Have you ever heard someone say, “I am responsible for what I said but I am not responsible for what you understand.”?
For a leader to say that is utterly irresponsible. Leaders first ability should be able to communicate their purpose clearly.
This brings us to the topic of Clarifying and Verifying. Leaders do not shed their responsibility after they communicate. They need to go further and clarify their expectations of their followers. Leaders need to review the desired outcome, what is expected and the game plan. If you are manager, as a leader, you must clearly articulate and clarify measurements of success, instruments of motivation and accomplishments.
Once a leader has clarified, he or she needs to verify the follower’s understanding. In management, the manager will need verify this understanding by asking questions.
As a manager, I used to ask my team members to explain what was required of them. I found that, in some cases, what I instructed and clarified was very different from what my team understood. It dawned on me that I need to improve my communication skills, articulate well and explain in detail. As I improved myself, I still verified my team’s understanding.
Initially, as you mange your team, this will a hassle. You need to be consistent, to such an extent, that clarity and verification of understanding becomes a habit and second nature to your leadership style.