A couple of months ago I started using a bullet journal. I find it quite useful to organise my chaotic and creative mind and balance it with all the tasks that need to get done. I can easily prioritise my actions and create space for ideas and new projects that I want to take on board.
We know that when we start getting into a habit it can affect other areas of our brain: you start meditating and you become calmer, you start exercising and you feel happier. Maybe because of the bullet journal or maybe because it was an unusual sunny day for Scotland, yesterday I decided to cut the grass in our garden. Normally I tend to wait until it’s too late and the work ahead is a pain. So what do I do when I reach that point?
I try to persuade/bribe my son to do it, needless to say with very poor results.
Cutting the grass is not currently in his job description that we agreed at the beginning of the year, as he kindly reminds me every time I bring up the subject. So the result is that I have to do the painful work myself. To my surprise yesterday the task was more manageable than I’d expected, as the grass was not that long.
It was done in half the time and with half the effort. In general there are two things that make our work more efficient: preparation and early intervention. So many managerial books encourage managers to prepare and plan in advance, and to act before things get out of control. We all know the theory. The more I talk to people whose jobs depend on working well with others, on collaborating, on creating trust, the more I’m surprised by how little consideration we give to developing our leadership communication skills. I don’t mean developing managerial communication skills, but rather those leadership skills that helps us to create trust, collaboration and flow with our customers and our team. I talk to people who wait until:
they get into unproductive conflicts to learn how to manage difficult conversations;
employee engagement plummets to start thinking differently about events, get-together days and meaningful internal communication;
the team is struggling to work together to start wondering how to create collaboration and trust.
And the funny thing is that everybody agrees that you can’t grow
if your team is unable to have hard conversations,
if you don’t have conversations that create trust with your customers,
if you don’t know what drives collaboration within your team.
So I always wonder, where does all this go?
I mean, just as you put your tasks and projects for the day, month and year ahead in your bullet journal, where do you put the list of essential leadership communication skills that drive your growth? Where does it go?
If you haven’t done it yet, here are some questions you can ask yourself.
How do my team and I need to communicate internally and externally to create outstanding results?
What kinds of conversation do they need to have with our customers and within the team to achieve our goals?
Are we having these conversations?
If the answer to the last question is no, consider scheduling a 30-minute talk to discuss how to change this. You can do it here. Don’t leave this conversation for your future log.
Create the space now for what matters, so you can make sure that you can do the job comfortably and efficiently before the grass gets too long.