What makes your vantage point as a leader special and unique? What does your versatile skill set enable you to excel at that others cannot? How can you leverage those strategies to benefit a diverse array of employees or clients, and what is the best way to do that on a scalable level?
These are the questions I often ask myself and the various leaders I consult. When it comes to employee communication services in particular, it’s vital that you take stock of what makes your perspective distinctly your own, and consider how you can tailor your leadership style to different goals and groups of people.
I like to use the metaphor of a “connect the dots” puzzle to illuminate organizational dynamics. Within a company, there are countless different departments, levels, executives, and employees, or dots, in this metaphor. But meaning and purpose is only revealed when those dots are connected, when they’re brought into conversation with one another, when they mutually rely on one another to create dynamism.
As a leader, you are uniquely positioned to do this kind of connection building because of your larger scope and purview. Where employees ask themselves, “where do I fit into the organization? What can I influence most?”, leaders ask themselves, “who should I be connecting right now, and why would that pairing be useful? How can these groups come together to form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts?” At its core, leadership means bringing the most out of people and their partnerships.
In my services, I approach organizational assessment in a “cascading” manner, meaning I start at the top of the company and work my way down through every level, asking the same questions about what needs to be changed for the sake of progress and better communication. Afterwards, as I’m making those changes, I continually circle back to each of those levels to share what the next steps are, and see how I can bring others into the process. This is how I go about connecting the dots.
On a micro scale, connecting the dots for your employees looks like small gestures that ensure seamless communication and collaboration. For routine meetings, ask about group expectations around the agenda, communication style, and follow-up action items, just so nothing is left unsaid and no dot is left unconnected. If you establish an environment of clear expectations, your employees will begin to make those connections themselves.
In essence, creating coherence in an organization means taking as wide a lens as possible to synthesize seemingly disparate departments and spark innovative cross-dialogue. Teams that have never come into contact with one another are suddenly brought into conversation, which can yield really powerful insights. I know when I gather engagement data from all levels of an organization rather than a specific subsection, my recommendations are ten times more effective since it speaks to countless different experiences. If you broaden your perspective to include the entire picture, you will see the opportunities for bridging the gaps between problems and solutions, goal setting and achieving, and employee apathy and engagement.