They don’t know what you’re thinking

I can’t read your mind.

Have you heard that before? Maybe it was from a significant other or your children. Maybe it was from team members on a volleyball or basketball team you play on.

Wherever you’ve heard it before the fact remains that no one but you knows the thoughts in your head. When you work with people day in and day out and you don’t say the thoughts that are in your head, you’re a mystery. Worse than that, you might be the proverbial thorn in everyone’s side!

I was talking with a client about a recent resignation on his team. He was so upset and rightfully so. This employee worked for the company for 6 years. He was on a very successful track. The employee was involved in activities with the company. And this isn’t a stodgy company. This company has a progressive approach for getting employees involved with complex client matters and project management. My client thought he was doing the right things to keep his team members engaged and employed with him for the long run.

The thing is that even when you do what you think are the right things, the employees might not know what you’re thinking. Or they might have a very different perspective.

What’s someone to do in this situation? Communicate.

  1. Talk with your team members about what’s happening with the strategy for the company, a team you lead, or a project you’re leading.
  2. Solicit input from your team members on the direction a project needs to go. Act on those suggestions.
  3. Give communications sessions strong weight in your company’s culture, meaning don’t say you’re going to have these meetings and give up, cancel or postpone them.
  4. Have one:one meetings with your team members that are frequent and somewhat informal. The more you talk with each other about your questions; their questions; and everyone’s game plans the more effective your entire organization will be.

Get the thoughts out of your head and out into the open. Talk frequently and openly. Include your colleagues or subordinates in decision making. Hold each other accountable for getting the work done.