menu

Shawn Parr: Communication Work Strategies (That Work!)

Shawn Parr: Communication Work Strategies (That Work!)
Advertising

CEO of Bulldog Drummond on utilizing communication-enhancing tools to improve executive leadership and build team and interpersonal communication

Shawn Parr, Bulldog Drummond
  • 23 march 2015

Great leaders inspire their people and provide focus by setting a clear vision, a mission, and actionable values that fuel an environment for individual and company-wide success. A strong company culture is fueled and inspired by leadership actively involved and connected to the realities of their teams and their business.

It’s no secret that ineffective communication is one of the main drivers behind workplace failure. Poor, nonexistent, misdirected and dysfunctional communication are among the biggest reasons companies fail to accomplish their missions. Building a strong culture takes countless hours, hard work and commitment—and often involves tearing down the barriers that threaten success. Identifying ways to optimize internal communication is an area that leaders should invest more time in.

Working closely with a diverse range of executive teams at both multi-billion dollar corporations and early-stage startups, I work as a strategic guide around strategy, innovation and cultural transformation and I have seen how collaboration and communication at its best drives success and at its worst, poisons a company’s potential. Significant investment is made in employee development, recognition and engagement but very little time and money is spent to improve communication.

Be honest for a minute and think about how much time you waste in meeting preparation to ensure you deliver on a message for a key executive. Or how much analysis and discussion revolves around trying to understand and translate feedback from a senior leader—it adds up and is riddled with inefficiency.

Maybe it’s time to think about internal communication as an opportunity for new thinking. Understanding who you’re talking to, how they process information and like to communicate are opportunities to significantly improve results.

Chances are your employees don’t always have the opportunity to perform at their optimum level because their natural talents go untapped as a result of poor communication and a misunderstanding of who they are engaging. In our work to connect teams and optimize their cultural effectiveness, we’ve used two programs that have been very effective in improving communication.

Gallup Strengths Finder is a valuable engagement tool that helps employees discover and build their innate abilities. The Gallup-created assessment program is based on a 40-year study of human strengths and talents—helping people ingress, discover and characterize their talents. They’ve also created an online Strengths Center to provide solutions that enable people to become more engaged, more productive, and happier. When people do what they do best, companies and organizations benefit. According to Gallup, “People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job. Teams that focus on their strengths are 12.5% more productive. Coach the people you lead to improve their performance.”

Gallup-Strengths-Center

The program also enhances executive leadership teams by focusing on leadership talents. Completing Gallup’s strengths coaching certification process allows individuals to achieve an elite level of coaching and mentorship by providing them with the tools to inspire confidence among the people they coach.

Who’s Who in the Zoo is another program designed to enhance internal communication. It transforms the way people in companies relate to one another, to management and to customers by teaching them to become effective communicators. Personality types are easily identified and referenced with a specific animal characteristic. Once participants are aware of their personal character, they learn how it relates to their own communication styles. They are also taught how to intentionally adapt their communication style to more effectively listen to, connect with, and influence their important colleagues.

This program works because it’s structured to focus on others instead of one’s own self and is built on the premise that successful communication is saying something the way the other person can hear it, not the way you want to say it. The program begins with people discovering which animal they are in the zoo, and once that’s established, the focus shifts to others, adapting the ideal communication style accordingly.

Good communication is key in business and in life, yet it is absent in many relationships, teams and companies. Utilizing communication-enhancing tools is an effective way to improve executive leadership, build team and interpersonal communication, develop employee strengths and innate talents, all while helping to increase productivity and build a vibrant company culture.

Shawn Parr is the Guvner & CEO of Bulldog Drummond, an innovation and design consultancy headquartered in San Diego whose clients and partners have included Starbucks, Diageo, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, Adidas, MTV, Nestle, Pinkberry, American Eagle Outfitters, Ideo, Sony, Virgin, Disney, Nike, Mattel, Heineken, Annie’s Homegrown, Kashi, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, CleanWell, The Honest Kitchen, and World Vision. Follow the conversation at @BULLDOGDRUMMOND.

Lead Image: Sebastien Wiertz | CC | No changes made

Trending

Bicycle Hotel In Norway Makes Commuting A Breeze

Design & Architecture
Technology Today

Umbrella Tells You Whether It's Needed Before You Go Out

Opus One was designed by former Samsung engineers and offers a weather forecast via the flashing LED on top

Sustainability Today

Biocomposite Skateboard Provides An Eco-Friendly Ride

The Uitto is an eco-friendly skate deck crafted from Norwegian wood fibers

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Work Today

Hyatt Honors Travelers With A 3D-Printed Statue Contest

The hospitality wanted to celebrate the people who go everywhere for work and make sure their tasks were not forgotten

Syndicated Today

High-Tech Replica Brings Prehistoric Art Within Reach

A £48m recreation of the Lascaux Caves in France will let visitors experience the unique place for the first time in decades

Entertainment Today

Tripod Lets You Make Snapchat Videos Hands-Free

The Camkix kit lets you record wirelessly from any angle

IoT Today

GE Develops An Alexa-Enabled Table Lamp

The first in a line of interconnected home products will integrate Amazon's voice-activated system for smarter home living

Advertising Today

Spotify Mines User Data To Create A Global Ad Campaign

The series of billboards relays the feelings that people express through listening to music

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Today

Why Personalization Is The Key To Customer Satisfaction

Andrew Blackmon of The Black Tux shares how the company is using machine-learning models to streamline the fitting process

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Food Today

What Material Research In Beirut Bodes For Our Waste Crisis

Might building furniture and lights out of rose petals and coffee grounds point to more sustainable modes of living, as seen in Beirut Design Week?

Social Media Today

This Collar Wants To Be The Bridge Between Human-Dog Communication

Inupathy claims to be world's first dog emotion visualizer

Retail Today

Commerce Expert: Why Brick-And-Mortar Shopping Can’t Be Replaced

Erin Armendinger, SVP of bio, explains the physical need of customers to experience certain products before buying

Fashion Today

Basquiat-Inspired Fashion Line Supports Emerging Talent

The late artist's estate has collaborated with New York label alice+olivia on a new range of designs

Gaming & Play Today

Fidgeting Tools Designed To Help Creative Minds Focus

The DIDGETS Collection helps those who have anxiety or are restlessly moving to focus while they are working

PSFK EVENT

FUTURE OF RETAIL 2017:
Conference Built Around Report Launch
BUY TICKETS

Children Today

Helpful Robot Teaches People Of All Ages How To Code

The Root has coding expertise designed to benefit a wide range of people

Home Today

Sharing Service Connects Directors With Film Locations

Finding affordable places to film can be difficult, so GETset was designed to help creators easily find good locations

Technology Today

Adobe Is Teaching Machines To Copy Your Artistic Style

A new research project called Stylit uses a camera to mimic a drawing and reproduce the strokes digitally

No search results found.