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Are you connecting?

Judy Ditchfield

Communication should be a “hard” skill. It’s not always easy.

Engagement is a necessary evil

Today, in the business environment, high levels of skill are highly prized. Individuals are largely put into managerial positions due to their experience and advanced skill set. However, the ability  to communicate is seen as secondary. It is regarded as a “soft skill”, a necessary “evil”. Unfortunately it has become the “evil” in an environment where it is a fundamental, and an intrinsic part of effective leadership. 

What sets leaders apart?

What sets good leaders apart from great leaders isn’t rhetoric, but rather engagement. Engagement means genuinely listening, asking powerful questions to truly understand, working with the other individual and having a powerful and meaningful conversation. This is a two-way process: it serves to enhance and not block; to grow and not limit; and finally to collaborate rather than instruct.  And it is tough to do. 

Are you asking enough questions?

Coaching is critical

For those leaders realising the foundation of good leadership is engagement and connection, coaching has become a powerful tool. However coaching is often seen as asking a few good questions, and giving lots of advice. However true coaching is 80% listening and only 20% asking questions. It is far more about getting the other person to speak, informing yourself as a leader, asking the right questions to get them thinking differently, challenging the normal ways of doing things. That’s engagement. 

Your true differentiator is customer engagement

In this rapidly changing world, competition is rife. Companies are constantly trying to better what their competitor has to offer. They compete for customers with competing products, and try to lure customers with pricing, packaging and external entrapments.  But the only truly differentiating factor is customer engagement. We would rather pay more and be cared for than pay less and be ignored. It is all about engagement and humanity. So what do you need to do differently to get a different result?

Soft skills, really? Well maybe not so soft. Right. It’s a hard skill.

Let’s have a conversation, a real one.