A Communication Cheat Sheet to Help Leadership Understand One Another

At Intertech, we improve communication in the leadership team through personality cheat sheets, which are personality profiles that remind us who hates long-winded descriptions and who struggles to make a decision that involves something unpleasant. This is to keep us from driving each other crazy in those little annoying everyday ways that creep up when people work closely together for a long time. The cheat sheets are the result of a personality inventory similar to a Myers–Briggs test. I highly recommend it for any group of partners or managers who work closely together.

Also, we are intentional about building strong, trusting relationships among the leadership team. Pre-COVID, a weekly lunch at a local restaurant took us away from the daily press of business and helped us reconnect on a more fundamental level.

Here’s ours (names changed to protect the innocent) of a communication cheat sheet.

Strategic Communication

When communicating with anyone… employees, customers, friends, or family here are some guidelines to make communication effective.

First, when communicating something that could be perceived either way, do it face-to-face:

When communicating bad news:

  1. Collect all the information to have one conversation vs. a death by 1,000 cuts
  2. Give your customer, employee, partner an option… even if it’s equally disagreeable, they’ll feel better because they had a choice

Employee Engagement: Getting Feedback

It’s good to create proactive ways to get employee feedback:

Here are my favorite questions to ask employees:


Employee Engagement: Feeling Valued

Here are some questions your employees would be asked about feeling valued in an engagement survey:

Here’s some feedback on having a positive/flourishing relationship:

Here are a few tips on praise… let someone relive the win by asking how they did it and don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten note.

Here’s the recipe for a good thank you:

Employee Engagement: Benefits and Pay

As it relates to pay, the goal is to make it not a de-motivator. As a board member shared, he’s never been paid enough in his 40+ years as a professional:

When thinking of benefits, what can you offer that’s a benefit for your employees but not a significant cost for you?