It’s no surprise that communication skills, or lack thereof, come up in almost every one of our family business consulting assignments.
I can’t emphasize this point too often. The best musicians in the world need to continue to practice with a high amount of repetition to continue to be good at playing their instrument.
If you and your family business team are going to be good communicators, you need to practice!
My goal is to continue to develop simple practical exercises that will help you build those skills.
Here is a simple coaching exercise to assess and build your communication skills.
Get everyone in the room and ask the following questions:
How often do we execute on effective communication?
- 5 Always
- 4 Very often
- 3 Sometimes
- 2 Rarely
- 1 Never
Have everyone write down their answer. This is really important; don’t change your answer when you hear other people’s number.
Go around the room and tally all of the scores and come up with your collective score for communication.
Then ask the next question:
What do you believe is the number one obstacle that’s getting in the way of us being better communicators?
Again go around the room and listen to everyone’s answer and see if you can identify themes.
Ask another question:
What are one or two new observable practices we could hold ourselves accountable to so that we can increase our communication effectiveness?
Listen, tally up the answers, and reach a consensus on one or two new practices.
Based upon everything we’ve discussed today, what are one or two things you need to do personally to improve your communication with the team?
Everyone gives one or two new practices. Delegate someone to keep track of everyone’s answers.
Agree upon a time and explain that at the next meeting you are going to ask everyone to bring examples of where communication has improved or examples of where it has stayed the same.
It’s really that simple. Identify the issue. Commit to new practices. Hold one another accountable. Coach each other, then move through the obstacles.
Play to your potential! Email me at email@example.com if you would like me or one of my coaches to facilitate the meeting for you. It’s really easy to do with zoom nowadays.
Pete Walsh offers family business consulting services, workshops, tools and resources as the founder of the Family Business Performance Center. Subscribe to his newsletter or get in touch to get actionable insights to help your family business grow for generations to come.
This exercise and many more are in my Family Business Playbook to help your family win!