Engineering Leadership Principle #4: Communication

Apr 10, 2020 | Leadership | 0 comments

By Mark Manalad, Human Resources, Brindley Engineering

Clear Communication Skills are Key

I was fortunate enough to participate in the Echelon Front Muster 008 leadership training in Denver Colorado – the curriculum was based on the two New York Time’s #1 bestsellers “Extreme Ownership” and “The Dichotomy Of Leadership”.  Over the two-day leadership training course, I learned a lot about the tools needed to build high performing, winning teams.

The training was based on the leadership techniques known as the “4 Laws of Combat” and how they can be implemented in business.  The 4 Laws of Combat are: Cover and Move; Simple; Prioritize and Execute and Decentralize Command.

The one Law of Combat that resonated most with me is: Simple.  According to this law, a leader needs to simplify the mission (GOAL), communication needs to be simple, clear and concise, because if people don’t understand, they can’t execute.  On the battlefield, communication can make or break a mission.  It is a leader’s duty to communicate to their troops the object of that mission and the role each one of their troops will play in that mission.  That communication needs to be clear and concise and the objectives and plan need to be simple and understood at all ranks of the unit.  The leader must be able to build a relationship with the troops, so they feel comfortable to ask questions if they don’t understand the mission or key objectives that need to be performed.

This is applied every day at Brindley Engineering (BE). One of the keys to BE’s success has been good communication. One of our values is: Simplify the Complex.  Putting an emphasis on the importance of good communication is core to our success.  BE staff often work in operating units that can be high pressure environments where good communication is imperative to the safety of our team members and our clients. Our Account Managers must BE Creative and develop plans that simplify any complex situation and know how to communicate that plan to the team so that each member knows exactly what they will be responsible for.  It is the responsibility of the project team to speak up if they are unclear of what their tasks are – that is part of effective communication too.  If they are unclear of their tasks and do not speak up, it could impact completing that project on time, on budget, and less safe. That is why our leaders understand the importance of superb communication, to ensure the project goes according to plan and is executed safely, which results in happy clients and repeat business.

When BE makes changes to internal processes, it is my job as the Human Resources Manager to make sure communication with our team on those changes are clear and concise. I need to make sure our team knows why we made the change, exactly how the change will be implemented, and how the change will affect them.  More importantly, I need to make sure I build strong relationships with each one of our team members, so they feel comfortable coming to me to ask for clarification if they do not understand the change or how the change affects them.  As a result of building strong, trusting relationships, our culture strengthens. Communication is key – to every part of the business.

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