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Do not assume everyone gets your vision. The team nods, smiles and appears enthusiastic, right? At your next staff meeting, do a check. Ask each team member to write down, in their own words, how they understand your vision for the company or a strategy that you are trying to implement. You will be met with quizzical looks with some folks gazing out into space. When they do start to write they will jot down a few words, stop and think, cross out stuff and jot down a few more words. A few others will immediately start writing things down in a fluent manner, confident that they read your mind perfectly.

Once you compare their answers with your intent, you will understand why initiatives are slow to execute and why mistakes are made. There is confusion, vagueness or inaccuracies in their versions. A few employees may be close to your intent while others will describe a vision or a strategy from another planet. Notice the feeling of nausea mixed with disgust that surges through your veins. Who’s to blame and why? You are to blame because you assumed they “got it.”

To be sure they “get it” at your next meeting, utilize a mindful listening exercise. Periodically, ask your employees to tell back how they understand what you just described. Clear up the inaccuracies then and there. Over-communicate (e.g. repeat) important points. After one meeting like this, notice how your staff will become more attentive and ask more clarifying questions. Nobody wants to be on the wrong page. This action will result in more efficient and timely results from your team.

Miscommunication wastes time and money. Do you and your team need to weed out the communication problems that are sinking your startup? Contact me at Rebecca @MindfulCommunication.com                 

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