Give people a voice, even when using digital communications: Develop trust, stumulate innovation, improve performance

I was reminded recently how important it is to give people a voice—give people an opportunity to share their thoughts.  So often in today’s world when we are using digital communications more frequently, we forget how valuable this is to team performance.

I am as guilty as anyone as I rush through the day multi-tasking ruthlessly from e-mails to texting to instant messages to web meetings and phone calls, etc.  I quickly tap the keys and send a clipped message without thinking how the person on the other end may perceive the message.

I recall a business associate steaming over a colleague who constantly sent “e-mail grenades.”  I can certainly relate to my colleague’s frustration as I have been there myself.  STOP before you press send.  Ask yourself how you would feel if you received your message.  Ask yourself if you gave the recipient an opportunity to voice his or her opinion.  It doesn’t take long.  The results are priceless.

Giving people a voice is one of the most important things a leader can do to develop trust among his or her team members.  When you ask someone else for their opinion, it makes them feel as if you value them as a human being.  You may know the right answer or what you “think” is the right answer.  But when you close your mind to others’ voices, creativity and innovative thinking are nearly nonexistent.

When people have no voices, growth and development is stunted. You will never be able to maximize peoples’ potential.  When people have no voices, anger and conflict often results, slowing down or shutting down team results.

So, remember that there is a person on the other end of the digital communications you are sending.  That person has feelings.   That person has hopes, dreams and desires just like you do.   Remember that even when using digital communications, craft it with respect for the “human-being” on the other end.  Remember that you are “speaking” to that individual and sometimes your voice can be loud.  Make your voice speak the language you want others to hear.  Then you can create the high-functioning teams that lead your organization to success.

 Copyright © 2011 by Patricia Hatley

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval without permission in writing from the author.


About Patricia Hatley

Patricia Hatley is a leadership author, researcher, speaker, trainer, consultant. We provide resources to empower people to empower others. “Inspired leadership elevates everything!” With a graduate degree in strategic leadership, primarily transformational leadership, Patricia Hatley is a leadership researcher with a concentration on 21st century intergenerational leadership, author, consultant, and teacher. Patricia is an intergenerational pro with over 30 years experience leading teams in corporate and non-profit environments. In December 2012, she retired from a 42 year career in the corporate environment to concentrate on this project. Her books include: (1) “4 Generations @ Work: Leading from Conflict to Collaboration,” (2011) based on research conducted within a Fortune 500 company and across all industries, is a study of generational preferences and values and how to effectively integrate all into any organization. (2) “Three Things All People Want,” (2014) which reveals how to inspire people to engagement by tapping into three basic human needs; and (3) “Digital Grenades: Explosive and Corrosive,” (2015) which deals with inspiring people to engagement and high performance when most interaction is across a digital platform via some kind of digital communications, i.e. email, social media, texting, etc . (4) “4 Generations @ Work: A Case for Empowerment,” (2015) a revised and expanded version of her first book 4 Generations @ Work. Patricia’s fourth book is a self-help book for anyone to use to develop a highly engaging workplace, for anyone. It provides information, based on recent and life-long experience:  How to develop an empowered culture, and why such a culture is critical to success today and even more so over the next decade;  “The Trust Factor” importance and basics;  “The Power of Ask,” what it is, how it works, and how crucial it is to success;  “Listening to Understand” basics;  “Integrity today” what it looks like and why it is different and crucial to success;  “Diversity and Inclusion,” what it looks like today, why, importance, and how tos;  Five generations: Intergenerational values and preferences, creating understanding, reducing conflict, engagement, etc.;  The Plurals--She introduces the next generation to flood the work force, the Plurals. Plurals are different than any generation yet, but require many of the same things in the workplace that their colleagues, the Gen Ys, do.
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