Leading a team but cannot articulate thoughts and ideas – Leadership Blunder


As a team leader, responsibilities cover management of people, the team’s organization, efficiency of communication, processes, services, other business activities, results and must be in line with overall objectives of the business.


Let’s look at Michael’s experiences, who was a new Team Manager at his fast growing organization. He was recently promoted to his new role from his engineering role for the last seven years. He gained expertise in his role, demonstrated essential knowledge competencies and delivered magnificent accomplishments in performing his job. He was promoted to lead seven people with ranges of experiences from 6 months to 5 years. 

In the early days of his role, it was exciting; he was having a blast, enjoying all the perks that came with it. He started planning for his vacation when he completed his first year. However, there are some things that were bothering him. 

Credits: IdeasN, Microsoft.com

Michael was reflecting some of the situations that have occurred:
1. In his first day, he met with his team members. He was very confident in getting to know them, clarifying their roles and responsibilities. However, he was very nervous and felt short in explaining all the things that he wanted to accomplish. He cannot find the right words in articulating his thoughts. He decided to postpone the sharing of other information. However, as soon as he got into his office, he sent an email to his team enumerating what he wanted to share with them. He did this because of his inability to articulate his ideas when speaking.

2. During the meeting with his co-managers, he was unable to discuss and tell the entire story about his team’s activities and members because the words that he wanted to use cannot be articulated. He struggled to verbalize his thoughts in front of his co-managers. He was frustrated and was very embarrassed. Others told him “don’t worry, we understand what you meant! English is not your first language.”  He believed that his inability to speak will create some issues eventually.

3. A member of his team brought to his attention an escalating issue with a customer. When speaking with customers over the telephone, he was getting frustrated for his inability to verbally express the best options that the customers can take. Instead, he was giving polite excuses by telling customers that he will email more detailed information.  Michael was finding it more and more challenging to communicate effectively.

4. Michael was meeting with four other management colleagues after work hours. He was excited about joining them as he can do bonding with them. He enjoyed their company, learning more about their thoughts and practices. But when it comes to sharing about his interests and passion such as travels, outdoor activities, and other social functions. He was limited with words. He felt embarrassed with management peers but he claimed that he was more confident in talking things with his personal friends. 

What factors have contributed to the issues of Michael?

1. He lacks adequate business vocabulary and phrases to support his  ideas in front of his team

2. He lacks verbal and speaking competencies or  proficiency that will articulate his business and personal ideas

3. He lacks speaking communication skills that will make him more credible towards customers and management peers

4. He lacks conversational skills that will support his thoughts, ideas and opinions during small talks with business colleagues, peers and new acquaintances.
5. His organization did not prepare him for advance management role, nor trained him to become a team manager

What steps that Michael can do?
Because Michael is leading a team of people. He will need to acquire knowledge and skills through a program called “Advanced Business English for Effective Communication. This will give him the opportunity to develop adequate proficiency in both business leadership and communication skills. Many of the issues he faced are covered in this program; such as increasing functional vocabulary, learning techniques in conducting situational scenarios, communicative skills development, increase verbal customer relations skills, ability to talk with new acquaintances in small talks topics and ability to conduct himself as a more professional as a real manager during business meetings within or outside his organization.

Speaking with an experienced leadership trainer and coach at Ideas N Conversations will identify the real cause of his issues. The free assessment which Ideas N Conversations use in determining those difficulties will allow them to create a suitable and customized program that will eliminate his difficulties. He can use these new learning immediately after each session. 


Why do organizations need to step up?
In order for the organization to become successful with their business goals. They need to assess ahead of time the capabilities of their employees. One important role is to prepare talented employees to become team leaders, show them the  ropes in leading, their responsibilities, mentoring them before they will assume the role as a full time people manager.

These are issues within many organizations. They do not invest on their people because their focus is an immediate return of revenues. When you look at the overall performance of employees, many do not meet all expected results because of inefficiencies and lack of skills, knowledge and ‘know hows’.

Acknowledgement: This article was authorized to be re-published here at Ideas N Conversations by JNTC Articles


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