Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Communication drives all relationships

Lately I have been pondering the concept of effective communication.

Many factors triggered this train of through including my personal experiences at home and with friends, my Twitter community, and my work environment.

Since I have hence revealed my true desire to consult, I figured I'd give

you a taste of my take on communication, specifically within the office environment.

So here are my insights and tips:

• Communication drives all relationships. The more you talk and share, the more you get to know about another person (or organization). We know this is true in marriage, and it is true in the office as well. Sharing and listening (information, planning, strategies, cross-departmental information) leads to understanding.

• You can share in many ways within your comfort zone. You may do so via email, phone, or in person, but the main point is to share with others to include them and empower them. Often it pays to stretch beyond your comfort zone to talk to people who share your goals and the mission of your company/organization. This will create a bond between you that will only improve the functioning of your office (assuming they are normal, stable people with whom you are communicating).

• Means of sharing include but are not limited to:

• Face to face discussion: uses tone, word choice, and body language to impart ideas, feelings and thoughts.

• Emails: always be careful with tone here because an innocent statement can seem accusatory. This is simplest in the work environment to pass on information and make plans and day to day communication.

• Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media: This may not be as direct but they certainly reveal a lot about who you are and what you care about! Careful what you say; a lot of people are listening to you!

• Memos are an effective way to publicize new policies, processes, and systems. Memos should be used to keep employees in the loop when there are changes or new initiatives being implemented. Most workplaces are plagued by a lack of communication. So much can be improved by letting people know what changes have been made and what upcoming events and programs are scheduled. This also empowers employees at all levels as they are kept informed and feel valued.

• Communication practices at the employee level are specifically related to management's capacity to communicate. This is important for managers to realize because the tone will be set from the top down. If lines of communication are open from management to employees, they will foster an open environment that will ultimately create openness and closeness among employees, as well as open communication from employees back to management. Think about it like a parent/child relationship. If mom repects and speaks to child with openness and care, the child is likely to feel that and respond in kind. If trouble arises the mom can capitalize on the relationship she has created because her child will feel comfortable opening the lines of communication in return to share and discuss any issues.

There are so many ways to communicate and it is a shame that people don’t utilize the many methods available to them. The benefits of opening the lines of communication outweigh the effort it takes to share and listen. So if you take one lesson away from this post, it is to value others and respect them by valuing open communication.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting posts. I particularly enjoyed this one, as "Communications" is the topic I'm trying to draw people's attention upon on my blog.
    I totally agree with you. Paraphrasing an old proverb, I would say that lack of communication is the root of all evil: humiliation, anger, frustration, inefficiency at work, and (Am I exaggerating?)worldwide financial crises.


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