Communicate Through Surprises

Surprises are fun and effective way to communicate! They are not just for celebrating birthdays any more.

No one forgets a good surprise. Thus, that is my fail-proof strategy for making a concept stick.

Here are a few of the many small surprises I bless others with throughout the week.

  • We told the client weeks ago that you were working on their project. What do you mean you didn’t know?!
  • The company is switching health care coverage and rates are going up effective immediately. The great news is that the company is saving money.
  • I just told an employee he is flying across the country on Monday though it’s been planned for months.
  • There is a major management structure overhaul going on, and it affects everyone starting Monday.
  • Remember your vacation plans? Well, I don’t, and I need you to finish that big project before you leave.
  • Surprise!

Do you see how fun this is? The best part of it all is that it keeps everyone on their toes. No one will become complacent, nor get too comfortable working in their strengths. If I see that happening, it’s time to play musical projects. If you seem to be happy working your hours, I will ask you to stay late each day to add even more joy to your life. It’s all about looking out for number 1 — the #1 company, that is.

My goal is to make my employees numb to my surprises, which is a strong sign of support.  Not everyone fully likes this method of leadership — especially a certain few I’m thinking of — which is a darn shame. Beginning this afternoon, I am starting a mandatory outdoor exercise program for those employees to help build teamwork and camaraderie. And appreciation for surprises, of course! Soon they’ll realize how privileged they are to be working for me.

Honestly, though, I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t work.

W. Albert Jameson, IV

On the other hand…
Surprises — other than birthday parties, of course — imply poor communication. Proactively avoid misunderstanding by communicating clearly and often to your team. Explain your expectations to others so others can meet them. Surprises should never be a bad thing!

In what ways have you surprised your team members poorly?