, the question around this is what is success looks like? What is the outcome?
[00:45:13] timeframe? A lot of times we’re a little squishy about this, this is Jennifer. Let me just ask you directly. If I needed you to get me a work product out. And I said, can you get it to me by Thursday? How would you interpret that?
[00:45:33] Speaker 2: That it’s due by Thursday? That there’s no, that I have the option. Can you get it to me by Thursday?
[00:45:40] So I have the option to say no. Can I get it to you by Friday?
[00:45:44] Gene Hammett: Yeah, we will talk about the option to renegotiate on this, but is Thursday a very clear timeframe?
[00:45:55] Yeah. I would say if, if that’s the way we make a request, it can be misinterpreted. Right. So if we were going to make a request and what would we, what would we add to that request, Jennifer,
[00:46:10] Speaker 2: if it’s a firm deadline for Thursday, or if there’s some wiggle room, depending on what the other priorities
[00:46:15] Gene Hammett: are.
[00:46:16] Okay. So that’s part of the conversation that you happen in there. But if I were going to request to you, I might say, Hey, this is due for a big project on Friday. Can you get it to me by three o’clock on Thursday? So I have a chance to review it before I go home. That’s very clear. Yeah, it can’t be misinterpreted.
[00:46:33] Cause you’re like three o’clock I guess we could get into the time zone stuff with all these virtual people. I have to be very careful because nearly every one of my clients is in a different time zone. So I’m always trying to go Eastern standard. You want to make sure that when you’re if you’re going to make it a really effective request, that there are no assumptions and you discuss with them anything, that could be an assumption.
[00:47:01] I’m going to skip number six here because it’s probably the hardest to understand. Number seven is exactly what Jennifer said earlier. Why are we doing this? Is that important? If you want someone to truly feel empowered, to share why you’re asking them to do this, this project, whatever the request is
[00:47:23] you with me, David,
[00:47:27] is it important to share why on request always? Is it, well, you said always, I was going to ask the question. Are there reasons why we should not have to share?
[00:47:41] Speaker 5: So personally, so could you say, I don’t need to share why? Sure. But I don’t think you should. I had a team member. Who’s like, I want my teams to make more money.
[00:47:51] I’m like, okay, let’s walk through the structure of why they’re currently paid what they’re paid. And at the end of the conversation, they’re like,
[00:47:59] Speaker 3: I get
[00:47:59] Gene Hammett: it. I think the why is often left off and it’s such an easy thing to typically add. It could be as simple as because when we signed up for this client, we promised them that we would have it for them.
[00:48:17] And this client is important to us, just like every client’s important, but this client is really one of my special clients. When you give a why it gives them something to care about, there’s a psychological study. And I can’t remember the name of it and the details, but I don’t know if you guys have heard it, but basically, they had a bunch of people standing in line for a copier.
[00:48:35] Have you guys ever heard. And the, they had different scenarios. Cause you always have to have control inside the psychological studies. And someone had said, Hey, do you mind if I go ahead of you, I only have one copy to, to do. And because they said, I only have one it’s like a Y kind of thing. Or they would say, do you mind if I go ahead of you, I’m in a rush.
[00:49:03] There are not any details around this, but, but psychologically, we’re more likely to give someone space when we tell them what they give us the why. And I’m just sharing this with you because the other control of that is that it didn’t add the why. And people would refuse to let them go ahead of them and this line for copiers.
[00:49:26]But if you’re going to make, a really effective request, it’s very easy to add why you’re making the request and why. So any questions on why,
[00:49:46] why them just as simple as, you know, you’ve got the skill to get this done. If I remember I had one of my clients, he was, he was bragging on an employee and he was, he was talking about how great she was and how detail-oriented she was. And she just took care of things. That’s, that’s pretty incredible. I said you know, have you ever told her how you, how this makes you feel, and whatnot?
[00:50:13] And he’s like, no, not really. She’s just doing her job. And I was like, you know I would encourage you to just share with her that you really appreciate this. You give her, some recognition just privately, just one-on-one, and tell her that you trust her because you do trust her. And he’s like, oh, absolutely trust her.
[00:50:29] And so we called this, I trust your conversation. And he did. And he’s like she was gushing. She goes, she was almost in tears. So happy just to hear him say that I appreciate you and that I trust you. Do you guys get the power, of that? And Rick, are you still with us? Little distracted, huh? I can’t hear you.
[00:50:58] Speaker 4: with you, but you did just catch me texting.
[00:51:02] Gene Hammett: I tried to catch you on this. I’ve gotta be pay attention. I know Mike turned off his camera, so I couldn’t, I couldn’t get him. So we’ve got, we’ve got over six of the seven. This background of obviousness is the hardest to understand because it takes the most time to figure this out.
[00:51:19] But a lot of times we skip things and this is where assumptions really come up. We want to make sure that when you were asking for a request of someone that we give them enough information about the conditions of satisfaction, the timeframe, and why, but also anything else that might be obvious to us you would never go to Starbucks and say, could I get my coffee in an in a cup that would be assumed, right?
[00:51:55] But in the workplace, there are too many places for us to really make assumptions. And it really is dangerous for us to be able to think that they think the way we do because let is honest, we’re all individuals, we all have a different perspective and context of things. Our job, as request maker is to share that background of obviousness.
[00:52:21] Does this help you guys.
[00:52:26] In regards to, does this make sense? Does it seem like it’s too much?
[00:52:33] Speaker 4: No. Cause it’s the little details like this that, you know, result in that report or whatever it is arriving and not being complete. And then all the extra time that you have to put into like redoing it or changing it now deadlines are missed and more hours that go into the thing that could have been done right the first time.
[00:52:54] So it takes a little more work up front, but it’s more efficient in the long run.
[00:53:06] Gene Hammett: I gotta write that down.
[00:53:16] Is this a good thing? He said with a smile. It takes more time upfront, but it’s more efficient in the long run.
[00:53:26] Speaker 1: Yes.
[00:53:27] Speaker 2: Everything that’s waste is, is
[00:53:30] Speaker 3: opportunity. Cost lost.
[00:53:36] Gene Hammett: Let me ask you a question here. I know Jennifer you’re, you’re one of the executives there at your company. Everyone else here is a founder. CEO, is it important for not only for you to understand this, or is it important for your, your direct leadership, and the managers on the front line to understand the communication to this level?
[00:53:59] It’s not, this is not just a youth thing, right?
[00:54:01] Speaker 2: Yes. I agree. I think everybody needs to understand this. This needs to get pushed to the senior leadership in anybody that’s going to be working together. To accomplish what we need to accomplish.
[00:54:15] Gene Hammett: Would you agree that if, if things, if, for example, if someone’s giving you you’re giving someone a request, could they come back to you and said, Hey, you know, I’m not, I’m not really sure about the timeframe of this.
[00:54:27] They could call you on this. Maybe it’s not in a, in a judgmental way, but just in like, this is not clear yet. And so the idea is the conversation and a request to go back and forth until the point where it’s explicit. It can’t be misunderstood. I think
[00:54:46] Speaker 2: that that’s important. I think that, depending on the level of the employee, you expect more of that.
[00:54:51] And if they’re not doing it, then they might not understand and you might not get what you need.
[00:54:56] Speaker 3: Yep.
[00:54:59] Gene Hammett: Everyone
[00:55:05] needs to. No, this,
[00:55:11] Speaker 2: I think it’s important to encourage people to ask if they’re not given this
[00:55:15] Speaker 3: as
[00:55:15] Gene Hammett: well. That’s exactly what we’re coming up with. You see this, look at that. It is perfectly okay if you’re making requests of someone because I’m going, to be honest with th the the the whole the adage of giving the busy person to work.
[00:55:29] Cause you know, that they’ll get it done. Is that true or not true?
[00:55:35] Speaker 2: You always lean on your rock stars. It’s not even on purpose.
[00:55:42] Gene Hammett: Can you agree with that? Yeah, totally.
[00:55:47] Speaker 4: A bunch of other requests recently and
[00:55:49] Speaker 3: I going to make it easy.
[00:55:51] Gene Hammett: So we, we, we go to people that we know, get it done, and we know that. That understand us and can do it, you know, with the standards at which we come to. But here’s the thing that you need to encourage people to say. Now, I know you’ve got a lot on your plate.
[00:56:24] Yep. But the conversation doesn’t end there. It’s not like, oh, I’ll find someone else. The conversation probably goes, okay. So maybe we need to look at some of the other things in your, your, what you’re doing and see if there’s a way that I can we can make room for this, right. That it’s always back and forth inside of the request and the listener too, to be able to go, let’s find a way to make this work.
[00:56:51] Now, there are times where you’d rather them say, I just can’t take on another thing. My mom’s in the hospital and I really need to be there for her the next two days, I’m going to try to get everything done, but I can’t take on this too. And you, you can step back and say, I get that. I appreciate that. Is that fair to say that you want, you’d rather know upfront that they’re not committed to it?
[00:57:16] Then then just say, yes, I’m not going to scroll to the top, but do you guys remember Jennifer? You know, one of the breakdowns she talked about is when people say yes, but they don’t really mean it. Your job is to encourage that, that pushback is like, you know, does this fit in now, many people will just take it on.
[00:57:37] I know a lot of just high performers would be like, give it all to me. I, I, I will do this cause they want to do what they want to serve. And we absolutely love those people, but you want to make sure that you’re getting complete buy-in before you move on I think I got a question in here, but I want to take a moment here. How do you know when you, before you leave a request, how do you know someone gets it that they’ll get it done? It’ll be done right the first time. What, how does a conversation end in your world?
[00:58:21] Speaker 1: Yes.
[00:58:26] Speaker 4: Usually with confirmation of the deliverable. So something along the lines of awesome,
[00:58:35] Speaker 1: then
[00:58:35] Speaker 4: I’ll look forward to getting it from you. Then let me know if anything comes up that would change the timeline, you know,
[00:58:41] Gene Hammett: something along those lines. So I’m going to type down you repeat. Yeah. That’s one way to do it.
[00:58:48] Speaker 4: And then I also encourage basically proactivity and letting me know if it’s not going to happen. For whatever reason, we can’t get the deliverable
[00:58:56] Speaker 1: done on time.
[00:59:16] Gene Hammett: So any other way that you can make sure someone’s going to get it done right.
[00:59:22] Speaker 2: I usually ask for them to give it back to me in their own words and make sure they understand. It depends on the level of the person I’m speaking to.
[00:59:34] Gene Hammett: I like that. Does that make sense to you guys? It sounds sorta like this based on their request.
[00:59:42] What did you understand, from what I just said? And they should be able to give it back to you so that you can listen and, and they’re making a promise to you. So that’s one of the other speech acts. They’re not just, you’re not, it’s not a one-way situation. You want them to actually promise back. I will do this based on your standards based on your timeframe.
[01:00:09] I know why it’s important. I got, I’ve got no assumptions around this. Does that make sense that they’re going to promise? If they’re still asking questions, that’s not a promise. A promise is, is a statement. Is that clear? Is this helpful for you guys to go to this level of rigor around this? Because I, I think it, I think it’s very powerful for you guys to do this.
[01:00:38] I think a lot of people just don’t think about communication to this level of detail. You guys see the importance of this. Can you see yourself asking people with requests with a little bit more clarity? Now
[01:00:55] Speaker 2: I have to force myself to not be rushed when we’re talking, but yes, I do. I do try.
[01:01:01] Gene Hammett: That’s part of the breakdowns. I didn’t put that in there. Let’s go back up here.
[01:01:05] Speaker 4: I think one of the interesting parts is going to be like, I like this idea of asking the person to repeat back, but also not having them feel like, I think they trying.
[01:01:13] So like the dynamic
[01:01:14] Speaker 3: there. Yep.
[01:01:17] Speaker 5: You know, on that note though, I have a team member that already, repeats everything back because there’ve been many times where he got them wrong. And so now he does that to make sure he has it correct. And it’s something he just did naturally. And so for like meetings, I mean, I think it becomes a natural thing.
[01:01:37]Not all of my team members are doing it, but to encourage them to do it, we already have an example
[01:01:43] Speaker 3: in meetings,
[01:01:46] Gene Hammett: as you get better at this, it gets, it gets to be more natural. I’m going to give you a question a little bit later on that too, to help you with this, I think but we’ve got just a moment here to do another exercise because there’s so much fun.
[01:02:02] Right. Jennifer and Rico went first. So I’m going to ask Mike and David. I would say the one with the longest hair is the request ever, but I can’t tell which one’s got the longest hair here. I’ve just got a haircut yesterday. Okay. So which one of you wants to make a request? And the other one is, is going to be the person that’s going to make a promise back.
[01:02:32] Speaker 1: I can do whatever
[01:02:37] Gene Hammett: lead by example. Who’s who’s who’s first. Who’s going to make the request.
[01:02:45] Speaker 3: I can think of one
[01:02:47] Gene Hammett: raise your hand when you think of.
[01:02:51] All right, David you’re the request maker. It can be anything. You’ve got the seven frameworks in front of you. So what we’re going to do as observers, Jennifer, or Rico me is we’re going to see how well you did. And, and then, you know, just kind of look over the insights after that. Are you guys ready for about a minute?
[01:03:12] So this is not going to go on too long. Go ahead, David.
[01:03:17] Speaker 3: All
[01:03:17] Speaker 5: right, Mike. So we have store 2 73 that we need to set up
[01:03:21] Speaker 3: here. You
[01:03:23] Speaker 5: that, that one’s coming up. We’d like to get that setup. Friday, what time do you think would be a good time for that to be completed
[01:03:30] Speaker 3: on Friday? We could probably have that ready or I could probably have that ready by mid-afternoon say two o’clock.
[01:03:41] Speaker 5: Okay, perfect. So it can be completed by two o’clock. Now, this is going to be, a model three display. Are you familiar with the signage that you’re going to need to have for it? Just so we can make sure that everything is complete and we have backups for any of the display materials that could get destroyed
[01:03:58] Speaker 3: in transit.
[01:04:01] Gene Hammett: Yeah, we’re
[01:04:02] Speaker 5: familiar. I’m
[01:04:02] Speaker 3: familiar with the, with the issues and, and, and believe that we
[01:04:07] Speaker 5: can, or that I can deliver perfect then because it’s a new store for us as always, we want to set a really great tone and experience for them so that they understand why the program is great and they can get really excited about what we’re doing.
[01:04:22] So having that really great, clear communication with them as well, letting them know that it’ll be done by two o’clock as well. What, if any questions do you have about Is there anything left unsaid or unthought that we need to resolve
[01:04:36] Speaker 3: before it?
[01:04:39] Speaker 1: Yeah. Again, what is it?
[01:04:40] Speaker 3: a format that you’re looking for?
[01:04:42]What kind of deliverable are you looking for? A physical
[01:04:46] Speaker 5: deliverable, a virtual right. And so you get it real quick. Like there’s, there are some contexts that’s missing because our model three displays a physical deliverable thing that would actually get
[01:04:58] Speaker 3: sent out to a store, right? Yeah. I have to admit, I’m not exactly sure
[01:05:05] Speaker 5: What I’m agreeing to,
[01:05:07] Speaker 3: but I
[01:05:08] Speaker 5: don’t think that’s the
[01:05:08] Speaker 3: point of
[01:05:09] Gene Hammett: the atrium David’s company sells bath bombs.
[01:05:11] Do you know what that is? I actually do.
[01:05:14] Speaker 3: Yeah, I’ve got daughters. They, they, they have
[01:05:20] Speaker 5: show me what
[01:05:20] Speaker 3: those are.
[01:05:23] Gene Hammett: Bath bombs, David, yet. I was coset right off it. That’s it? Yeah. All right, so we’re out of this. How do you guys think he did?
[01:05:37] Speaker 1: I’m going to say
[01:05:38] Speaker 3: you too good. Cause I don’t, I didn’t really understand what the request was. I know we were role
[01:05:43] Gene Hammett: playing very technical, I think, specific to his, his business. And I get that. I mean, if we talked about research and design credits, Mike, he might not get that either. But, but, but just stepping back and not worry about that, how do you, how did he do on hitting all seven areas?
[01:06:03] Speaker 2: I thought I thought most of the areas, I was unclear with the exact timeline, but I thought the rest of it seemed clear-ish. I used to work for a fixture company. So I sort of understand what you
[01:06:13] Speaker 3: were talking about.
[01:06:16] Speaker 1: I think, I don’t know,
[01:06:17] Speaker 4: David, you communicated the
[01:06:19] Speaker 1: why it matters.
[01:06:22] Gene Hammett: I think he did. He talked about a customer, a new customer.
[01:06:27] It’s the context I got around that. It’s a new customer. We want to make sure it’s a good experience, right? That was I felt like you hit the last four things pretty well couldn’t it would have been much better if we were talking to someone that had the context of a level three display or whatever that was.
[01:06:42] But and I know that you were, you were a present listener and I think, I think Mike was pretty present with this. The mood of requests wasn’t clear to me, it was just kind of like a plain, right? It wasn’t like, Hey, we got a new opportunity here. We’ve got a new customer and I want to, I want your help here.
[01:07:01] Do you see how a little bit of excitement and the mood and request would be different than that? Blah.
[01:07:10] You see that David? Absolutely. This is hard that I’ve never worked with anyone who got all of them. It is AB an and I still work with it. Me and my wife, sometimes joke about this. Like I’m like, what is this mood request? You want me to take out the trash? And you’re just barking at me. But it’s hard to get them all, but if we’re really shooting for it’s impossible to misunderstand, you want to make sure you’ve understood.
[01:07:37] You have those seven things and you can begin to use them and really see the power of them.
[01:07:48] What insights did you guys get around this, these whole seven elements of an effective request. Okay.
[01:08:04] Speaker 2: I would say it’s hard to make an effective request every time.
[01:08:08] Speaker 1: Okay.
[01:08:12] Speaker 5: I know for me, I found as I’m reflecting on this I’m just assuming that everybody already has all the pieces of information, but we constantly are having communication errors. So I need to stop assuming
[01:08:27] Speaker 1: no
[01:08:33] Speaker 3: gene. I think I agree with Jennifer, you know, the business and the pace of business is fast sometimes. And so it’s hard. A lot of times you need to make a request and while this is a good thought process, it may be difficult to apply this
[01:08:49] Speaker 1: every single time.
[01:08:53] Gene Hammett: I hear what you’re saying there. I like this.
[01:09:01] No one’s offended by me cussing or they got to use because I’m a good listener right up here. This is something that Enrico said takes more work up front, but it’s more efficient in the long run. Does anybody disagree with that?
[01:09:24] Even in a fast-paced environment, we’ve got to get it right the first time. Cause rework costs us time, money, energy. It just, no one likes rework. So if you could have the right rigor to an effective request and get better at it, I’m not saying you’re going to get perfect, but you can start adding in there.
[01:09:43] Little things until you realize it’s just natural to you.
[01:09:48] Speaker 5: Well, and Jean, can I interject, interject something? Just this last week, one of our huge communication errors, we had five new grocery stores that we were sending displays out to. We assumed that the person who had set the original schedule had done it correctly and she was on vacation.
[01:10:05] And lo and behold, one of the stores was not
[01:10:07] Speaker 3: authorized for the
[01:10:08] Speaker 5: display. So we had shipped from Utah to Spokane because we didn’t
[01:10:14] Speaker 3: dot our I’s
[01:10:14] Gene Hammett: and cross our T’s a display.
[01:10:18] Speaker 5: To Spokane Washington from Utah, that then luckily for us, we were able to redirect it down to Boise, but that was a terrible experience for the brand that had authorized the
[01:10:32] Speaker 3: stores.
[01:10:33] Cause they’re
[01:10:33] Speaker 5: like, absolutely not this story team, get this way. Why is this display in story 18? That was a really, really terrible experience. So like I totally get it too. Like we are like, our business is very fast-paced and we’re always rocking and rolling, but at the same time, this is an area where I know for us, we have to slow down because it is destroying our relationships.
[01:11:00] Speaker 1: Yeah. We,
[01:11:00] Speaker 4: we say internally built to last instead of built
[01:11:03] Speaker 3: fast. Love that. Yeah. I think
[01:11:06] Speaker 4: the idea of just slowing down a little bit to get it right. It’s probably totally worth it.
[01:11:17] Speaker 3: That’s a great phrase.
[01:11:18] Speaker 5: I’m stealing that from you.
[01:11:20] Speaker 3: Thank
[01:11:20] Gene Hammett: you. It was built to last, not built fast. Yeah. Mike, how does that sit with you?
[01:11:32] Speaker 1: I’m
[01:11:32] Speaker 3: writing that one down.
[01:11:36] Gene Hammett: Jennifer. How does that sit with you?
[01:11:43] Speaker 2: We’re not in manufacturing. We’re in the event business, so it’s a little bit different, but I, I totally get it. Cause as I said, I’ve been in manufacturing cut once
[01:11:52] Speaker 3: measure twice,
[01:11:53] Gene Hammett: cut once, but it is not invent manufacturing or you Rico? No,
[01:11:57] Speaker 4: we’re a software guy.
[01:11:59] Speaker 2: Yeah, you don’t wanna mess up the code either, but when you’re on an event and somebody says that the food is wrong, you gotta move a little bit fast.
[01:12:08] You don’t, you want to plan properly so you don’t have bad food. I totally
[01:12:12] Gene Hammett: get it. That’s the important thing is it’s built to last and, and I think I get what you’re saying, Jennifer. It just has to remember that. Yes. Having seven elements of a request is going to take more time, but just ask yourself if they get it right the first time are we, is everyone better off?
[01:12:34] And I think they are nine times out of 10, maybe even more often than that. Is that fair to say? Yeah, we have I’ve run out of time again. So we’re going to kind of fly through this next bit. Asking better questions. Why are questions powerful?
[01:13:02] Speaker 5: when you tell someone something, they don’t get it, but when they tell you something, they get it in questions, allow
[01:13:09] Speaker 3: them to tell you
[01:13:17] Speaker 4: you’re also stripping away opportunity for
[01:13:20] Speaker 1: assumptions.
[01:13:33] If someone asks
[01:13:34] Speaker 3: a question, that’s their way of telling you how they perceive
[01:13:39] Speaker 1: the issue.
[01:13:40] Gene Hammett: Yup. And totally right in all of these things. But the question is as a psychologically, you know, especially in, in a work environment, It’s almost rude to not answer a question. Is that fair to say, if you ask someone, you know, why were you late today to the meeting?
[01:14:05] Don’t, you’re expecting an answer. You’re not expecting to be, to get some, some sideways thing, right. Or to be ignored. So in leadership, if we really want to make sure that we can’t be misunderstood, we’ve got to learn to ask better questions. And I, I know that this is simple, but I work with a lot of leaders that are doing $50 million in their company, plus, and they’re like, I could do a much better.
[01:14:36] I tell a lot, I could ask more questions. And so here’s just a few questions that you can, you can use and see, how can you be sure this is the right decision. This is to be used when you’re expecting someone to make the decision. And you don’t want to be you don’t want to make that, keep making that decision for them.
[01:15:00] Do you guys see that, that the kind of power of this question?
[01:15:05] Speaker 3: Yeah,
[01:15:08] Gene Hammett: I, I changed a little bit because I, I had written down a question that was about the experiment. I sometimes ask my team when I expect them to do something. And I was like, you know, we don’t need to create an entire SOP for this yet. How can we experiment to see if this is the right path? Is this the right tool to use?
[01:15:31] So we’ll, we’re always experimenting within this. And so you just want to make sure that you’re asking people so that they really understand the depth of the decision. They’re not just saying. Something because they think that’s what you want them to say. You want to make sure you’re getting complete buy-in
[01:15:50] Speaker 3: right.
[01:15:52] Gene Hammett: It may be perfectly okay for them to respond to this. As we could get some data from customers, we could get some data from, from the, from the website. We could get some data from the process, but that will be their next step. Does that make sense? This question,
[01:16:14] and these are just ideas. There’s just use more questions. Here’s the next one. What’s getting in the way of you making your decision. If you’re working with a bunch of people that you’re expected to be empowered and they’re expected to decide on this, the worst thing you can do is decide for them because it erodes trust.
[01:16:34] So pause a second. And instead of making the decision, you ask them this.
[01:16:44] Do you guys say that the beauty of this question,
[01:16:50] this is where I would, I would really make a distinction here because I think a lot of leaders are managing the work.
[01:17:00] The work has to get managed. The work has to get done, but this question strikes the heart of leading the person.
[01:17:11] It’s a great conversation. If they come back and say, well, I didn’t feel like you ever want me to make that decision because you always overrule me. That’s a good conversation to have so that you get, find the alignment move forward, as opposed to just ignoring it. Do you guys see that? You want to make sure that every chance you get you’re leading the person.
[01:17:35] And a question is a chance to do that much better than a statement.
[01:17:45] You may have someone come back and say, I’m just afraid I’ll be wrong. And it gives you a chance, especially if this person’s a high performer, it’s like, you know, why would you doubt yourself? You’ve done this, you know, for the last three years, you’ve made similar decisions. I really would expect that you would have the confidence to do this.
[01:18:03] And I really want you to, I have competence in you, or I wouldn’t have given you this opportunity. Do you see how that’s leading the person? Not just managing the work
[01:18:15] and then finally, and this is sort of that, that buy-in at the end. What would it take for you to own this project? This is a word that I use a lot. This is a word that I’m writing a book about. How do you get people to feel like owners? Okay. How could this question be helpful inside, your own leadership communication style?
[01:18:48] Not helpful.
[01:18:52] Speaker 1: This is helpful.
[01:18:53] Speaker 2: I think it’s helpful.
[01:18:55] Gene Hammett: Okay. I understand the consequences. Excuse me. I
[01:18:59] Speaker 4: said you help them understand the consequences could be consequences or bad consequences of the outcome and what happens as a result to the company, to other teammates,
[01:19:12] Speaker 1: to the
[01:19:12] Speaker 4: client,
[01:19:14] Speaker 1: the why it matters,
[01:19:19] Speaker 4: and then maybe why they
[01:19:20] Speaker 1: specifically selected for it.
[01:19:23] Speaker 3: How does he
[01:19:24] Gene Hammett: like that? Why, why are they selected?
[01:19:27] Speaker 3: So you get
[01:19:28] Speaker 4: to like, you know, hopefully, compliment on the skills that they have that would allow them to succeed on this
[01:19:34] Gene Hammett: request. Yeah. For example, what comes to my mind is when you have someone who’s a great project manager is like, you know what, because you’re so detail-oriented, you know how to align the people around this.
[01:19:47] That’s the reason why I want you to do this. And it gives you a chance to have some different conversations. When you add better questions. I, we have three minutes left, according to my clock. I don’t know what your clock says. What, what insights did you guys get from today’s training that you feel will make you a better communicator?
[01:20:16] Speaker 1: No, I need
[01:20:16] Speaker 3: your question more.
[01:20:17] Speaker 1: And I think
[01:20:18] Speaker 3: really, I think
[01:20:21] Speaker 5: we’re moving fast enough that we do fail to set the mood and remind everybody at each moment why
[01:20:28] Speaker 3: it’s so important.
[01:20:39] Gene Hammett: What else did you guys get from this?
[01:20:45] Speaker 1: I think we’ve got to take the
[01:20:46] Speaker 3: time or, you know, make an effort, take the time to make the effort to
[01:20:50] Speaker 1: communicate better.
[01:20:54] Speaker 3: Someone said making assumptions. I think we assume that we’re communicating well.
[01:21:00] Speaker 1: Yeah, no fucking
[01:21:08] Speaker 3: assumptions.
[01:21:09] Gene Hammett: So helpful. Jennifer, you want to add something to that?
[01:21:13] Speaker 2: No, I think it’s, it’s about the seven points make sense. It’s about preparing to have the seven points, not just rushing into the next thing.
[01:21:21] So it’s, I think the theme here is that we need to take the time.
[01:21:25] Speaker 3: Yep.
[01:21:29] Gene Hammett: And Rico, anything to add. They also like
[01:21:32] Speaker 4: focusing on the person you’re speaking to, to understand like how engaged they are,
[01:21:37] Speaker 3: you know, are they really like grabbing this
[01:21:42] Speaker 1: concept or the conversation when you’re pulling them back in?
[01:21:47] If they’re not,
[01:21:50] Gene Hammett: I’m not trying to brag here, but it’s just a moment of, of this, the exercise on reading the signals.
[01:21:59] I fucking nailed that. You know she went from, and, and my request of this, maybe I could have been more clear hold one of them throughout the entire time, but I felt in the beginning, she was distracted. I could see her eyes. I could see the energy she was bringing to that moment, moved toward mildly interested as she started to get into it.
[01:22:22] And then it finished in a quarter sort of an engaging way. Imagine if you can listen to people for that, and that’s all you, I don’t know what you’ll take out of this and apply to what you’re doing but imagine that that’s the kind of conversations you can have with people. I’ll leave you with this story.
[01:22:39] I remember I was in sales for a long time. I had a business and I, I lost it. It’s another story, but I was in sales for a couple of years and I had a big deal on the table and I had a client. Was ready to move forward on this project sort of consulting type of project. And I said, you know, Theresa, there’s something you’re not telling me.
[01:22:57] So I’m asking questions. And she’s like, no, this is, this is the project that the data doesn’t come outright. For our financial reports, we need to get to the heart of this. We need someone to come and analyze it. And I said I feel like there’s something else. She’s the CIO of a, like a billion-dollar company.
[01:23:12] And I said, Theresa, you know, completely off the record here. There’s something you’re not telling me. And I’m kept probing. And she said, well, there is one thing, but it cannot go beyond this room. And she’s like, shuts the door. And I said, what? She goes, I’ve only been in this job for three months. She goes the data’s wrong in our reports.
[01:23:35] That needs to be fixed. That’s what this contracts about. But I also need you to do a quick assessment. Do I have the right? And I said, okay, what, what are your concerns? And she’s like, I just don’t know the data’s wrong. So maybe I don’t have the right team. And then she comes back and says this can not be in the contract.
[01:23:54] This can be anywhere. But I had the courage to ask questions, to get to the heart of it, to get to what’s really going on. I got the deal, right. I probably would’ve got the deal anyway, but I just remember that moment where I was willing to be courageous enough to ask questions. This happens not just in our sales conversations.
[01:24:13] This happens with our, our employees, our best employees, our worst employees, if we get better at communicating so that we can’t be misunderstood, it helps the last thing. Don’t keep putting bricks in the wall. If someone else can do the work, your job is to not build a prison for yourself, but to let them do it, but do it with the right record.
[01:24:38] Hopefully you guys enjoy today. If you guys want to stay connected, I’ve got this book, this kind of group on Facebook. If you guys do this, I don’t know if you do or not. There are a few people in there right now, but it’s only Inc 5,000 liters. Jennifer, if you want to join us, you can. But it’s a way for us to stay connected because enjoy today.
[01:24:57] Yeah, that’s
[01:24:58] Speaker 3: great. Thank you. Thank you, Jean
[01:25:03] Gene Hammett: pleasure.
[01:25:04] Speaker 5: Oh, absolutely. And I really appreciate the invite.
[01:25:07] Gene Hammett: Well, well, I’m glad to have you as a special guest and Rico and, and David. This is, this is part of what we do every month, but if there’s any way I can serve you, just let me know. Okay.
[01:25:21] Hi, share with him your feedback on this so that maybe he can tell me what, what real impact this was. All right. You guys take care. Thank you.
[01:25:37] Speaker 1: Okay.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.