Communication

Communication

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kəˌmyo͞onəˈkāSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. the imparting or exchanging of information or news.”direct communication between the two countries will produce greater understanding”
  2. means of connection between people or places, in particular.

synonyms:       transmission, conveyance, divulgence, disclosure; More

Did you know that there is even a cynical piece of wisdom about communication called ‘Wiio’s Law’ which says all human communication fails!

  • Communication usually fails, except by accident
  • If a message can be interpreted in several ways, it will be interpreted in a manner that maximizes damages
  • There is always someone who knows better than you what you meant with your message
  • The more we communicate, the worse communication succeeds
  • In mass communication, the important thing is not how things are, but how they seem to be
  • The importance of a news item is inversely proportional to the square of the distance
  • The more important the situation is, the more probably you forget an essential thing that you remembered a moment ago

“The problem with communication … is the illusion that it has been accomplished.”   George Bernard Shaw

As with all wisdom – e.g. the Anthropomurphic Principle, Murphy’s Law, the Peter Principle – we can all find resonance while recognizing the exaggeration for comic effect! The bottom line though is that everywhere you go and whoever you talk to across a wide range of organizations, communication is always  a key problem.

Across the organization, netlogx targeted Accountability as the focus for 2016. I personally set a goal to find ways to communicate in a manner to ensure that, as many times as possible, the message is understood. As a leader in the company, I accept it as my job to work harder to communicate effectively to the entire team.

My new mantra for June 2016 onwards is What would have improved the communication for you?”

My intermediate goals are to :

Create more opportunities for dialog to ensure Communication is a TWO-way process. This one is hard, as my personality (a Core Values Index Builder) does like to jump in and solve rather than listen to the whole message!

“To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.” John Marshall

Provide more opportunities for people to hear the messages when they are ready and able to participate. When meeting with individuals I am trying to validate if  this is a good time for them. When communicating to a larger group, I am offering to meet more than once to share the message. Recognizing that people are more likely to listen and participate if they can focus, which requires their time and plans to be considered.

“The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”  Woodrow Wilson

Increase my preparation and review of the message before sharing it. I have created a council of advisors -depending on the subject, to ensure what I say is what is received. As a natural dynamo, preparation allows me to avoid rushing something that needs to allow time for thorough consideration.

“Be sincere; be brief; be seated.”  Franklin D Roosevelt  – and in 2016 he’d likely add “not attached to a screen” too!

Reduce my unconscious bias, or this is how I see the world so let me show you what I mean! I was shocked when my then 4th grader came home and told me he was an oratory learner – they didn’t have learning styles in the 1970’s!  I now understand that text dense and spreadsheet driven information works for me and a few others ….some find it easier to understand tables or diagrams or text or hear it or be hands on! Wow, that’s a lot of work – but less so than the time wasted sharing a message no one hears!

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

“Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.” Dan Quayle

Words….the downfall I suspect. I’ve been in the US for 25 years, but on a daily basis I’m reminded that I speak English and my colleagues speak American. Most of the time, we know what we mean, but sometimes we assume we know what we mean! Add to that geography, age, and culture and it’s a wonder we can order coffee! Well, actually Starbucks taught us a universal language and I’m proud to be “a venti, nonfat, misto made with blonde coffee” removing the age-old problem of “it’s not what you say, but how you say it”.

We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language’.  Oscar Wilde

So in summary:

Say less

Say it slowly

Repeat often

Ask for confirmation on what was heard

Ask for clarification on what was understood

REPEAT

And ultimately, apologize and please let me start again….

By | 2016-12-05T11:03:17+00:00 June 5th, 2016|Categories: Audrey's Observations, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Communication

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