Communicate Deliberately

Paul Orangetree

Paul Orangetree on Communicate Deliberately

Ask the members of any organisation what the big issues are, and communication crops up. It is not so much the quantity, of course. The fact is, you can communicate endlessly without any actual communication happening.

For example, a boss speaks to his staff. They didn't listen, maybe because he didn't create the right time and space. Within teams, members speak to each other - sometimes no listening actually happens.

If communication matters, stop, and do it well. Or, of course, get someone to do it who will. Include some quality testing, too, which means making sure that the receiving end of the communication is now in possession of the same information or message as the sending end of the communication. Saying stuff into a vacuum is not fun, and has no value. Unreceived communication is just saying stuff into a vacuum.

Choose the time. Choose the method. Choose the words, the vocabulary, the tone of voice. Make the time. Let people know that communication is about to happen. This will probably, for example, mean getting people away from their tools. If one part of multi tasking is communication, communication is the bit that does not happen. And never speak to someone using a PC. The PC wins, every time.

We need to be willing to worth together for this to work. A manager once said to me 'Speak to me whist I am doing this thing'. I politely declined, offering instead to speak to them when it was important enough for them to listen.

Communication is important. Very important. And I know it is tricky. But I also know this. If it is not a thing, all by itself, it will fail.

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