Communication Tip:

Originally written by Kerry for tutorial reference material, rewritten for Communication Weekly.

Intention—a communication variable

Note: Parents and teachers may substitute the word manager with teacher/parent.

Can you tell the difference between the following instructions?

Manager #1: "Tom, please alphabetize these cards."

Manager #2: "Tom, please alphabetize these cards."

Perhaps it would help if you knew the results each manager produced.

Manager #1's communication produced a perfect job whereas Manager #2's communication (using the exact same words) did not. (More accurately, Manager #2 did not communicate the task.)

The difference?

Manager #1 communicated with intention.
Manager #2 unconsciously lapsed into his/her
imitation of communication (in communication coaching jargon it's called talking).*

Manager #2 also communicated (non verbally and unconsciously) that he/she had no intention for the job to be done perfectly. Most likely the employee had learned from experience that their manager doesn't always mean what they say. In any case, mutual respect is missing. The integrity is out between the manager and the employee; there are too many unacknowledged withholds and perpetrations in the space. The employee is mirroring the manager's leadership-communication skills—drawing attention to the fact that there is a breakdown in communication between the boss and the manager.

When employees perform poorly it reveals that their "manager" is not qualified, that he/she has not earned the designation of Manager, specifically, that he/she was promoted to a job for which he/she was not qualified. (read about The Peter Principle).

When students perform poorly it reveals that their "teacher" has not earned the designation of Teacher.

In both cases, neither the "manager" nor the "teacher" are being supervised correctly; their respective "supervisors" have not earned the designation of Supervisor.

Qualified teachers, managers, and supervisors know how to manifest their stated intentions, no excuses, no reasons.

When communication takes place jobs get done as envisioned.

Manager #1 has developed the ability to cause** others to recreate his/her intentions and as such consistently produces results such as listed here:

Everyone shows up to work on time.

Meetings start and end on time.

Reports are handed in on time, done completely, and legibly.

Zero negative gossiping—what has been said about an absent party is later communicated verbally to their face.

Goals are set and met.

No deceit in their personal and professional relationships.

All can recite verbatim the purpose*** of the organization.

All acknowledge the correlation between their personal integrity and the outcomes they produce in their organization (health and happiness as well as their financial success).

Manager #2 gets upset and blames employees when they do poor/sloppy work.

Employees have absolutely no choice but to mirror the leadership-communication skills (the integrity) of their leader.

It could be said that our integrity sets up life for others to thwart us in support of communication mastery.

For example:

Whenever an employee is performing poorly it's almost certain there is an incomplete on his/her job application form. When a job applicant, one not yet committed to honoring agreements, to doing complete work or operating from integrity, fills in an application form, they most always go unconscious; they resort to their high school pattern of doing sloppy incomplete work. When they come to a question on the form, the answer for which they don't have,  i.e. Telephone numbers, dates or addresses of prior jobs, or a possible deal-breaking question, "Have you ever been arrested?" they purposefully leave such spaces blank or, they misspell or write illegibly, or they lie. They've done this their entire life and with few exceptions they haven't been called to the front office so as to complete a form. When the person who conducts a job interview doesn't do complete work, when he/she doesn't catch the incompletes on the form, the applicant intuitively knows the company will accept typical high-school performance. A poorly performing employee is unconsciously setting it up to get caught for life's perpetrations; at some level they are hoping they have found an organization that will support them working at the level of excellence. A poorly performing employee always mirrors the integrity of the boss and the collective integrity of the company's employees (for a nice example of the correlation between integrity and outcomes read, The Copier Story).

* When one isn't clear about his/her intention they get something other than what they envisioned, they get another intention, a result they were unaware of intending. That is to say, we are always manifesting our intentions. Just because we don't know how we produced a result doesn't mean that we didn't intend it.

** It's important to point out here that intention has absolutely nothing to do with volume, gestures, head-tilting, eye-contact or sincere serious facial expressions; communication takes place without such contrivances.

*** An organization in which each of its employees are not aligned with the org's purpose fails to consistently meet its daily, weekly, and monthly goals—and, one's job doesn't produce the aliveness and energy that comes from service. Tip: From time to time the CEO walks around and asks an unsuspecting employee to recite the purpose of the organization. A correct answer earn the employee $20.00 in cash.

To enhance your leadership-communication skills do The Clearing Process (it's free and it works). How can I write with such confidence that the process works? It's because it requires intention to complete the process. One doesn't start and complete such a process and intend that it not work, at least a little bit—that, and over the past 30 years everyone who has completed the process (one clearing per day for five days in a row) acknowledges that it does in fact work. It supports one in acknowledging and completing life's accumulated incompletes thereby creating space for present-day communications to take place; specifically, one becomes clearer about his/her intentions and as such, their communications are consistent with manifesting their stated intentions.

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 6/7/17)


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