My team and I hire and place people at companies in the Atlanta metro area. That is what we do every day. Sometimes, they stay on our payroll, and sometimes they go directly onto our clients' payrolls. But regardless of which type of hire, our staff and I get to hear from these placed employees about “how things are going." We hear not only how they like their responsibilities, but how it “feels” to be on that client’s staff. In so many cases, you would be surprised to hear what they say.
After 22 years of consulting and placing employees at our clients, I am convinced that many of these companies have a COMMUNICATION issue between staff members. Leaders are doing the best they can, but they don’t have the tools they need to know how to communicate effectively with their team. And the team members don’ t have the tools they need to communicate with each other.
Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram have written the book 5 Voices and created an assessment tool enabling us to better communicate with our teams. When we communicate better, we have more productive employees, which generally equates to improved profits. This book provides an essential tool to help move toward this goal.
It is important to understand how all teammates process information, make decisions, and understand the unique contributions each person makes to the team. We rarely take the effort to consider this as we simply see it through the daily tasks at hand. Some people bother us, and we like others. With some people, we find it harder to collaborate, and with others, it's easy. There are people who seem to always challenge our ideas, and others who seem to dream all the time. Some like to focus on details, while others seem to lack this ability. Yet do we take the time to evaluate this aspect of our team? If we did, perhaps our companies would benefit.
How do we take a step to understand our team members better? One easy step is outlined in this book. The authors give us a free online assessment and the book explaining the results. We all possess five voices. One is foundational (with which we resonate most), and the other four follow in an order unique to the individual. By knowing the order of your voices and that of your team members, you can plan more effective meetings, assemble work groups that contain all voices, and provide encouragement and correction in ways that lead to better results.
What are those voices?
- The Nurturer
- The Creative
- The Guardian
- The Connector
- The Pioneer
For each voice, we are presented with these qualities:
- A general description of each person who has the voice as their top foundational voice
- What they are thinking
- What they bring at their best
- What they are really asking
- What is the potential negative impact
- Insights if this is your foundational voice
I’m a Pioneer - My Discovery:
First identify your own foundational voice. It is hard to lead others and help them unless you truly know your own strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, we don’t look at ourselves with a critical eye. When I was introduced to this, I found out my foundational voice was Pioneer. I learned that this is the reason I am always coming up with new ideas and trying to “fix” everything. I was faced with looking at the negative side of this voice which is that I tend to be critical of others' ideas very quickly and very vocally. Once I was forced to look at this fact, I asked those around me if that was true. It will always be my tendency as a Pioneer to critique (which is also a strength), but I now know myself better. I am trying to STOP myself before I critique unkindly or without deference to the other person. There is nothing wrong with critiquing, but there is something wrong with being short or unkind when I do it. I can be cognizant and attempt to change this tendency.
Do you know what people on your team are saying about you? This book might help. Maybe we should take some time to find more about what people on the other side of us think about us so that we can grow in our influence and effectiveness.
I recommend this for your summer reading coupled with the free assessment to complete with your employees. Would you like for me to make a visit to discuss the findings with with you (or you and your whole staff)? I would love to show you how this tool can help your staff work together and respect each other, creating a more high-performing team.
Take the free online assessment here. Then reply, and let's discuss the impact this could have on your business.