Losing the Fear of Overcommunicating and Becoming the Best CRO (Chief Reminding Officer)

Aug 09, 2022

Besides being transparent and consistent when communicating, there is little we can do about our team's decisions to stick with us or not. Once we state our vision, the company's goals, or any other action plan we are about to follow, only those who feel aligned will stay. We shouldn't worry about those deciding to leave us; if our expectations are crystal clear, our part is already done.

The moment we have clarity on who are the ones we can count on, our primary job will be reminding our people what's truly important, what deserves their time and energy, and what doesn't.

In this episode, we delve into the importance of creating clarity and consistency in our messaging. We explore the core relevance of communication in an organization, we debunk the fear of overcommunicating, and we learn how to become a CRO, a Chief Reminding Officer. 

We also explore one of Benjamin Hardy's ideas: being our future self today and doing the things the person we want to become would do right now. 

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The three-house situation. Why being clear is also being fair when communicating (4:18)
  • About how clarity can help identify those who are aligned with us and those who aren't (7:13)
  • Why we shouldn't be afraid of overcommunicating (10:38)
  • How to become an effective Chief Reminding Officer (14:12)
  • We can start being TODAY who we want to become (15:58)
  • This week's challenge (19:18)

Resources:

Let's Connect!

Transcript

Clint Hoopes: Positive change can happen, but it happens very slowly most of the time — just like growing a tree: you plant it, and just over time, it gets better and better. But the reality is we have to be consistent. Just like you have to water your tree, we have to be consistent in our messaging as leaders.

Welcome to the Unrivaled Man podcast. For those of you that have been here before, welcome back, so excited to have you. I was looking up and realized, “Oh, my goodness, this is episode 93.” This really has went so quickly, all of the different topics we've covered and the different guests we've had. And honestly, guys, we are just getting started. I'm looking at some of the guests that we have planned out for the next few months. And it is going to continue to be fun — just getting better and better all the time. For those of you that have been listening to the show, and have been enjoying the show, please head on over to Apple Podcasts, scroll down there on your phone, you can scroll down near the bottom, and there's a place that says “Leave a review” or “Write a review.” Go ahead and do that for me, I truly appreciate it. I probably sound like a broken record — you hear this all the time on the podcast to please go and leave a review that helps people find the show. And it is so true. The more reviews we have, the more people will discover the show. So, please, if you're enjoying the show, head on over and leave a review. 

Another exciting thing I have right now is I actually have a few openings right now for my private one-on-one executive coaching. So, if you have been looking to take things up a level or looking for a coach, please let me know, and let's have a chat. Because what is this really? You hear about coaching, you hear about things, and honestly, coaches of all types can provide insights. The difference with my coaching with executive coaching being one-on-one is we get a chance to work together, and I can help you in all parts of your business leadership and also in your life, and truly finding that right balance and that balancing that takes place between you, your business, your employees and your life, and continue to take your performance up a notch. So, if you're ready to take things to the next level, or you need help with managing growth in your business, or you're feeling stagnant as a leader or in your life, if you're feeling out of control at work or at home, or if you just need a different perspective on things — often that's what we need most as a leader. They say it can get lonely at the top, so to speak, there is something to that, I tell you. As a leader, as a business owner, often you don't have anybody else to talk to, somebody else to bounce things off of. And often, that is where I can provide some of the best help and some of the best insight to you, for I've been there. And then leading your teams and helping to grow your business. So, if this describes you, let's chat, message me on social media or email me directly at [email protected], and we can set up a time for a zero-pressure call. You'll often get many great insights just from our call — so, no big deal, no obligation to have that chat. So, please give me a call. I have a few openings, so I would love to work with you. 

But let's talk about a couple of things today. Back in episode number 32, I actually shared a story of my son — at the time, he was 10 years old, and back then we were talking about how he wanted a tree house. So, we're building a house, and as we were talking about it, he was talking about how he wants a tree house at our new house. And here's the problem: the land where we're building — zero trees — we don't have anything, so we still need to plant trees. So, my response to him was, “Look, you're 10, there is no tree that's going to grow that quickly that we're going to be able to build the tree house you're envisioning while you're still in the house.” So, I said, “You know what? Look, we're gonna plan a tree soon with the house. We're gonna plant a tree now, and then we can build the tree house for your kids.” That was my response. Like the saying goes — I don't know who said it; I've looked it up, but I can't figure out who actually said it — “The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, and the second best time is today.” So, we're planning to plant some trees in the near future, so that when my kids have kids, they will be able to build a tree house right. We’ll be able to build a tree house at our house at that point. So, that was a while back. My kids — they love climbing trees, still love climbing trees and doing all those things. So, planting some trees for future greenhouse keeps coming up. I don't know why it keeps coming up over and over again, the kids keep talking about it. It's funny, I have to keep explaining, over and over again, to the younger kids in my house, that the trees most likely won't be big enough to do a tree house when they're young. So, I said, “Look, we'll plant some trees and then we will build a tree house for your kids in the future. For now, we'll put it in a swing set or something else that's fun.” Before that, I was pacifying them. But I'm telling you now, my four-year-old is now all in, he is on the bandwagon with wanting a treehouse as well. And it just makes me laugh because just last week — this has been going on for a year or more now — he said, “I want a tree house when I am a kid, not for my kids.” That's what he said. Instead of saying, “Hey, I want a treehouse. Why can't we have a treehouse?” He said it just like that, “I want a treehouse when I'm a kid, not for my kids.” He doesn't want to want to build it for his kids; he wants it for him. I love it because it meant that he actually heard my message. He knew what I was saying. He knew what I was going to respond. He had heard it enough times that he knew what I was going to respond in planting trees for his kids’ future treehouse. 

And this was funny, the story just made me think a lot about communication at work, and how positive change can happen, but it happens very slowly most of the time — just like growing a tree: you plant it, and just over time, it gets better and better. But the reality is we have to be consistent. Just like you have to water your tree, we have to be consistent in our messaging as leaders. But honestly, even with the consistency of our message, people still get to decide — just like my four-year-old — if they agree or not. He did not agree with my assessment, and that's okay. So, my four-year-old didn't agree and he's stuck in our family, so he's not going anywhere to find a family that has a treehouse. But at work, people get to choose. You, as the leader, get to promote and teach the culture, the vision, the goals, and the direction of where the company is going, and people get to decide — they get to decide whether they want to be on that team or not. But the clarity will help you get the wrong people into other companies where they can thrive and where they align with the vision and help you get the right people on your team that want to execute on that vision because it is so clear. 

In the past, I have spoken about a thought that Patrick Lencioni has, that I love. So, Patrick Lencioni writes some leadership fables that I really enjoy: “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” is a big one, “The Truth About Employee Engagement” used to be called “The Three Signs of a Miserable” — I love these books. Another one is called The Advantage — another great book by Patrick Lencioni. And in The Advantage, he actually says that we need to be a Chief Reminding Officer, a CRO. You may have heard me talk about this in the past. It is a pivotal lesson for us to learn. Now, I have a link in the show notes that will take you to a short little excerpt, a little article he wrote on his website that can actually help you work through this a little bit and give you a few other ideas. So, I’ll have a link to that in the show notes. But I'm going to pull a few little parts from that in this message today. So, this is what he says: “Everyone talks about communication being a critical part of leadership, but all too often they don't clarify what that means. When it comes to the leader of an organization — whether that is the CEO running a company or a manager leading a department — the most critical part of communication has to do with consistently reminding people what is truly important.” Now, that's where he starts talking about the CRO, the Chief Reminding Officer, saying that there's no such thing as too much communication when we're talking about our culture, strategy, priorities, our vision — we need to communicate; the best organizations do just that. So, you as the leader, you get to the side your department, your company — you are the one that controls this. If people don't know what's happening, or they're not all in on the vision, or don't understand what's happening; it is all on you because you are the Chief Reminding Officer, you are the one that has to make sure everyone knows. 

So, there are two reasons that he gives for why people don't do this, why most leaders don't do this, and I love these. I think they illustrate perfectly. First one — he says, “Many leaders are afraid to over-communicate.” It's funny, we all kind of do this by nature. I mean, at the beginning of the podcast, I actually even apologized to you guys — I said, “Well, a lot of people say, ‘Hey, you need to leave a review for the podcast, it helps.’” Why do so many people say it? Because it works. People need to be reminded. I know, often, I have shows that I love listening to, and I'm a podcaster, and I still don't leave a review because I just kind of forget to leave a review on someone else's show, but I need to do it. And when I hear it, that is when I go and do it. It's the same with our people. That's why we need to communicate, and we're afraid to over-communicate. You typically don't even think twice when someone else over-communicates; we think, “Yeah, that makes sense, that's good.” Or we often didn't even hear it the first time. What seems like redundancy to us, is in fact, great communication. People don't complain about being communicated too much. Have you ever seen that on an employee survey? We do these little employee surveys and we ask people. I'm telling you, I have never done an employee survey with my employees, and not had at least one person say, “Communication is an issue.” And that's me trying to do this constantly, trying to over-communicate, make sure it's clear with everyone at all levels. And still, people don't feel like we communicate enough. And that's a problem across the board that you can improve on — you can — it's within your control as the Chief Reminding Officer. 

Now, one thing that I love that Patrick Lencioni talks about — he says, “It's not until a leader is so tired of communicating a message that employees are just starting to believe and internalize it.” So, did you hear that? As soon as when the leader is just so tired of it, that is when the people are just beginning to internalize it — so, you’ve got to push through that. So, Patrick Lencioni says, “I like to say that you aren't communicating enough as a leader unless your people can do a good impression of you when you're not around.” Isn't that a great thing? You need the people to be able to do an impression of you — just like my son with the treehouse. He knew what I was going to say. He could probably do the impression of me, so to speak. And that is what this is. If our people can't do a good impression of us when we're not around, we have not communicated it enough. 

The second reason that people don't communicate enough is he says, “Some leaders haven't clarified what they need to be communicating.” They haven't clarified what it is they want to communicate, what their vision is, what needs to happen. So, no matter what level you are, if you're a manager, CEO, COO, CFO, whatever it might be, you can take it within your control. Even if you have a team of one, you can take it and control your own world, and be that Chief Reminding Officer, so people know how to succeed, what to do, what we are supposed to do. Patrick actually shares a few questions we’re supposed to be supposed to ask — he says, why does the organization exist? People need to know this. How do we behave? What do we do? How will we succeed? What is most important right now? Who must do what? You can take those questions and you can help ask those to yourself to help determine what it is you need to communicate. In a few minutes, we’ll talk about a few other things you can do to get clear on that as well. 

You've probably heard this before. I've heard the saying and I don't know how true it is or not but I'll say it: “Sometimes you have to hear something seven times before it'll stick.” Now, I don't know how many times it really is, whether it's seven or 27, I really don't know. All I know is it's more than most of us communicate. That's it. It is a lot. And the larger the organization, the more you as the leader must communicate. So, I don't know exactly how many times it is, but you're likely not doing it enough — so, be deliberate, be clear, be consistent. 

So, how do you become this CRO? You have to first know the vision that you want to create in vivid detail. Patrick Lencioni gave some of those questions. I'm going to go through a few other things about how you create vivid detail. And then after you create the vivid detail of what you're trying to communicate — the vision of the organization, your goals, your culture, whatever it is — you need to seek to live it yourself and help others to do the same. Teach it over and over again until you are sick of it. It's about clarity with yourself and clarity with others. Dr. Benjamin Hardy is actually going to be a guest on the podcast the next month. He has a new book, and I'm actually going to share a little piece from the new book, Be Your Future Self Now. He's going to be on the podcast and discussing more about this book in the future. But in this book, he talks about becoming very clear in defining who you want to be — you personally, as a person, as a business leader, as a husband, as a father, whatever it might be, whatever your role is in your life, getting clear in vivid detail about who you want to be. And then to begin being that person now. We often talk about how I want to become this certain person, become whatever it is that we want to be. And I love that. I love the art of becoming and focusing on the journey of being that person. And he has the challenge of just being that person now. Start doing what that person would do now. And I love that. I love the fact that we have the choice to just be that future person. So, he said this, “As you invest in your future self, you are more connected to them. You love whatever you invest yourself in. You become committed to whatever you invest yourself in. Over time, whatever you invest in grows and compounds. Investing in your future self brings you closer to that person you are growing into.” So, this is talking about ourselves personally. It’s a great exercise for us to invest in our future self, decide what that means, become connected to who that person is, and then go from there. But I'm telling you, he doesn't talk about this quite as much, but I have been finding that I can do the same for my company, I can get clearer on what the future state is of the company, how I want it to be, what we want to do, the types of people I want to track, and then start being the company that would attract those people, attract those clients — be the type of company that I want to be or that I want to lead now and start doing that. Now, obviously, there are steps that we take and things we have to do, but there is more we can do by getting clear on that vivid detail. What is it going to look like in the future? What are we going to do to impact it? And the steps become clear. And then those are the things we teach, those are the things that we can remind our people about, help teach them and remind them, reinforce and remind over and over again until they can do an impression of you. And then before you know it, things are so clear that that is the company you become, those are the people you attract, the A-players, the right people for your team, the right type of customers — all of those things come together. 

So, many companies have mission statements, mottos, or core values — they're all wonderful, they're great. I've had the same thing. We have the same types of things in my businesses. But do your employees strive to live by them? Could they repeat them? Could you repeat them right now? The core values or mission statements can all be great things, but we have to make sure that people know them, they hear us talking about them, and that the top priorities, the top vision, and top goals of the organization are communicated over and over again so that people know how to make the decisions, what decisions they need to make, how they need to make them based on the clarity that they've received from you — their Chief Reminding Officer. So, here is the challenge for this week: What is your plan for becoming the CRO in your company or your department, or whatever role you have? If you lead other managers with teams of their own, maybe you can help them do the same thing with their teams because you are going to have a chance to be the CRO, teach them, help them to learn the things that they need to know from you, and then, in turn, do the same for their people. Because you’ve got to make sure that everyone at all levels of the organization get reminded over and over again of the top priorities of the company. Now, if you don't lead a company, and you are someone that has an opportunity and has a family at home, do the same for your family at home. Find out what things are most important to you and your family, and make sure that you’re being the Chief Reminding Officer for your children so that they know what's important to you, and they know and can learn what is going to be most important to them as they grow and learn with you as their parent and their leader and example. What a wonderful opportunity we have to do this. 

Now, it is your turn to be the Unrivaled Man in your life.