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A Quick and Effective Communication Tip

Vanessa Judelman

President, Mosaic People Development

Do you consider yourself a good communicator?

As a leader, your ability to communicate your vision, expectations and requirements is incredibly important.

However, on most employee opinion surveys, communication by leaders is usually ranked the lowest.

So, today I want to share with you one of my favorite communication strategies…which happens to be super quick to implement and incredibly effective.

Here it is…

Always distinguish the difference between a suggestion and an expectation.

Why is this super important?

It mitigates any potential miscommunication.

It clarifies the difference between an idea that you are putting forward for consideration…and an actual expectation with a timeline and due date.

What does this sound like in real life?

Here is an example.

My client Janice, the CEO of a marketing firm, needed one of her Account Executives to prepare an onboarding strategy for new clients.

Here is how she articulated her expectations:

I’d like you to please create an onboarding strategy for new clients.

I’ll need it by the end of February. Does that timing work for you considering all ofnyour other commitments?

Here is how she articulated her suggestions.

I do have a few suggestions.

Keep it short. One to two pages is just fine.

Think about all of your personal experiences and best practices that you can include.

You are super creative, so feel free to make the document visually appealing in any way you see fit.

Do you see the difference?

You can even use the words “expectations” and “suggestions” in your communication so your team clearly understands when a task is critical and where they have the autonomy to take charge.

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