80/20 Rule of Communication

The 80/20 rule dictates that good communication is about spending a majority of your time listening and minority of of you time talking. When communicating with your staff it is very easy to break the 80/20 rule and to talk more than you listen. 

This is because you will have your own ideas on what needs to be done, how it is to be done and when it needs to be done. However, a shared leadership style is likely to achieve better results overall than an autocratic style and this approach requires that you listen to your staff and encourage them to take degree of ownership for their own performance and development. 

This does not mean though that you cannot tell staff what to do, make suggestions or offer your opinion. The 80/20 Rule merely requires that you engage your staff in dialogue and, wherever  possible, you facilitate a discussion where they reach right conclusions and answers for themselves.

The key here is to listen actively with both of your eyes and your ears. "Listen" to people's body language and facial expressions. If a staff members looks confused., they probably are, so seek to clarify site situation. If a staff members looks like they have something to say, they probably do, so invite their opinion. When listening with your ears you should listen to what people are actually saying but also try to assess the underlying meaning behind their message as well as trying to "listen" to what they are not saying. Things that people avoid talking about can often highlight a lack of underlying or appreciation of the issues.

The 80/20 rule can be applied in all one to one communication, with team members such as coaching, performance reviews and feedback discussion.

Relevant Page: Communication SkillsStages for DevelopmentMonitoring and performance Review 

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