1. Lack of Presence in Conversations.
Too often founders are multi-tasking (i.e. checking email, slack, or social media) while also trying to talk to employees. This is because the modus operandi at startups is to move FAST. Yet, all too often, multi-tasking and moving at break-neck speeds are the root causes of miscommunication and mistakes that ultimately slow overall productivity.
2. Poor Listening Skills.
Most of us — not just founders and startup folks — are not great listeners. This is exacerbated at startups where people are doing multiple tasks at once and moving a mile a minute (see above). As author Steven Covey puts it: “You’ve spent years of your life learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening?” Often we are so focused on what we want to say that we do not fully take in what others (employees, investors or customers) are trying to tell us.
3. Focusing on Answers, Not Questions.
Too often leaders are trying to get to the answer or solution so quickly that they skip over asking quality questions — of themselves and their team. Often founders are focused on answering, telling and directing over questioning, listening and co-creating solutions with their teams.
If you’re nodding your head because you’re guilty of 1 (or all 3!) – you can actually do something about it!