Stop Suggesting, Start Directing: The Visionary Communication Method

| Mary Shores

Attention: Calling all entrepreneurs and bosses.

What would you do if you were surrounded by a team of level 10 executors, decision makers, and strategists? Trick question.

The answer is: nothing! You’d have the clarity and confidence to step back from micromanaging. You’d have the time and freedom to focus on what really matters in your business – growth and vision.

Can you imagine how smoothly and effortlessly your business would rise to the top if you had a team like this?  Can you imagine how much stress you could kick to the curb? This method of communication will bring you one step closer to that visionary status.

But first, let’s take stock of your current situation. Here’s an exercise to let you know exactly where you land so far: Go through every single employee you lead and ask yourself this question. If I give this employee a project, how confident am I on a scale of 1-10 that they’ll deliver on time with good results?

Trust me, you’ll have that number pop right into your head. Some employees might be an automatic perfect 10 for you. And some might be down at a level 5 or even worse. But if you want to be that top-level visionary, it’s crucial for you to have level 10 team members around you. So now what?

The truth is, you can actually train your team to be level 10’s every single time. And the way you can do it is through communication.

I did this with my own team and I realized I have some level 5’s on my team. That’s a no-go. So what’s causing this disconnect? How come some of my team members aren’t delivering? I realized I’ve been using passive communication with them.

I would have a project that they need to complete, with specific steps to get there. But I’d tell them, “What do you think about doing X? You should probably email Y.” And here’s the thing. If you’re wording directives as suggestions, you’re not going to get anywhere.

No matter how motivated an employee is, they can’t deliver if they don’t know what your expectations are.

So here’s the method: direct communication.

I’ve started getting into the habit of saying what I want, as clearly and directly as possible. And I’ve seen some major results.

Next time you catch yourself saying “maybe you should…”, stop and reword. Clearly set expectations by saying “I want you to complete X, Y, and Z by this date.” When people hear that confidence is your voice, they’ll feel more confident about completing the task. When they know exactly what your expectations are, they can feel empowered to complete the job perfectly.

Try it for yourself and see how many level 5 employees turn into 7’s or even 10’s. It’s time to stop suggesting and start directing. Agree?

I have a course that will teach you how to communicate effectively at work. Visit for more details.

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