Mean What You Say and Say What You Mean

By Janet Woodall, Owner/Operator, Rockingham Revenue Services, LLC

2021 Alliance Sponsor feature article courtesy of Rockingham Revenue Services, LLC

I am the oldest of four children. My parents were very strict on us. Of course, my dad was a Pastor, so we had to behave. The one thing I learned the most from my parents is “mean what you say and say what you mean.” If we went to a store and my dad said we were only purchasing certain items on a list, you can guarantee we would not be getting anything else. Even if we asked, he would say “I meant what I said.”

As managers, we struggle with our staff having issues with communication. Nine times out of ten when issues arise it is because of the lack of communication. Someone failed to give all the information, or someone did not mean what they said. In order for us to avoid communication issues, I have listed some ways that are helpful to me when communicating information:

Team Meeting – If there is an issue with your team as a whole, then you should meet with them all together. Make sure to lay some ground rules, such as being respectful to each other and allowing the other person to speak their mind. Team meetings can create a sense of unity. However, you do not want it to turn into a blaming session. Make sure to redirect negativity as much as possible.

One-On-One – Sometimes issues need to be dealt with directly with your staff. If there is an issue that continues to happen, I would avoid the team approach and go straight to the source. I feel much better approaching a staff member directly when something is wrong rather than making everyone else feel like it does not apply to them.

Listen – God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. We often want to solve people’s problems before they can even finish what they are saying. Listen to them carefully and make them feel like they have been heard.

Thankful and Grateful – Always let your staff know you are thankful and grateful for them bringing things to your attention that need to be addressed. If you do not know you cannot address it. They need to know that you care.