I recently attended the Trusted Leader Summit provided by the Trust Edge. I think we all generally understand that trust in relationships makes things work better. Trust Edge has developed tools that help organizations and the people within them make decisions that improve trust. One of the pillars of trust is clarity.
I have yet to meet anyone who is against clarity. In fact, most business leaders work hard to be clear and feel that is one of their strengths. However, I often find that the information provided by the business leader is not framed in a way that makes it easy for the recipient of the message to receive it. This is because each person makes assumptions that are not uncovered or discussed leading to confusion.
Let’s consider establishing a “fair” price for a test. Let’s assume that the test has to be sent to an independent lab and the lab will charge a fee for doing their part of the test. A business owner must consider all the expenses associated with the test – not just what the lab will charge. The organization has a cost for obtaining the sample to test, the cost of testing materials, the cost of labor, the cost of testing equipment, and the overhead costs for running the business. To the business owner, this way of thinking is so natural that it never occurs to them that an employee may not realize all those other costs are part of the calculation for the price of the test that is provided to the customer.
If an employee looks only at the cost of the test and doesn’t realize all the other factors that must be added in, it is easy for the employee to feel that the price to the customer is not “fair.” This is a prime example of an issue that is based on frame of reference. The employee doesn’t recognize all the other costs that must be accounted for when developing the pricing strategy. It isn’t currently part of their frame of reference.
Creating clarity means teaching the employee the information they don’t know so they can understand the entire process. The best way to start is by asking the kind of questions that uncover the underlying assumptions each of you are working from. Be curious. Slow down and explore. You may be surprised at the framework your employee is operating from. Once you understand where the issue is, you can make an informed decision about how to move forward.
Clarity is found when you uncover all the places that each person is assuming something different from everyone else and consensus is found so you move forward together.
Charlise Latour a business coach and owner of Accelerate Your Success. She works with each client to determine what their goals are and create a plan so they can achieve them. She is actively involved in Dancing & Singing With The King which raises money to promote dance education including working with local schools to offer dance classes during the school day. This is a natural fit as she is an avid ballroom dancer.