Being a manager often requires you to send a message to your team. I don’t mean this literally as in sending an email or a memo. What I mean is connecting with them for an important piece of content that has to be understood by everyone.
“Can I get your attention” was one of my father-in-law’s favorite sayings. He really didn’t say it often, but when he did, you knew it was time to listen. Rather than being annoying, it actually served a great purpose. It also proved to be a great teaching tool for leadership.
As leaders, we need to have people’s attention before we attempt to communicate a message. Sending out a message without the audience being ready to listen, well, falls on deaf ears.
Think of Sirius or XM radio, for example. You get lots of channels, but as a listener, you have to get tuned in to your selection to hear what you need.
Here are a few ways leaders can get your team’s attention?
Another thing to consider is whether you quickly lose your audience after you get their attention. Look for these signs:
If you see any of these signs, it’s time to refocus and regain audience attention. It is very impractical to keep plowing ahead with your message when the audience is trying to change the channel. Being able to communicate with your team requires setting the stage for the message to be heard. Also, don’t forget that there are four parts to any good communication. See my past article on that topic here.[shareable cite=”Doug Thorpe”]Effective communication requires focus. Get your team’s attention.[/shareable]
One or two people on the team always seem who insist on “one-upping” anything anyone else has to say. These people need to be handled privately. It is best to call them in beforehand, especially when an important announcement is brewing. My preference is to deal with them immediately after the first big interruption they cause.
These ideas seem very simple on the surface, but I continue to be amazed at how many executives fail to manage this very vital part of effective communication. All it takes is a simple tweak to ensure that you, as a leader, can get people’s attention when you need them to listen.[reminder]What are other ways you have used to get your team’s attention?[/reminder]
Hi, I am Doug Thorpe. Author, speaker, entrepreneur, and business coach.