Leadership Communication

Cultivating an Environment that Fosters Innovation and Accountability

How we engage others and communicate – how we make requests, hold others accountable, and address issues has enormous impact on what we can accomplish in our organizations. Yet, many of us have had little or no guidance in how to bring out the best in others through how we use conversation. Sloane Communications provides simple, powerful models that have immediate impact in clients’ effectiveness with those who report to them, peers, upper management and others.

One Sloane Communications client reported slashing production time for a project by 50%, after using what she learned in these programs with her team.

The Generative Leadership Communication program is customizable, and includes several key elements: two highly interactive group modules, each less than half a day, and one-on-one coaching sessions, two per participant, to support them in applying the learning to real-life situations. Participants are asked to complete a brief reading prior to the first group session.  This program works extremely well as part of an initiative to achieve specific goals. The elements promote clarity and certainty. When a group has shared understanding about how to bring up challenging issues in a generative way, group communication and collaboration is energized, releasing creativity and fostering innovation and well-being.

Program elements

Modules

Direct Conversation as a Leadership Tool

The ability to have authentic conversations that get to the heart of the matter, and to provide feedback in a way that generates understanding, partnership, respect and well-being has become essential to optimum effectiveness and creativity today. Yet, most people put off such communications, or work around others. This session will increase awareness of how what we communicate impacts what we can produce. In this highly interactive session, participants will:

  • Participate in an exercise that demonstrates the power of mood and how it impacts what is heard
  • Learn and experiment with a powerful communication model for having tough conversations
  • Cultivate greater skill and confidence in having generative conversations

Leadership and Generative Accountability

So much of our business lives are spent in conversation that it is practically invisible.  Yet, nearly everything happens through communication. In this interactive session, participants will:

  • Learn how to make extremely clear requests and promises
  • Learn how to improve ability to be accountable and hold others accountable in a way that generates ease and goodwill
  • Learn how to make productive, responsible complaints as a tool for generating more effective relationships, improving productivity

One-on-one coaching

  • One-on-one executive coaching sessions, two with each participant, support direct application of communication models to achieve specific results and support continued ongoing learning. As part of the first coaching session, participants are given a brief pre-work reading on shared leadership.

Consulting and Meeting Facilitation

Consulting to clarify outcomes, support implementation


What People Say About the Generative Leadership Communication Program

“It’s been very beneficial for me. It’s caused me to be more assertive, to get the answers I need – It’s helped me very, very much with assertiveness. I am now better able to work with people in achieving deadlines. I used to leave things a lot more open-ended. Now I am more concrete, and effective at holding people accountable: “you said you’d have this by this date—what happened?”

“I learned to be more specific in my requests. I now tell people the result I am expecting to produce and in the time frame I need. People are honoring my clarity. As a result of this clarity, we have been able to cut production time, and save labor costs. For example, recently I had a new product which we needed in 5 days. (55,000 lbs of a food product) We expected that we’d need the five 8 hour days. I explained the need, and also asked them to look for ways to save time, and that if they saw a way to save time, to go ahead and do it and to let me know that as well as soon as they knew that. I said, “You are making the product, setting up the line. Figure out what machines to use to improve the process. What will make it easier, faster, more effective? Think about how to improve the way the cans are opened, and so on.” They created their own system to make it faster. As a result we cut the production time from 5 days to 2 ½ days (2 ten hour days), saving that labor time and cost. Before, I would have just handed the paperwork to someone and asked them to do it, without this clarity in my request.”

Direct Communication as a Leadership Tool really opened people up to the communication. It was a vital starting point. The team members really started expressing themselves.

“I think it’s done wonders. There’s been a tremendous improvement individually and as a team. It’s been great for me. I saw an immediate change in people’s willingness to bring up issues, make direct requests. People have been able to communicate much better, work more cohesively and collaboratively. People have also mentioned how much it has helped them. The atmosphere, productivity has gotten a lot better.

“People make clearer requests, are more helpful, listen more carefully, listen to see how they might help. People listen now.

“People communicate more directly, make clear requests. It has helped people understand how to make clearer requests. People are more able to speak more openly, candidly, debate and find a resolution. I am more able to speak candidly with my team. People are speaking more freely. Using the tools, we have all learned to be able to speak more freely and directly.”

“Helped me to create a more structured, disciplined environment, and make my expectation of accountabilities clear.  It broadened my horizons. It’s helped me to set people up so others don’t wait for me to make a quality decision. I cross-trained my employee in the fundamentals of my quality priorities so that the team is able to make a decision if I am not here. The technician can bring up the issue to another manager. If need be, I can be reached by cell phone.

“I learned to talk to people in a way that wouldn’t cause misunderstandings or issues.

“There’s a lot more interaction. People feel more comfortable and respectful of one another. People’s input is valued and things are improved. -- The biggest thing is overcoming the fear of open communication. I can’t express that enough. – Before, there had been a fear, a concern about challenging things – people may see a better way of doing things, and not want to be in the position, the one to shake things up.

“People are taking a lot more initiative.