Effective communication is crucial in life. However, miscommunication is rampant in business (and in life). Some of the world’s biggest problems can often be distilled down to a root cause of miscommunication. Same for relationship issues. Even when we speak the exact same language with the exact local dialect, we struggle to effectively communicate and understand each other. Why is that?
Often, I sit in meetings with large groups of people from various parts of an organization. Even though the organizations I work with are in vastly different industries, I see the same common problems when it comes to effective communication. I see cross-functional teams from the same company, sitting together and talking about the issues they are having. Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Operations, Finance all talking together about why a project cannot get delivered on-time, on-budget and as the customer expected it. Sound familiar?
Sometimes the cause is differing objectives or measurables. Sometimes.
Often though, it’s a lack of effective communication and by that, I mean…
And this all adds up to communication that is not clear, not understandable, not inspiring.
As an example, imagine yourself as a parent having a conversation with your 6-year-old child that goes something like this… “The current conditions of your living quarters do not meet the performance objectives that we established during our annual review. If there is not immediate corrective action, your variable pay may be impacted.”
You would never have that conversation.
The real conversation that you would have sounds more like this… “Please go and clean up your room or you will not get an allowance this week.”
As leaders (and you do not have to be a manager to be a leader), we need to lead effective conversations that are clear and result in an understanding that drives behaviour. When you hear team members talking in any form of language that a ‘6-year-old’ would not understand, then we need to step in and simplify. The results will be understanding, focus, action, and results.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
The audio version of Bob’s #1 best seller It’s Already Inside is now available on Audible.Business, Business Culture, Communication, Employee Engagement, It's Already Inside, Leader, Leadership, Robert Murray, Robert S. Murray, Team