I was speaking with a friend the other day and she was telling me a story about a recent experience she had at work. She’s a department chairperson at a hospital and she’s also a co-chair for the shared leadership program there.
Apparently a member of senior leadership sent out an email to everyone in their department about a process people weren’t adopting.
Sending an email to do this is an effective and efficient way to reach all of the employees involved, but if definitely didn’t get the intended results and it even rubbed many of the employees the wrong way!
So, how does leadership have to change because of technology?
In the old days this would have been done in a department wide memo. The leader most likely would have dictated the memo to his or her assistant who would have typed it up and distributed it.
If the leader was frustrated about the process not being adopted (and this one definitely was) then there would have been more time and another person involved as a system of checks and balances to eliminate the tone of frustration in the memo. And, time to consider the perception of the people receiving the email!
In today’s fast paced world where we all use the advances of technology very quickly, it can be easy to forget to pause and consider the perception of others. Something we’re all charged up about can go from our minds to everyone involved as fast as we can send out an email.
I’m very grateful today for being taught by my mentors in Ancient Wisdom how to work with perception. A person’s perception is so much more than their perspective on something…it’s how they see, feel and experience their world.
Before I send out an email about something I want from my team, I consider how they see, feel and experience their world. I consider what aspect of my personality resonates with them the most and I use that in working with their perception to get them to do what I need them to get done.
Here’s a list of what I include in all emails where I need them to change or take a specific action:
- An uplifting subject line (Yes, I know this is marketing, but isn’t this also about getting people to take a specific action?!)
- A sentence to let them know that I appreciate them
- What is is that I need them to do
- How doing it is going to benefit them
- A Thank You!
Does it take me a little longer to include these points into this type of email? You bet, but not enough time to even slow me down much. The results I get make it well worth the time and effort.
As leaders the change we need to make because of technology is to pause and remember that we’re working with people and that means we’re working with their perception.
Back to my friend and what happened as a result of that email.
People began to talk about it, and…the energy wasn’t positive! They developed even more of a negative attitude and resistance toward the process.
This negativity persisted the whole morning as the people in the department continued to engage in discussing the email and their resistance to the process.
We can take a little extra time to create a good energy surrounding an agenda and save a lot time in lost productivity and create employee engagement at the same time.
Until next time…Lead with a Commanding Presence