The Biggest Communication Problem is . . . . . .
Author: James Western
One of the most common frustrations within any organization is the “lack of effective communication” at all levels. The detrimental impact associated therein is significant as many employees become frustrated, confused, disengaged and ultimately uncertain about what they should be doing to satisfy the needs of management. Oftentimes, this missing element is a blind spot for those who are responsible for such behavior. As a result, impacted parties become disappointed and disillusioned with one another as they genuinely feel that they have done all that is possible to effectively communicate.
There are many maxims about effective communication, such as “make sure the message sent is the message received,” or” listen to what is said to you and repeat it back to the person to ensure understanding” and many others that provide value. Moreover, there are also a plethora of platforms that when followed, try to ensure effective communication, with the most recognized being the 7 C’s of Effective Communication (clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, courteous). Despite adhering to these maxims and complying with the approaches, there is still a salient element that often trumps all of this; Lack of Communication!
Having consulted with thousands of individuals ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups all around the world, the most common complaint I heard was “we don’t communicate well in this company.” When I dug a little deeper about the problem, it was almost always, “we don’t communicate frequently enough with those who need to be informed.”
Surprisingly for many, that is often the biggest problem. Too many individuals simply don’t realize the value of ensuring that they communicate consistently with their peers, direct reports and managers to provide the relevant information necessary to keep each person updated, satisfied and engaged. The feedback I have received from those with whom I work is generally this. Do I effectively communicate? Yes. Do I communicate frequently enough with them to satisfy their needs and desires? No!
Take a step back for a minute and consider your personal life. Whether this is with a parent, sibling or significant other, more times than not, the biggest communication problem happens to be the lack thereof. My wife of 30 years will repeatedly say to me, “why didn’t you tell me that? You need to inform me of this so that I know what is going on.” Is she wrong? No! Given how busy I am, both professionally and personally, I often overlook the value and need of reaching out to those who desire and need more communication to keep them satisfied and engaged.
That isn’t to say that we should ignore the 7 C’s of Effective Communication. That is fundamental to ensure that when we do communicate, we are performing at our best. However, first consider whether or not you are communicating regularly and frequently with those you should. That will eliminate much of the complaints of “not communicating effectively.”
Bryan Ritchie and James Western are co-founders of GrowthSPORT, a successful consulting company whose mission is to improve SCORES (Stimulate Culture, Optimize Results and Engage Staff) for Teams, Divisions, Departments and Organizations through the SPORT model (Strategic Alignment, Personnel Performance, Operational Execution, Results Accountability and Team Strength), which are the Five Core Elements of Success.
GrowthSPORT provides resources, tools and experienced consultants to effectively implement the SPORT performance model from companies ranging from Startups to Fortune 500 companies.
Feel free to reach out to GrowthSPORT at (801) 676-2500 or at www.growth-sport.com.