Is a Hyper-Connected Work Environment Causing Bad Management Habits?

April 13, 2017 David Witt

Busy executive technology overload communicationIn today’s extremely busy, always-on work environment, communication is often driven by what needs to get done right now. It is fragmented, reactive, and more about immediate response than it is about long-term development or relationship building.

“Rarely do we hear each other’s voices these days,” says Pat Zigarmi, leadership expert and founding associate with The Ken Blanchard Companies. “Communication becomes a series of one-way texts. It’s kind of like a ping-pong ball going back and forth.”

In the April edition of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Ignite newsletter Zigarmi questions whether this ping-pong approach encourages bad communication habits among managers—especially when it comes to providing direction and support.

“A basic principle of our approach to leadership is that a portion of managerial conversations should be focused on other people’s needs, not just the manager’s needs. But today’s communication is often all about whatever agenda the manager is pushing.”

“In our Situational Leadership® II training program, we teach that leadership is most effective when it is done side by side. That doesn’t happen with one-way communication such as ‘Answer my questions right away!’ or ‘Get me what I need now!’

“In rapid-fire, back-and-forth communication, there is no opportunity for the leader to ask ‘How is this sitting with you?’ ‘How does this stack up with your other priorities?’ or ‘What else do you need to know?’”

Zigarmi explains that if productive conversations aren’t happening between manager and direct report, competence is not going to be built, motivation is not going to be addressed, and confidence is not going to be developed.

“Real conversation is give-and-take,” reminds Zigarmi.

In today’s busy work environment, we must maintain a balance between the quick transfer of information the leader needs and meaningful conversations that focus on the needs of others. Communication at its best helps team members build their competence, motivation, and confidence on the goals and tasks they need to accomplish.

Would you like to learn more about improving the performance related conversations taking place in your organization?  Join us for a free webinar!

Situational Leadership® II— Keys to High Quality Conversations at Work

Thursday, May 4, 2017, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time

To improve the level of engagement and performance among team members, managers must increase the quality of their conversations with the people they lead. That’s the message best-selling author and leadership expert Dr. Patricia Zigarmi will be sharing in this webinar that looks at the ways managers—new and experienced alike—can improve the way they communicate.

Drawing on three decades of experience co-authoring, teaching, and measuring the impact of Blanchard’s flagship program Situational Leadership® II, Dr. Zigarmi will share how leaders can increase their effectiveness directing and supporting the work of others.

You’ll learn:

  • How to help leaders be more purposeful and intentional in their conversations
  • How to create a sense of partnership with each direct report by aligning on goals, development level, and the matching leadership style
  • How to create a work environment that is optimally motivating
  • How to use a common language of leadership to develop trust

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to partner with team members, peers, and colleagues in a side-by-side relationship. Discover how the focused conversations of a Situational Leader, tailored to each team member’s individual needs, can greatly improve engagement and performance.

Register today if you:

  • Don’t know much about Situational Leadership® II, (SLII®) the most widely used leadership model in the world
  • Know about SLII® but want to see what’s new
  • Want to learn more about best practices in implementing Situational Leadership® II in your organization



About the Author

David  Witt

David Witt is a Program Director for The Ken Blanchard Companies. He is an award-winning researcher and host of the companies’ monthly webinar series. David has also authored or coauthored articles in Fast Company, Human Resource Development Review, Chief Learning Officer and US Business Review.

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