You know, it’s what happens when you sit down with your sales team, engineering team, executive team, you-name-it-team. Your purpose is to allegedly discuss items on an agenda relating to a proposed project or strategic outcome.
How well does each member of your team understand what every other member is trying to communicate to them?
Even if those other team members remain silent. Even if those team members are naysayers and obstacle creators.
Team translation skills are the most underrated skill sets in your professional arsenal. Technical professionals call these skills “soft skills.” These soft skills are the hallmark of the majority of business professionals.
Team translation skills are the most powerful soft skills you can fine-tune.
Inadequacies in team translation skills are responsible for dropping the baton in the hand-off of strategy for execution and implementation. Gaps in conducting due diligence impact miscues in design specifications.
Excellent team translation skills focus on identifying individual and group assumptions and clarifying them throughout a project. Misassumptions are the root causes of your company’s revenue win-loss track record.
There is nothing soft about the ability to acknowledge everyone’s perspective around the business table. There is nothing soft about developing the ability to probe for understanding and consider peripheral issues impacting the engineering and business outcomes on the table.
Team translation skills are more than creating a To-Do checklist for a meeting, and checking off each box as you cover that topic. How many times have you attended meetings where everyone seated around the table is nodding their heads while you speak?
They may not comprehend what you are speaking about, at all.
Team translation skills incorporate your ability – and the rest of your team’s ability – to read the cues of the room. Body language, decibel level (including silence), voice tone and nuance, eye contact, classic interpersonal aspects of human interaction.
Even if you are all meeting virtually. These cues, and these actions, speak volumes.
Team translation skills incorporate your ability – and the rest of your team’s – to conduct background research, prior to each meeting. Determine the factors – including attitudinal ones – which have changed since the last time you met.
Don’t assume that the team is where you left them in space and time.
How many times have you been blind-sided during a meeting by new information other individuals assumed was not important enough to communicate to you?
It’s time to improve your team translation skill sets. These skills motivate your entire team to remain fully engaged throughout every conversation. No one operates on assumptions. No one operates on autopilot.
Is your company’s revenue stream – or your own – stalemated or sliding backward? Conduct a root cause analysis that considers the quality of your team translation skills.
Chances are there are serious gaps which need to be addressed and improved, throughout your entire team. Improvement in this area will positively impact your business outcomes.
Babette Ten Haken started out her career as a scientist. Early on, she was asked to bring clarity to the chaos of stalemated conversations between engineers, sales, IT, quality, legal and marketing folks. She focuses on building collaborative, innovative and profitable teams who are focused on excellence in the hand-off of strategy for execution. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.