Leading with Supportive, Mindful Communication
A Foundation for High-Performing Relationships and Teams
Supportive, mindful communication is a foundation for leading high-performing relationships and teams in work and life.
Whether we are leaders at work, volunteer organizations, or in our families, mindful communication strengthens relationships and inspires positive outcomes, energy, and engagement.
Jeff is a busy manager in a mid-size financial company. Rather than carefully listening when meeting with colleagues, he frequently multi-tasks, checking his emails or thinking about his next meeting. Jeff’s responses to staff are frequently abrupt and negative. Lately, several significant errors have been made in his department, which recently scored poorly on a survey of employee engagement.
A communication strategy that can positively impact team performance is the ratio of positive statements compared to negative statements (Cameron, 2012; Losada & Heaphy, 2004). In moderation – a ratio of three to six positive statements for each one negative statement — can stimulate higher team performance levels. Positive statements facilitate relationships and connection through sharing information and more positive interpersonal reactions.
In his book, Positive Leadership (2012), University of Michigan researcher Kim Cameron reports that positive leaders use supportive communication strategies. This includes sharing support, appreciation and encouragement when things are going well – and striving to preserve and support positive relationships when dealing with challenging or uncomfortable situations.