written by Courtney Lynch

As we continue to move through pandemic times, I’m seeing a strong trend emerge around the need for two essential leadership capabilities – communication and collaboration.

It’s not that these two success factors weren’t important before; it’s just that they can be more difficult to express today, which makes them even more valuable right now.

Challenge yourself with these two questions:

  • Are you taking the time to ensure your communication is clear and consistent?
  • Are you doing what you can to contribute, connect, share, and support others?

Here are ways to check where you’re at with communicating and collaborating. Your thoughts to these standards will help you raise your bar for engagement:

Response time. Do key stakeholders in your world get a timely response from you? Be cautious about getting so caught up on tasks, action items, and priorities that you become unavailable and disconnected. Make time to be proactive in reaching out to your team members. If you don’t have time to engage colleagues spontaneously, you likely are cutting corners, sacrificing connection for productivity. While that can seem helpful in the short-term, it eventually leads to more time-consuming challenges.

Determining instead of collaborating. Engaging others, seeking feedback, being open to new and different ways of getting results, are aspects of leading well we can dismiss for the sake of efficiency. Be cautious if you notice that your “get it done mode” means you’re flying solo most of the time. When working remotely, or when you feel you have more to do than time to do it, it takes effort to slow down, invite others in, and exchange thoughts and ideas. Recognize what aspects of your work need the benefit of more minds and engage others to help you elevate your effort and, ultimately, your results.

Listen more, declare less. During your next Zoom meeting, pay attention to the balance of engagement. Are you, or is someone else, taking more of the talk time? If it’s you, seek to quiet down – lead with questions and inquiry, minimize declarations. If it’s someone else, recognize it and subtly work to facilitate the voices of others.

Driving results is satisfying. Checking something off our “to-do” list gives us a positive jolt of dopamine. Yet leading well goes beyond just getting things done. Leading well requires the involvement of others. Take time this week to communicate more consistently and to collaborate more effectively. Lead at a pace that’s inclusive. When you do, you’ll realize that slowing down to intentionally engage is one of the best accelerants of success.

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