When we ask participants what percentage of leaders qualify as “great communicators,” we consistently hear 10-15%. How do you ensure you’re in that select group?

Do you find yourself in conversations full of friction? Where people are unaligned? And individuals walk away frustrated? Perhaps you suffer from “Snip Snip” Communication.

Here’s the elephant in the office: Countless people participate in conversations with the full-time job of adjusting other people’s comments to fit their own ideas. They listen with the intent of fixing the other person; their mind scurries for ways to persuade and convince the other person. They often state, “What you need to understand.” When they say “The problem is”, what they’re really telling us is “What your limited and idiotic brain has failed to realize is”…


There’s a significant difference between using time proving what’s wrong with another person’s thoughts and attempting to tailor – snip snip – them to your own versus spending time co-creating and exploring what will work. And of course the latter practically guarantees you get a better idea.

The most effective way to co-create and explore better ideas is to ask questions. The best leaders, when in a conversation with others, often ask:

  • “Given what you’ve said, what would happen if…”
  • “Okay then, how do we best…”
  • “Here’s my perspective – how might we utilize both approaches?”
  • “What else we might consider to take the next step?”

Business is a battle of wills – and that struggle should be restricted to our competition, while not including our teammates. Today, will you suffer “snip snip” communication and cut others’ ideas to shreds, or will you co-create your solutions?

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?



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