I teach a course called, “Leading from the Front Line.” In it, I facilitate a discussion on things first line supervisors should do.
One of those things is to be a conduit of information.
Conduit. A means of transmitting or distributing information.
This goes beyond simple communication and transparency. I wrote about that recently.
This is more about how to be a conduit of information and how important it is to the success of your team. It is all about your delivery. Your buy in and your attitude.
It is everything. Depending on what kind of influence you have with your subordinates, you can make or break a message. Your attitude will influence how the information is received.
Case in point. Years ago, I worked for a toxic boss that was given an assignment from their superior, and we were told it came down from the very top of the division.
“This is stupid,” he said. “But we don’t have any choice, figure it out.”
I did not respect this person, so his delivery meant little to me. If he did have any influence, I know I would have been equally skeptical of the assignment.
Now it was my time to share this information with my group. The people that would do the actual work.
How would my group receive the information if I delivered it with the same disdain it was delivered to me?
You influence whether priorities and initiatives are accepted and implemented. Especially if you are liked and truly have personal power. Not positional power because you are the boss, but personal power because people like you. You should be a leader, not a boss.
There are two lessons here. One, be the type of person that yields influence. Influence because of who you are not because of the position you hold in the organization. And two, be deliberate with your delivery because how you give the message matters. If you have number one (influence), the people you are talking to will model your behavior and attitude.
It is your responsibility to translate the organizational vision, policies, and general information, and it is your responsibility to ensure everyone knows what they must do to achieve these goals.
Be that leader. No matter the assignment. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
- Brian Townsend, Eagle 6 Training