PLEASE DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER

By
Education & Training with Performance Development Strategies

 

Have you ever started a meeting or announcement with the phrase."Now please don't shoot the messenger?"  If you have found yourself in this situation  please read on.  If you are a broker owner I am sure you have found yourself in this situation.

The message may not be welcome but the way the messenger delivers it makes all the difference in the world.  I should add that you need to have empathy. I recently met with the leaders of one of my Westchester County New York organizations to present results of an employee survey. The employees felt that there were had been many changes and they didn’t understand why. Productivity almost always suffers in times of great change because employee stress dramatically increases due to the universal fear of the unknown. Often senior executives genuinely believe they are communicating with employees when it comes to matters that affect them. Unfortunately, they often underestimate the number of matters that includes.

Can you say with certainty that you know what is important to your team or your employees and what to tell them? The only way to know is to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their position and mindset. Think to yourself, “If I were hearing this information what would I be worried about right now in the current situation?” If you were that employee what would be important for you to know? What is the worst thing that could happen, and would you want to know about it in advance? How would you want to be told?

How would you be answering these questions? You can’t answer the questions without the input from your team—the people affected by the changes. Depending on how much you can discuss, or how much is already known, you might ask a few individuals what the grapevine is saying, and what people are worrying and wondering about.

Now, armed with this information, draft the answers to the questions. Of course they must be truthful answers, for insincerity is easily recognized and will deal a deathblow to your communication efforts. Then they must be couched in terms that are clear and uncompromising, but also considerate and compassionate. It's worth spending some time on this part. Lack of commitment to your message is also easily read and will automatically raise the cynicism level among employees.

You should carefully consider the media used to communicate your message. The way a person receives news can dramatically affect how he or she feels about it, so you need to choose the medium very carefully. E-mail can be perceived as cold and unfeeling in many cases, although it is useful for routine updates that don't have emotional overtones. Some messages are better spoken, either by managers to their groups or by the CEO to the whole organization.

If the messengers don't have highly developed communication skills, it's worth engaging services of people can coach them in the tools of two way communication. The message must remain honest, clear, and compassionate.

 

Communication

And above all, follow through on your commitments and promises. Nothing turns employees off more than empty words. Sincere, caring, ongoing communication can form the basis for building employee engagement when the present time of turmoil ends.  For a similar post on our web site read DOES YOUR MESSAGE INFORM ON CONFUSE?

How are you communicating? Could you use help in doing it better?

Contact us to learn more

or call 914-953-4458.

 

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 01/07/2019 01:00 AM
  2. Debbie Reynolds 11/01/2018 02:00 PM
  3. Will Hamm 12/05/2018 02:16 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
Location:
New York Westchester County
Groups:
Coaching and Mentoring
Tags:
dont shoot the messenger
empathy in communication
helping westchester county new york businesses deliver clear messages

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Rainmaker
3,826,263
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Grant, relaying news whether it is good or bad is our job, and is all in the delivery.

Oct 23, 2018 06:13 AM #19
Rainmaker
1,694,324
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Roy - happy to do it.

Amanda - yes it is all in delivery.

Sheri - yes, I like that, a listening check.

Will - yes, you would have many when you have to give negative feedback.

Ron and Alexandra - it might be better to start off with something else.

Lisa - upfront expectations will make it easier.

Jan - yes, call or even in person if possible.

Mary - explain with empathy.

Joan - of course, it takes a different approach for each.

Oct 23, 2018 07:11 AM #20
Ambassador
3,577,256
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Grant- another well done post!  When you're the messenger, make sure that you put yourself in the seat of the listener first. Anticipate what they will feel when they receive the news and have answers to questions they will want answered!

Oct 23, 2018 10:30 AM #21
Ambassador
3,782,398
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Grant

What a thoughtful post about needing to deliver a tough message. I do think that when ( or if) you start a conversation with the phrase "don't shoot the messenger" you are setting up a situation far more negative than it might need to be. I suspect people will assume the worst when they hear this, which is not what you want. BUT it's an important point to think about since what you have to say and how can make such a difference!

Jeff

Oct 25, 2018 09:10 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,694,324
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Kathy - Just had one of these with a interaction with a volunteer organization.

Jeff - oh yes true,  that is the same as starting with, "I have some bad news." 

Oct 26, 2018 03:52 AM #23
Ambassador
2,810,726
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Typically every late December or early January sales meeting when I'm going over the changes in the contract for the year.  We learn it, they change it. LOL  Oh how I wish those contract auhors would do what I do and you suggest and listen to feedback before making changes.

Oct 27, 2018 09:53 AM #24
Rainmaker
3,638,065
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Grant Schneider,

The medium we use to deliver messages is so important. Communication is the key and best face to face when you know there will be questions and a need to answer them honestly, clearly and concisely.

Oct 27, 2018 02:14 PM #25
Rainmaker
2,041,978
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Congratulations on the well deserved feature!

You always have so much wisdom to share!

“If I were hearing this information what would I be worried about right now in the current situation?”

Oct 27, 2018 02:50 PM #26
Rainmaker
105,284
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Custom Home Design

Good feature, important for anyone collecting date for feedback.

Oct 27, 2018 03:10 PM #27
Rainmaker
575,442
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Wonderful post!  It is very true the message should be honest and clear with the same compassion you would want to be treated with. Do unto others and all that!

Oct 28, 2018 12:20 AM #28
Rainmaker
1,694,324
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Tammy - that would certainly be the best way to do it.

Dorie - I always prefer face to face even if it is multiple groups.

Sharon - yes, feel what the other person feels.

John - thank you.

Debra - the operating word here is empathy

Oct 28, 2018 04:41 AM #29
Rainmaker
3,043,078
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hello Grant - so much of the "message"  is in the delivery.  Be careful/mindful/ thoughtful. In real estate. And in real life.

Oct 28, 2018 08:33 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,694,324
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Michael - yes, that is exactly right.  The delivery includes the non verbal as well.

Oct 28, 2018 03:04 PM #31
Ambassador
3,977,346
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I have not started a meeting that way but have certainly felt like I should. I have to watch my body language and expressions. I am so transparent.

Oct 30, 2018 07:45 PM #32
Rainmaker
1,694,324
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Debbie - I have not either but sometimes you need to be aware.

Oct 31, 2018 08:00 AM #33
Rainmaker
672,669
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

OK Grant Schneider I'm considering the media (medium?) and I really wonder if those tin cans work?

Oh well, it is the old question of which do you want first, the good news or the bad.

And just how bad is it, anyway?

I don't have any answers for you, I'm just glad you wrote this.

Bill Roberts

Nov 01, 2018 03:18 PM #34
Rainmaker
2,969,591
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

In days gone by...it was what we prepared for with every short sale presentation.

Nov 01, 2018 05:41 PM #35
Rainmaker
1,694,324
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Bill - thanks for checking in.  Glad to hear from you.

Sally and David - prior preparation prevents poor performance.

Nov 02, 2018 08:25 AM #36
Rainmaker
3,275,873
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Grant. This is thoughtful and specific and that really matters. Well done.

Dec 06, 2018 06:33 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,694,324
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Sheila - thank you.  I appreciate that.

Dec 06, 2018 09:58 AM #38
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