Effective Communication: How to Synchronize Intent
posted on JANUARY 11, 2018
In any Athletic Department, you interact with many people, in various roles, in the performance of your duties. You communicate with everyone from administrators to coaches to athletic training staffs to student-athletes. With every interaction, there is an exchange of messages that include expectations, requests and feedback on both sides. How effective are you clearly delivering these messages? Are your expectations consistently met? Are your requests and feedback met with positive reception?
Whether the success of your daily communication is inconsistent, or even if you feel your communication is currently working at a high level, it is important to be proactive. By exploring and implementing newly developed communication strategies, you can create a competitive performance edge. The essence of effective performance management is continually monitoring the current performance processes, in order to ensure that they are still working at a consistent high-level. When overall performance starts to break down, there can be multiple sources to explore within your program. Throughout this series, you will explore multiple strategies leading to effective communication. As you read on, please reflect upon the following: How effective have you been in synchronizing your program’s intent with all of the individuals with whom you communicate daily?
Synchronizing your Intent
Your power of influence begins with your ability to clearly communicate your vision. Each year, your program goes through a transformation. New individuals join the program, while others you have grown to depend on may no longer be with you. This means your vision, from year to year, may not be fully understood by everyone. Additionally, each season you must preview and navigate generational, gender and cultural differences. You may also find your vision is evolving which is why it is critical to share your vision with every department involved, not only your immediate staff.
The off-season can be a great time to review and organize your intentions for the upcoming season. Start by reflecting and writing down your thoughts about why you choose to do what you do. Once you clearly define your personal intent, you can align it with your program’s intent for that upcoming season. The more your program’s vision can connect with aspects of your personal mission, the more likely you will be able to effectively communicate it with conviction and credibility. Once everyone has reported, this is your chance to share your inspiring vision, including clearly defining the overall purpose, expectations and roles for each individual.
In order to synchronize effort, you must first synchronize intent. With a clear and inspiring vision, everyone can move in the same direction toward a common goal and understand the daily processes necessary for its achievement. This helps the leaders and others persons of influence create true accountability. In the end, your goal as one of these influencers, is to inspire everyone involved to take pride and personal ownership over your vision. Although this is a personal process, you may be able to help them identify and strengthen their personal connection to your vision. Now, when things start to go off course, everyone involved has a real stake in rectifying the issues instead of ignoring them. This is because the overall vision has become a reflection of them and their collective identity to the program. Be willing and prepared to discuss your vision even with those with whom you have an established relationship. When you open up a dialogue about your vision, you create an opportunity for a deeper connection with that individual, as well as an opportunity to learn from another’s perspective.
In the end, effective communication starts with synchronizing intent with those who are at the root of your program’s success. It may be unreasonable to assume that everyone will buy into your vision on Day 1. However, by reinforcing and modeling it daily, you inspire trust in the process.