Lact - Palo Alto School Representative

Palo Alto School Representative

Center for training, intervention and research

Strategic systemic approach and hypnosis

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      Develop the culture of commitment by adapting your communication.

      Marc Brunet, Expertise in culture of commitment at the service of transformations.

      To manage is to communicate! But how ? We can easily block communication thinking we are doing the right thing. Always creating and maintaining a relationship channel builds trust. In this channel, several types of communication are expressed: informative communication, influential communication and transformative communication.

      Less than 20% of employees engaged!

      marketing engagement

      Thinking about the angle for this article on strategic communication, I wondered what would be the most in relation to the techniques and tools of strategic communication to share by drawing on my experiences in organizations. Two angles appeared to me related to the context of commitment and the manager/collaborator relationship.   

      Let us take the case of a managerial relationship where the manager says to himself about his team: "my collaborators are not involved", "the team does not give the full potential", "I can explain to them" , “There is resistance when it comes to moving forward, making changes in the organization, in the way of working”, etc. In short, there are some signs of disengagement!!! Remember that in France, the level of employee commitment is measured as low. According to some studies, less than 20% say they are engaged, while 50% define themselves as not engaged.

      “You join a company, you leave a leader! » : our experience shows us that at least 70% of commitment emerges from the interactions between the employee and his manager.

      “The more I push, the more it resists”

      Some managers will then seek to push their team ("normal since they drag their feet, let's push them"), with perhaps implicit or explicit threats, others will throw in the towel, circumvent the obstacle, go from forward without taking care of their team ("the incapables!"), or on the contrary complying with their demands. In general, what we were able to observe in these situations: a deficit of communication in both directions, a deficit of taking into account the emotional component, a deficit of recognition of the individual in the interaction. We note an injunctive communication of the manager centered on the 'I', with as a consequence the appearance of rigidities in the system of the team, the service, the management committee, etc.

      "With the best intentions, we can produce the worst effects" (O.Wilde) Let's create the relationship channel to convey the best intentions!

      Using strategic communication will make it possible to work with resistance by influencing the perceptions and emotions of employees.  

      This brings me to the first angle: the creation of the channel of the relationship , either to restore a problem situation, or as a foundation stone to increase commitment. Watzlawick (ref 1) teaches us: each communication has content and a relationship. Content and relationship interact with each other.

      Let us recall our definition of commitment (ref 2) as a process of setting the employee in motion in an aligned manner: behaviors and actions, emotions and values, collective vision and individual contribution .

      This process should use both content/relationship levels. Creating this 'relationship channel' means making Watzlawick's principle operational. With this in mind, we teach managers how to create communication rituals (ref 3) with each of their employees. Indeed, among the characteristics that we have modeled of the effective manager, there is knowing his collaborators and communicating incessantly in both directions (ref. 3). Regular rituals improve the relationship by building trust. Thus the messages encounter less resistance, which helps to increase the level of collaboration, the development of skills and responsibilities.

      Quickly, employees and managers become 'addicted' to rituals.

      During the support of a manager of an IT department in relational difficulty, creating a ritual with her manager was one of the first actions, at the same time as putting more strategy into her communication. Many people complained about his very result-oriented, cold, even brittle communication. She sacrificed herself for her work, but without receiving the hoped-for, expected and undoubtedly deserved recognition in return. We have worked on the organization and effectiveness of its meetings. The results were quick. Confidence was restored, signs of recognition with. His manager even became a requester and client of the ritual. She then decided to adapt the same rituals with her own team. After only 3 weeks, reviews were rave about their effectiveness. The relationship channel was building little by little. One of the most visible consequences has been a reduction in stress on both sides of the communication channel. Thus it was possible to work on performance and well-being at the same time.

      What to remember: first of all, the content, the framework, the context must be put at the service of the relationship to create this channel where trust is built. Once this is (re-)established then it is possible to put different content and convey messages of recognition, feedback, evolution and transformation. Rigid communications become more flexible.

      “Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”
      ~Arthur Schopenhauer

      The second point I wanted to address is that of the enrichment of our own perceptions before and during communication. This allows you to achieve more wisdom in the relationship.

      Both influencing and being able to receive influence could be the maxim of strategic and transformative communication.

      Each of us constructs a reality. The one built by the manager and the one built by the employee can vary according to various factors, often beyond the control of each other.  

      We access new information and resources by adopting various perceptual positions. A perceptual positron is a particular perspective from which we experience a situation or interaction.  

      We briefly describe here 5 perceptual positions.

      The first three positions are positions for developing strategic communication. Our relationship experiences involve multiple people in communication loops. Understanding the loop, knowing the mechanism of the interactional sequences are tools in the service of a wonderful communication and influence. Even in a difficult interaction the ability to change perceptual perceptions will create spaces for future collaboration. 3 positions exist at the same time: my position (the first), the position of the other individual (2nd position, putting oneself in the shoes, or in the skin of the other) and the position of an observer, of a witness (3rd position, meta position, neutral). In each of these positions are associated perceptual, physical, cognitive, linguistic models, beliefs, etc. We will not describe these three positions further here to focus on the following ones.

      The 4th position and the 5th are positions which induce a qualitative leap in perception. We are no longer in the relational strategy, in the influence but in a space that allows co-creation, co-influence. The manager goes beyond desiring influence, becoming more open to influence. It is a more transformational space.

      “Effective leaders are able to identify with the global system they influence”

      The fourth position is the position where we associate our experience with the system (ref 4). We become the quality of the system. We speak using 'WE'. If the situation involves two people, we become the relationship. For a team, we become the team.

      Recently, when coaching a person with difficulties in their relationship, we transformed the relationship by accompanying the client through a process including the 4 perceptual positions as previously defined. His companion reproached him for their regular "fights", for responding quickly and with judgment. In fact in many situations, he sought to take control, to impose his rhythm to achieve his goal. As it was partly shared (result of the course of the first 3 positions), the situation seemed paradoxical: two people sharing the same goal can no longer communicate harmoniously. The transition to the NOUS position allowed him to achieve a new serenity, to project himself into a solution space. The reframing was profound. By thinking like the system, he experienced the deeper meaning of their relationship. He was able to bring out new regulations. Certain thoughts, actions, became insignificant with regard to the life of the system itself. These “things” took up all the space before. He then laughed about it in the session! He set up a context where solutions became co-created, rather than only seeking to influence from his hierarchy of criteria. The application of the new behaviors had an immediate effect in the relationship, and a learning process that today seems to last.  

      For a manager, this position of the system makes team cohesion possible, to find deep common meaning.

      As a general rule, a person who has difficulty entering the experience of the 4th position also has difficulty identifying himself as a member of a group. He certainly needs special support.

      Centered on the US, everyone finds their place in the process of change.

      For the manager, developing his leadership abilities also means developing his ability to navigate between the first 4 positions. The qualitative leap in 4th position is to go from a communication centered on the I to a communication centered on the WE, so that everyone finds their place in the process of change (keeping in mind that "change is the only permanent thing”).  

      Beyond communication of influence, we define a transformative communication that moves from I influence to We co-create.

      In the end, we define a classification in 3 levels of communication:

      - Informative communication,  

      - Strategic communication or communication of influence, (overcoming resistance, bringing people towards)

      - Transformative communication, (Co-creation of transformation)

      This topic will soon be explored further.

      Contact: Marc Brunet,  - Consultant-Coach-Trainer

      The culture of commitment at the service of transformations

      References :

      Ref 1 A logic of communication, Watzlawick, Beavan, Jackson, 1972

      Ref 2 Increasing operational results through employee commitment, Marc BRUNET, Revue Hyppocampes, September 2016.

      Ref 3 Generating results through the team, Fundamentals of management, Marc BRUNET, 2016

      Ref 4 The fourth position R. Dilts, , Article of the mounth

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      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

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