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Answering Leadership Questions

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Give me an example of a time when your communication style helped you to be a more effective leader.

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Example #1
"(Situation) In my current role, we have undergone many policy changes over the past eight months due to a company merger. (Task) As the HR Partner, it is up to me to communicate all personnel-related changes to the entire employee roster. (Action) While communicating these changes, I have deployed a transparent communication approach. I describe my communication style as honest and often vulnerable. I show the employees that I do not have a private agenda; thus, building their trust. I communicate my intentions, the intentions of the company's leadership team, and the end goal. (Result) Typically, many people do not trust their HR department; however, I have been able to overcome that stigma by being consistently honest, open, and transparent about their employment and the direction our company is heading."
Example #2
"(Situation) In our office, there have been past instances where team members feel upset after receiving an email and misinterpreting the tone. (Task) As an Administrative Assistant, so much of my communication is by email, so I am highly aware of my tone, or perceived tone, before sending an email. (Action) I will re-read my messages before I send them, looking for areas of potential misinterpretation. If the email is too complicated, I choose to pick up the phone and have a verbal conversation instead. (Result) By using this approach, our team morale has improved, and communication hiccups have reduced significantly."
Example #3
"(Situation) When I worked with Company ABC, we had a significant struggle with staff turnover. (Task) I had taken over as General Manager from a previous individual who was not very engaged with the team. (Action) Immediately after being promoted to GM, I decided to take an active listening approach since I could sense that the team did not feel they were 'heard' on the job. I held one-on-one and group meetings, giving the team the floor, and simply listening. After hearing their grievances, I created an action plan for change. (Result) By deploying a communication approach built on listening, I was able to help boost team morale significantly."
Example #4
"(Situation) My current company places a lot of value in conversation and feedback. (Task) Since joining as the Marketing Manager, I have learned more about communicating expressively and constructively. I am now more direct and specific in my feedback. (Action) Just last week, my team was running behind on a client project. Overall, I was dissatisfied with their performance and also the creative outcome. I held a meeting where I was direct but kind. I spoke to the team respectfully and approached the meeting as a coaching session. Once I relayed the areas of disappointment, we worked together toward a solution. (Result) My communication approach proved to be effective, and we turned the project around completely."
Example #5
"(Situation) My current team of retail sales associates often default to chatting amongst themselves rather than be entirely engaged with our customers. (Task) As the Assistant Manager, I feel a responsibility to encourage these associates to be present when they are on the floor. (Action) Recently, I launched a sales contest to motivate the team. The contest ran over an entire weekend, and the sales associate with the most sales dollars was awarded a Starbucks gift card. (Result) The incentive worked so well that the Store Manager has approved that I run this contest every week! I love to motivate my team through incentives and a high-energy approach. By communicating in an engaging and motivating way, their sales performance is better than ever before."
Example #6
"(Situation) My current sales team consists of highly competitive and independent individuals who are hard to reign in when it comes to group efforts. (Task) As the Sales Manager, it's my mandate to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common corporate goal. (Action) With my team, to speak to their strong personalities, I aim to delegate and encourage according to strengths. Everyone on the team communicates differently, so I tailor my communication to each person. Usually, that looks like a small, informal one-on-one huddle throughout the day. (Result) This quick but personalized touch-point helps to keep each sales rep grounded in their goals and feeling encouraged throughout the day."
Example #7
"(Situation) Last month I gave my student feedback because he appeared to be slacking off on a project. (Task) I care for my students and believe that, as their teacher, I am there to lead them onto the right path. (Action) Rather than telling him, I thought he was slacking off; I said, 'I've noticed that it's been taking longer for you to turn in those reports. What's going on? Is there anything I can do?' When communicating, I always start by asking questions instead of making accusations. (Result) My student was very appreciative and told me how he was struggling with motivation. I asked him what would motivate him, and we were able to find a solution that worked."
Example #8
"I gave my employee some negative feedback because he appeared to be slacking off on the job. Rather than telling him I thought he was being lazy, I said, 'I've noticed that it's been taking longer for you to turn in those reports. What's going on? Is there anything I can do?' I always start by asking questions instead of making accusations. He was very appreciative and told me how he was struggling with motivation. I asked him what would motivate him and we were able to find a solution that worked for both of us."
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