Transforming Workplace Culture: Mastering Managerial Communication with Kristen Ireland

Whole Grain

Sep 14 2023 • 30 mins

Have questions, feedback, or thoughts on the show? We want to hear from you! Click on this link to send us a message.

Ever wondered how to enhance your team's performance with just the right words?

In this episode of Whole Grain, host Jim Lenz welcomes Kristen Ireland, a seasoned expert in human resources and co-founder of People Spark Consulting.

Communication is key to building trust, which impacts engagement and retention. They dive deep into the world of effective communication in management and share invaluable phrases that every manager should incorporate into their conversations. They also discuss the importance of recognition, trust-building, and habit-stacking techniques.

Jim introduces Kristin Ireland as a guest who brings extensive experience in HR and agricultural industries. They discuss her professional mantra, which emphasizes the importance of enjoying work.

Kristin's Background:
Kristin shares her 25 years of experience, highlighting her time in a large agricultural co-op where she discovered her passion for HR. People Spark Consulting primarily works with businesses in agriculture, helping them align their culture, processes, and strategies for success.

The Power of Effective Communication:
Kristin emphasizes that clear communication is vital for employee engagement and retention. She mentions a study that identifies eight factors of engagement, all of which are influenced by good communication.

Top Phrases for Managers: Recognizing Excellence:
Kristin discusses the first two phrases every manager should use: "Thank you" and "I appreciate you." Expressing gratitude and appreciation fosters employee engagement and motivation.

Avoiding Miscommunication:
The next two phrases, "What I'm hearing you say is..." and "What am I missing?" are tools for avoiding miscommunication. Active listening and seeking clarity in conversations are crucial.

Building Trust:
Kristin introduces the phrases "My intent is..." and "My intent is not..." as tools for building trust. Being transparent about intentions reassures others and fosters trust within the team or organization.

Implementing the Phrases:
Kristin advises managers to focus on one or two phrases and be intentional about using them consistently. Habit stacking, associating new habits with existing ones, can make implementation more effective.

The People Spark Consulting Approach:
Kristin and her team help businesses align their HR strategies with their goals, processes, and culture. They emphasize the importance of creating a workplace where people are heard and valued.

Jim wraps up the episode by thanking Kristin for sharing her insights on mastering managerial communication and the importance of using these top phrases consistently. The theme of the show is the importance of communication – two-way communication, where we, as leaders, share information, ask questions, and listen.

The Book: "The People Spark"
Kristin and her team have co-authored a book called "The People Spark: A Business Leader's Essential Guide to Crafting Your Culture with Confidence."

Connect with People Spark Consulting:
For additional tips, tools, and resources, visit

Grain Elevator and Processing Society champions, connects and serves the global grain industry and its members. Be sure to visit GEAPS’ website to learn how you can grow your network, support your personal professional development, and advance your career. Thank you for listening to another episode of GEAPS’ Whole Grain podcast.