Leadership shorthand is limiting your company’s human resources capital: Part 1

Shorthand language could be limiting your ability to connect clearly with employees, thereby limiting your leadership potential.

Shorthand is an effective tool for transcription of oral presentations or interviews, but should never be used as the primary verbal delivery method for good leaders. Yet it so often is the default in our fast-paced, time-strapped days because it doesn’t require explanation.

Does this sound like leadership to you?

While it may be the fast way to ‘manage’ employees, it’s in fact costly and time-prohibitive because there’s a greater chance an employee will have to repeat or re-engage with a task to get it done the right way. And a manager has to take the time to provide direction – hopefully with more clarity.

Check out this CNBC article on what millennials need from their employers.

What do I mean by shorthand language?

Many managers (and everyone else btw) often think and speak in shorthand without clarifying what it is they really want.

“I want you to take more risks”

“I want you to show more urgency”

“I want to see more initiative”

Or worse…

“You need to up your game”

“Play bigger”

“Dig deep”

All of these kind of make sense in the cliche sort-of way, but are lazy requests. They’re used by managers without the tools to express clear and concise direction – and the results are lackluster. Good leaders don’t use shorthand language.

Without clearly explaining to others what you’re after, getting the result you want is like playing the leadership lottery. You might win, but the odds aren’t in your favour.

In fact, an employee that’s told more initiative is necessary may:

a.) Direct their initiative in a way that doesn’t align with company goals (non-productive)

b.) Spend too much time thinking of how they can take more initiative (non-productive)

c.) Deliver a result that has already duplicated another’s efforts (non-productive)

In leadership or performance management, it’s your job to provide employees with the clarity, direction and inspiration to enrich their personal development – and that has a direct impact on your company’s productivity.

Next week we’re going to look at how the leaders in your company (or you!) can make minor changes in how you interact with employees and achieve amazing results.

Talk to you then!