Education & Training with Performance Development Strategies

It is not what you say. It is how you say it. You can use the same words in a sentence and make them mean something different by use of word emphasis with your voice.

These are stressful times. Businesses are opening again but find that getting people to come back is not as easy as they thought. Recently I met executives dealing with the many worries of bringing employees back. Some can’t wait, some are concerned about returning in person, some like the virtual. Management is finding that it is not that easy to craft a policy and convey a message that will resonate with all. People have mixed emotions and people have fear of the unknown. Management genuinely believes they are communicating with employees when it comes to matters that affect them. Unfortunately, they often underestimate the number of matters that includes.

As a team leader do you know with certainty what is important to the team 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 thinking right now given 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 need input from your team. 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.

After you receive this information craft a policy and communicate clear information giving answers to critical 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.

Body Language in Message

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.

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 see MAKE SURE YOUR MESSAGE CREATES THE INTENDED RESULT.

Let us help you create the right response from your messaging.

Contact us to learn more

or call 914-953-4458.



Comments (35)

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Grant I so agree with you. It's 'how' you say it that can make a huge difference on so many levels.  I've been negotiating with several agents lately and I swear....taking a communication skills class would be an excellent thing for them to do.  Gary and I were just talking about this very subject last night!  He looked at me and said.....did you catch the uppity snark attitude.  Oh yea!!!! I don't pay attention or get distracted by these little outbursts.  It's business  and continue on ignoring the immaturity do our best for our clients no matter what.

Jun 14, 2021 04:08 PM
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

And, it's how we put what we say in writing as well. An emphasized all CAPS word in a text or email certainly does send a message!

Jun 14, 2021 05:22 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Grant- what a wonderful post and very timely!!! I was just speaking about this topic yesterday with my niece. Some in her department have become very comfortable working from home. 

Jun 14, 2021 06:06 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
My thing is that I always try to find a way to say it with kindness and consideration for the particulars of the situation.
Jun 14, 2021 06:10 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Great post and a positive message.  Voice inflection and choice of words need to be well thought out to get the point across without offending

Jun 15, 2021 04:36 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Sometimes people say what they mean in writing better than in person. And, body language, that can be a whole different message than you want it to be!

Jun 15, 2021 05:16 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

George - and sometimes you can sense the body language in an email.

Anna - oh that snarky easily comes through and it also comes through in emails.  I had a boss that instilled fear just by his tone of voice.

Paula - that is right.  They refer to that a shouting in an email.

Kathy - that is an entire new way of communication and know virtual etiquette is being developed now.

Laura - I guess that is my way too and sometimes I don't get the point accross.

Ed - there was a manager that they once described as pissing people off just by saying good morning.

Larry and Sheila - somethings they do but I prefer a difficult conversation in person.


Jun 15, 2021 05:48 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Tuesday morning, Grant.

Have a great day and an outstanding week.

Jun 15, 2021 06:18 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Grant, I thought of your post yesterday afternoon when my lender was speaking with my buyer.  She said I told her what she COULD do, not what she couldn't.

Jun 15, 2021 06:39 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Grant Schneider - Everything you are saying is so important.  I strongly believe if you really want to find out what your team is thinking is to have face-to-face communication.  Do it away from the workplace atmosphere and apply listening skills.  Get every one of your team members involved.  Ask open-ended questions and be sincere in your efforts. 

Jun 15, 2021 06:48 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Wise words, Grant, and something keep in mid for all our communication, not just verbal. I think the opportunities for confusion, or worse, are more readily there for email and texting. It can be much harder without the verbal (e.g., tone of voice), and we all know how important body language can be.


Jun 15, 2021 08:32 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I would think asking some questions would be helpful to find out where THEY are.  Then you can present your needs and see if there is common ground.  If you need someone to hold down the forst and be in the office, well, that's pretty clear.  If they can work from home, that's another option. 

Jun 15, 2021 09:36 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Grant,
I do have to be careful how I word things in written communications. I have a bit of a sarcastic sense of humor sometimes and I have to be careful not to use it in written communication. It comes off totally different without voice inflection and facial expressions. 

Jun 16, 2021 05:28 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I've seen an increase in video emails lately from our higher ups.  It's nice because you can hear tone of voice.

Jun 16, 2021 10:57 AM
Peter Mohylsky. Broker
Miramar Beach, Florida - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

The message to be sent, how it is sent and how it is received are all very important.  The person who is sending and receiving all might take it in a different fashion,  

Jun 17, 2021 07:42 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I'm just going through and reviewing all your answers and I can't believe that I get to learn from all of you! ;

Jun 18, 2021 11:06 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Roy - thank you.

Carol - I wonder what the tone was like.

Sheri - perfect.  That is a great way to do it.

Jeff -  depending on the person the lack of body language my be in their favor.

Hella - totally agreee.  A good listener asks clarifying questions too.

Carol - yes, and I had one regional manager who sent emails and one of his team told me I can feel his emotion in that email.  Oh, and they weren't positive emotions.

Chris Ann - obviously they are doing the right thing and conveying their meaning better.

Peter - you sometimes never know.  I am seeing that if you don't know the entire audience that you are emailing you can get several meanings from the same message.

Laura - there are many teachers here in Active Rain.

Jun 19, 2021 05:31 AM
Randy Mitchelson,APR
Marketing Advisor & Squeeze Mortgage - Bonita Springs, FL
First Impressions are made at First Click

Words Matter.  Leaders must know how to create a ‘culture of safety’ in the workplace that fosters open dialog about mental health and supports employee wellbeing, engagement, and productivity.  A culture of safety is one where everyone feels safe speaking openly about mental health without fear of judgment, retribution, or job loss.   

Jun 19, 2021 08:19 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Randy - yes, I agree.  You need to choose your words very carefully and then make sure your delivery is correct.

Jun 19, 2021 12:08 PM
Cermit Fellon
Bunnell, FL

Yes, this is absolutely true. I prefer to think that the problem of misunderstanding is always a problem of two sides: one that failed to convey and one that failed to understand. So everyone needs to work on their presentation of thoughts. By the way, learning foreign languages helps with this. If you learn languages at, then you learn to think in new ways and find new speech techniques.

Jun 30, 2021 03:05 AM