To meet the needs of your team and help them achieve success, strong communication skills are crucial for today’s leaders. How can you identify your unique style and personality factors to develop a more effective communication approach? Featuring special Insight guest Adam Montero, Z and Rich will help you craft a solid communication blueprint that incorporates coaching, feedback and ongoing assessments.
Do you want to unlock the power of effective communication? How to lead, How to create clarity and how to inspire people. In today's episode, we're going to unpack that question with a special guests to. Hello, my name is Z and I'm Rich. Welcome back to Leading with INSIGHT, where we help you develop your leadership skills. Today, we have a very critical topic to help you become a more effective leader.
Communication. Today, we'll lay out a blueprint for effectively communicating and being able to utilize that with your team. Yeah, and again, this topic is one of those things that, you know, we take for granted because we're always communicating, talking to people. But there are effective ways and ways to elevate and be clear and be more effective when you communicate with your team.
When you communicate with customers and the list goes on. But today is all about leadership. Whether you're a current leader, aspiring leader, or at the same time a brand new leader, almost everything today is going to be around that is going to provide you those tools. Speaking of that, how was your capstone? We didn't talk about that. Aspiring leadership just finished up.
How did it go? Yeah, it went really well. The group came together, came in clutch. I mean, everything flowed. It was it was one of those serendipitous moments, man. Everything just felt like it came naturally. Smoothly transitions. Everything was amazing. I have kudos to all my group as well. Well, again, I can imagine you had to work on that communication with the team and a lot of things that you just talked about, you know, practice preparation, things that, you know, we think I'm going to wing it.
Can you imagine if you and your team said, hey, you know, I don't I would just wing it. It would have been totally different than being prepared. It definitely would have. It wouldn't have been as smooth. It would have been choppy. We wouldn't have known when the transition who was going to go next. All that good stuff. I know right in our mind we think, it's going to work out.
But if you don't take that time to properly prepared and build that skill set. So congratulations, man. You're done. Thank you. Now, as you know, mentor mentee, you know, we've been talking about it. Now, the transition is now for you to start helping out and delivering these concepts and training the next generation of aspiring leaders. Yeah. So you ready for that challenge?
I am. I'm excited. I know the key topics I want to hit on. Hopefully, you know, Brock will allow me to to be able to take a few of my favorites read on Friday shout out to Brock you know part of my team he is again he was an intern with us and now he's a full time team member taking on that program and you know taking Rich under his wing.
And I can see a lot of cool stuff with that. But on the topic of communication, you know, we were talking and we're like, Hey, who? Who comes to mind when we think of effective communication? And, you know, we had a couple of ideas and we're like, Alright, you know, first choice is not here, third choice isn't here.
10th choice. All right. Adam Monteiro No, we totally thought of Adam. Adam And welcome to the pilot, or at least I made the cut and we got that going for me. Don't, don't believe that you were number one with that. All right. But Adam, if for the folks who are just joining us and don't know don't know much about you, can you give a quick introduction of what you do here at INSIGHT?
Absolutely. Absolutely. So I am part of what I would call the Double Decade Club. So I'm here 28 inside a variety of different roles. I've been able to have here at INSIGHT. It's been a great journey, but currently I'm the director of finance for Inside North America, so my group primarily oversees credit collections and accounts receivables. Right on, man.
I mean, I would say out of, you know, various occupations within inside and stuff like that, I was, you know, very crucial that you have great communication skills, too. If you have a team that at that size and the responsibility that they have, right? absolutely. Yeah. We have a team of just shy of 200 right now. Yeah.
So it's it's a large team. Communication is key, especially, you know, collecting. Right. We've got to get paid and the only way we can do that is effective communication. So on a percentage. Yeah. So with the topic today, Adam and it's interesting, I know that you had 20 plus years with the insight that upper double double decade club.
Do you like that? I need a badge or something where that early on in my it's like, it's like a tongue twister now. Yeah. Wow. Okay You know I know as we go through this discussion, you're going to kind of share your journey as well, because you're at the stage right now, but you've had an interesting journey and insight.
And I would say that, well, let me know if I'm wrong or correct here. That communication play a big factor in those evolution of your role and what you've done and what you're at currently now. Absolutely, 100%. And most of my journey at Insight has actually been in leadership. I've been very privileged to have these different types of roles of leadership, whether they be different levels, teams.
I was in sales for a while. Some teammates don't know that and led multiple teams in sales. So the communication factor of what I've been doing here and even in my personal life as a father and husband, I consider myself I have to be an effective communicator. Yeah, so what? So it's definitely transferable skills in personal life and work life, which transitions first to that first question, right?
That the why you know a lot of times we we like I said we took it for granted or we don't really pay as much effort or time in developing that. So I think that's a very first question for you as like for those that are listening, that are at whatever stage of their leadership, why is it important to really hone in on your leadership skills?
What's the benefit of it? Yeah, I mean, the leadership characteristics you have have to be true. I would say first and foremost, right to who you really are. And I always say I have this philosophy of staying in your lane, right? Don't try to oversell your status or oversell your capabilities as a leader. It's okay to be vulnerable.
We get to a lot about that through a lot of different courses here at Insight and learning how to embrace, you know, the reality of either the situation or just again, who you really are. From a communications perspective, I think the best attribute you can have as a leader is being versatile and really understanding your audience at all times.
All right. It may not be a group of people. It may be just that one person. But really being able to reflect and be relatable to whom you're working with and communicating. Yeah, that's that's great. So on that note, I mean, you had a number of different key nuggets here, folks, that hopefully you guys are paying attention and taking notes.
But what what impact do you feel that effective communication has on you know, really building that trust and collaboration amongst your teams? Yeah, that's I mean, that's really as a leader, you're expected to lead in initiative and through that initiative in delivering results is the people behind that. Right? So being able to be an effective communicator is key to the individuals understanding number one, what they have to accomplish, right?
What is the goal, what is the leader's intent? And being able to articulate that effectively at least gives them a direction followed by that is okay, now that we have that direction, how do we get there? Right. And that's obviously a collaborative effort with the team. But as a leader, being able to articulate the goals and how we get there.
And for me, what's most important is why this is effective for business, right? And what is in it for insight, what is in it for the teammates? Right. It's interesting. You know, you brought that up. Of course, we'll talk more about that skills and all that. And Leaders in ten is a big one. And it's interesting because it's even though it's been part of our leadership commitments and what we're, you know, teaching our leaders here at INSIGHT, it was not always here.
Right. This has only been around, what, three or four years you've been here double double decker, double decade. That was great. But you know, as a good leader, you've always had these you know, you always you always knew the importance of the Y like you said, right? Yeah, clearly articulating the goal. But it's to take it back to what you said earlier, too.
That was fascinating. As you said, hey, be authentic to yourself. Yeah. A lot of times when we think about effective communication, we try to compare ourselves to others because let's face it, there's amazing communicators out there. Absolutely. They're doing presentations. They're you know, they're doing this is just amazing when they communicate. But when we sort of compare ourselves to them, it's going to be it's going to be a never ending battle.
And then you get your veering away from your true self, which you said. Right. So I think it's like, you know, don't stop learning design on improving, you know, improving your communicator. Be true to yourself. Earlier when we just kind of before our session, we're talking about how people even try to change their voice. Yeah, you know how even a deeper voice is seen to be more respected or just kind of like, you know, I'm thinking Morgan Freeman, for example, here.
He can read a book to me any day, any day. But if that's not truly ourselves, then you're kind of like, you know, just be yourself, It's okay. You know? And that's probably the biggest thing that I want to I want to talk about is that we're never going to be happy with our voice. Right? Every time you go back and listen to us talk.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you're like, Yeah, But I think once we get past that and understand, Hey, this is who I am and how I communicate, now it's time. How can I get past that and start looking for things like, Do what? And what did I do there that was effective? What was effective? How can I duplicate that?
Just like any sport. Go back, Listen, pay attention. You know. Did I sound assertive? Did I sound inspiring? Whatever your goal is. So I think that's one thing to call out, right? When you said authentic, is that kind of what you meant? Yeah, absolutely. You'll find your own voice. That's right. That's right. I mean, it's okay to aspire, right?
To have a transformation into the development of who you want to be. You're become right through by virtue of witnessing others that do it in a way that you admire. And there's nothing wrong with that and say, I want to emulate the way that Z approaches the situation or how he carried himself in the context of that conversation.
It's okay to have that, but you still have to do it your way. Yeah, right. And I think it's really important. Has somebody told you about me, Adam? You Are you talking about me or the man that was that supposed to be off script? And it's all script? No, that's great. That's. Those are important. Very important pieces, folks.
You know, just be your self true, authentic self. And especially bring that vulnerability to the table. Yeah, as well. Being authentic is key. Yeah. And I going back to that next thing to let it go. I love that you just brought that up because when we think about to is like, you know, there are some presenters or some leaders out there that are, let's face it, in it for the wrong reason.
Title I want the money, money, whatever. Right Yeah they lose that everything on, but they're great communicators. But over time they get exposed. Like you said, you know, be authentic to yourself when you make a mistake. Own up to it. Yeah. You know what team? I messed up. That was a lesson learned. I won't do it again.
You know, I'll take responsibility for that. But there are some leaders out there that great communicators. Yeah, but they never take responsibility for their actions. They think they're perfect. So got to watch out for that, right? That's the other part of our vulnerability is that you want to be you want to be transparent, you want to be on because it makes you real.
Yeah. Building trust. You said earlier, building trust with your team. Yeah. Yeah. Up to those mistakes. And, you know, really, you know, just be open and authentic about, you know, I may not know the answer, I may not know everything, but, you know, we'll get through it together. Well, yeah, That trust respect is another word that comes to mind, right?
By showing your authentic self and, you know, I think when you have a team, whether that be a small team, a large team, everybody has an emotional reaction to who you are and what you're representing on their behalf. Right. And making sure that you're always present is really important as well and staying true to yourself in that presence.
And, you know, I think for most people they're going to follow and have no challenges following who they admire, who they respect. Yeah, right. And we have a duty as a leader to be relatable to those teammates and give them the direction that they're looking for. Yeah, well, you know, before we go to the next question, one last thing is, you know, we always heard this this term.
Let me know if you heard I'm sure you've heard it is. Fake it till you make it. How does that apply to all we're just talking about? Because if we're saying, hey, I'm going to fake that, I'm, you know, an eloquent presenter that I know all this stuff, does that still is that is that statement still true, you think or you think that there's some, you know, different interpretation to it or thoughts on that?
Yeah, I won't say that that should have in in 100% totality and negative connotation. I think there is an essence of fake it till you make it an improv for example you're great as improv. Yeah, there's a lot of faking and improv. You have to in the moment, making it up. Yeah, right. And there's nothing wrong with that at all, right?
Sometimes it's by virtue of of entertainment, sometimes it's by virtue of you being caught in a position or a situation that you may not have experience with. Right? And you're like, Well, I don't want to come across this if I'm not to be trusted. But it doesn't mean you lie, right? Faking it is kind of just redirecting the conversation and bringing it back to where you are comfortable, right in a short period of time because you don't want to fake it for a long period of time.
So that's how I perceive that. I don't know if that's way off or, you know, when I go into these kind of philosophical type things, I start to interpret things a little bit differently. But that's what I would say and that's where I think what those terms where people take them very literal. Yeah, they start to get to your point, they take it to the extreme and they're lying, they're cheating, they're making things up, which is not what we want.
It's more like faking. Like, you know what? Act and pretend like you belong there. Yeah, that's powerful. Yeah, that's. That's actually very powerful. And convince yourself that you are worthy, right? I am worthy of being at this table with these individuals and worthy of being part of this conversation, this podcast with these amazing individuals. Right? That's. You have to be that way.
Yeah, right. It would be to be effective at what you do, especially as a leader. Yeah, that's a strong skill set you have to have. You know, I just I like Wayne's World. We're like, we had him, so we're not worthy. Yeah. Yeah. No, what I really liked about what you just said is that, you know, kind of leverage and use your strengths, play to your strengths.
You know, even though you may not know, you know, the answer or what have you, you know, really play into your strength and, you know, turn it around to what you can be comfortable in or what you do have that, you know, level of authenticity or like, you know, you have that level of I've done this before or I can I can shift this around to, Yeah, I think if you're saying like, you know what I straight this facilitating discussion, you don't have to do that that skill alone right there you don't have to know the answer.
You just kind of just get people to talk. Yeah, yeah. What do you think? What are your thoughts? Do you agree with that? Well, you know, I noticed that you were kind of, you know, a little hesitant there. What's going on right now? That's really that's your strength. Lean into it. It's just this good comment. Yeah, absolutely. Right.
So, yeah, actually so to that effect, you know, how can you really identify your communication style for your team and how you deliver? Yeah. So I think, you know, again, that self-assessment is really important. Some of that comes by reflection, right? And saying, okay, recording yourself is great. I remember years ago we were when I was in sales, we had to do a sales pitch and it was called the at that time tip of the Arrow training.
And it was pretty much the insight value proposition y insight. And I remember getting in the room and the cameras were on and they said, okay, you're going to be in the room. I was pretty almost by myself. There's like only a couple other people in there and they say, okay, we're going to record this because it's not about the content.
It's not about, you know, hitting all the marks and all the points, all the historical notes that you have to remember, but it's how you actually perceive yourself when you're presenting. And I was like, okay, So I need to be my own audience is what needs to happen, right? So is the message coming across the way? I would want to hear it.
And when I was getting video recorded, I was thinking to myself, Well, how do I look? Am I doing this? Am I saying the wrong words? Am I not articulating well enough? And I remember watching that video back and I was just like, my gosh, I got so much work to do. So but I will tell you what a great learning lesson that was to be able to look at myself as a self reflection, to develop a better skill set.
The other is seeking out, you know, guidance and advice and feedback and what is working right for the audience. What is working for your team, whomever you're communicating with. You have to have that awareness to know if you are effective or not. Part of that is that self reflection. And then the second part of that, I think, and truly believe it's feedback.
It's a gift, right? Yeah. You know, typically we're going to borrow is going to be our worst critics. We always talk about always, you know, reminder like to check, yeah, someone's like was pretty good. Was like, was it? I mean, that's always the case. But I think that your point is get yourself out of that comfort zone like we talked about, you know, start getting comfortable.
Hey, this is my voice. Own it. This is the way it makes me. Maybe a little squeak at the end. So it you know, I know, but it's own and lean into it, but at the same time then start building upon it, like you said, self reflecting. Yeah. But also that feedback from others. How can I continue to enhance it, to be more articulate, to be clear, concise.
I would say, you know, as we're now talking about best practices, you know, one of the things that I've worked on is that I had to be a little more concise because I tend to overexplain or I talk too much, and I think this happens a lot with people, or you end up repeating yourself, right? Because a point, maybe it's a really good point and you're like, They've got to hear this again, right?
But they already got it. But you want them to know. Yeah. So repeating is another thing. You've got to be careful. Like, okay, we heard. Yeah. And it's interesting. And then you can become better self-reflective. Like, why does that happen? Why do I just like, you know, mumble or go just go on the tangent or just really, you know, have to start to work, Work on your structure, be concise.
Yeah. Understand what you're going to talk about it. When I looked at myself and I was like, Why am I doing that? Do I get like lightheaded when I'm interviews or in a situation? I'm just like, you know, when you blow into a was it up, blew a balloon for too long, I was like, yeah, where am I?
You know? I'm like, I need this. I need that. You know, I'm not breathing. I'm not taking a deep breath. I'm not coming down. It's that adrenaline. So again, finding out what symptoms I might dealing with, how can I minimize or overcome them to be present. Yeah. To be clear, to listen and to know. To be concise. It's important to practice too.
And you don't always have to practice on this professional subject matter, right? Practice on small things. Storytelling is huge, right? The ability and the art of storytelling is really important to to grab the audience. I love the art of storytelling by virtue of putting that person in your story. Yeah, right. By the words you're using versus them being there.
They are so many different individuals. Through the years that I've listened to, whether it be writers, authors or even presenters that just tell the story to the point where you feel like you were actually there. Right. And that's so important to be effective. And that effectiveness, in my opinion, gets individuals to remember how they felt when you were speaking.
Not necessarily always what you're saying. And sometimes it depending on what your message is, maybe it is the emotional connection that you need this this audience or this group of individuals to have more so than the message. Maybe the message can even come at a later time is something that you remind them of, right? Yeah. So it's really important.
The story telling aspect. That's right under the Inspire people is one of our tools for leadership commitments, right? Is that lets us talk a little more about that because again, we talk about some blueprints and best practices. So you brought up a couple of things about storytelling that's really pointed the emotions, teleporting or putting your audience in that environment so they can feel and experience what you.
So the hope value of that storytelling is that you're going back to relating to them. They're seeing you as a real person like you do. You've been through a lot lately. Adam Terror. You've made a mistake. How is this possible? That's never happened. It's not perfect, you know? But that relatedness, I made a mistake and I learn from it.
You know, I made a big whatever. I made an invoice, a wrong count, or, like, you know, transposed some numbers, and then it caused a bigger what that does. Again, it reminds them when they make a mistake that, hey, it's okay, we can fix it. That's right. You know, we can learn from it. Absolutely. Well, what are some best practices around storytelling that you can give our audience and let's see, best practices.
So, yeah, I think putting the audience, like I said or whomever you're talking to, try to put them there. And one of the ways that you do that is emphasize on maybe some of the points that are relatable. So think of if you're trying to tell a story around the essence of an environment that you were in, maybe it was super cold that day and you were you had, you know, a scar.
If you had a cup of hot cocoa and you had a, you know, skull cap on or whatever it is, you're starting to paint a picture and they're starting to feel like, it's kind of chilly. Yeah, right. So I think that's just one, you know, one skill that I think you can develop fairly quickly, too. And that's really just making sure you're articulating some of the points that you need to make for the positioning of this story.
The second part is don't lose sight of the message. Yeah, right. There is in every story that anybody tells, there's an outcome of some sort, right. Or something that they want you to to gravitate to or laugh with or cry with. Don't lose sight of what that is through all of the articulation of painting the scene. Yeah, right.
The scene is important because it puts them there. But then in the end, how do you want them to feel after the story's over? Right? So don't lose sight of that as you're getting through the story, it kind of goes back to over explaining over telling, right? So you got to be careful. They're going to be that's what going back it goes back to practice.
Right. Like, yes, those times, you know, again, it's not going to happen overnight. Like if you're not a natural storyteller, it doesn't you know, you can't just practice, then start practicing of a format of a structure. Right. And kind of what you were saying already is that the first part of one of the structures that I use is like, all right, you know, ticktalk social media, what they're using a lot right now is kind of what we do in our episodes.
Hey, what am I going to promise you at the end? Yeah, you know, what's the what's the reward? I think the reward is. And you're going to learn how to become an effective communicator, right? yeah. I want to work on that. Now. Now you. And so right. Next thing is give the back story. Exactly what? Paint that picture.
Give the setting like, you know, we're currently in this state now. Now you're now you're with me and a teleported arm. It was in all it was. And I took a trip to to Spain in the 1920s. And you're old now. Sorry about that. 1920. This a long time. But now they get an understanding of the era, right?
Just landed the environment. What did it feel like? Well, what's going on now that you know that you set the stage, the nesting, a start pistol start building the action? That's right. What how what is going on? And leading up to the climax, which eventually is, you know, that big emphasis of like what's the lesson learned. Right. You know, whatever I, I could have become a millionaire, but I thought I took the wrong the wrong choice, right.
The wrong envelope that was in front of me on it. And then that's like the climax. And at the end it's like then then you wrap up to your point. What is it? Why did I even tell you the story? Well, that's right. The lesson the lesson learned is that, you know, don't always jump jump to the decision process.
Take your time. Whatever the lesson learned is That's it, man. Simple as that, right? Just have that. Have a nice structure. Follow it and you're good. You're good to go and and minimizes you just rambling on like I just and some of the work that's like working on this record. I know I know. When he was explaining that, he really actually captured me in the essence and I was like, you know, we didn't meet until just before now, but I can tell you're a great leader, but I think yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Can you share with us, you know, as we wrap up, you know, some examples where you're effective communication and your storytelling has really helped your teams be, you know, productive and helped to, like, increase that productivity or retaliating. Yeah, I know. That's what I got a little bit of a story, but I would say just recently, if I'm going to use an example, our team has went through a very significant transformation.
Part of that has been the development and implementation of a new tool that we use or an application that we're using. In addition to that, we've shifted roles on some of the leadership and some of the teammates covering different accounts and standing up a new group, a support organization that we haven't had before. So all of that transformation that is a lot to take in, right?
And the way that I believe that the effectiveness and the result that you get out of that is is inclusivity. And the way I would say inclusivity in the usage of it in this story I'm telling you now is all the decisions as a leader that you have to make don't have to be made alone. There is so much untapped potential and talent within the team that you have that as much as you want them to trust you.
You have to trust them. So including them in a lot of the decision making, the planning. Ultimately I own it right at the level of of leadership that I'm at and what I'm responsible for. I know that at the end of the day I own it regardless of the outcome. But it's really important that each of the teammates as well as the leaders that you're working with, have an opportunity to be part of the process, not just the objective that we have to go complete.
And I think that's the effectiveness of my approach and leadership is being very inclusive and having teammates be part of the process. Yeah, that's that's amazing. You know, it comes full circle, right? You know, we talk about inclusivity all the time, you know, especially when it becomes when it comes down to leadership. Right? You can invite them to the dance, but not just invite them to the dance.
Invite them to dance. Right. So, yeah, yeah, that's a good one. It is a good one. I've heard that somewhere before, but, you know, I don't know. So I shout out to Sara and pins. Yeah, yeah. But yeah. And again just, you know we, we were covering storytelling and we can go on and on. Right. But I think the biggest practice, I mean, I think we talk about it all the time is just start doing it.
You're not going to get better if you don't start practicing, start implementing. We'd even talk about it, even have prepared or have a list of stories that you can tell. These different scenarios that you can't pocket stories. Yeah, yeah. But that, that, that is an area there. But the one last thing that you brought up earlier that leaders intent.
You know, there are tools out there to to help us be very concise, explain the why clearly articulate the goal. These are steps that we need to consider along the way by doing this model and then this could be another episode. We can even spend, you know, another 28 minutes talking about leaders of the ten. But, you know, that is another tool.
So utilize the tools that you have available that your mentor that others have given you and put them into practice because you know, they're tools and they're proven for a reason, right? Because they've used it and they've been successful. So start start leveraging any final tools or anything else that you can think of that as we wrap up.
Yeah. Final tools. there's just so much in the toolbox, right? I would just say kind of in closing here is, you know, I appreciate the invite and giving me an opportunity to to be part of this journey with you guys. You're doing incredible work as leaders of the organization and leaders of of what you're doing here. It is definitely making a difference.
And I would say get involved, right? Is is probably my last tool or a trick. Don't don't be reluctant to raise your hand and offer help. Support. You don't always have to be the expert. Just offer help. Right. And you'll be surprised at how welcome that is and surprised at how much education and development you'll get out of things that just aren't what your job title is or your job your role is.
So I would say get involved. I think to add to that, in order to get involved, to start speaking up, start and not only raising your hand, but start absolutely highlighting start telling stories of how you overcame an obstacle, tell a story, how you, you know, overcome adversity. Tell a story of how you started with an organization and developed and whatever.
You know that right there complements that 100%, right? Don't be shy. They don't keep them to yourself, man. Start telling the story. And so we've learned a lot of valuable tips today from Adam laying down that communication blueprint for you on how to become a more effective leader. So be sure to tune in to YouTube and all the podcast platforms that you can stream us on.
Be sure to turn on your notifications like and subscribe and let us know how we're doing in the comments and what you'd like to hear from us. Until next time.
Z Tinoco is a diversity, leadership & organization development manager who believes in building teams, inspiring minds and creating authentic connections. He helps people reach their goals and find success through humor, leadership and a diverse mindset.
Richard is an experienced paid media specialist with a proven track record of creating and executing successful campaigns across various platforms. Richard has a passion for tackling new challenges, connecting with people and loves all things tech.