Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood
There are four main types of communication – verbal, nonverbal, written and visual. Exchanging information and ideas happens constantly. However, this communication is only effective when the message is sent and received accurately.
How often how you walked out of a meeting without a clear picture of what was required of you? Well you’re not alone – statistics show that 57% of employees report not being given clear directions and 69% of managers are not comfortable communicating with their employees. If I am instructing a team member, more often than not I will end the conversation “Does that make sense?” I’m not doing it to belittle or undermine them, but simply checking in that they have received the message I’m sending. If the answer is no, that gives me an opportunity to explain it in a different way or different style. Just like personalities, communication isn’t a ‘one size fits all’. The key is to make yourself heard, no matter who you’re talking to.
We did an interesting exercise at work some time ago. I read aloud a series of statements and we each stood in the corner we most identified with. All of our team (except 3) went to the same corner. I was not one of them. My style is “Commander” so I have high expectations of others, seek challenges, enjoy being in charge, am decisive and action oriented. It opened my eyes to that different people like to be communicated with in different ways. Even though at work we are all speaking the same language, we aren’t always hearing the same thing. Test yourself, your workplace or even your spouse. You may be surprised with what you learn not only about them but about yourself too. Now I know my style I know that I need to be conscious that my abrupt messages can be perceived as cold, unfeeling, intimidating/inflexible or overly-critical. It’s not intentional, I just rarely have the time luxury of ‘fluff’. I wonder how many “Nurturer” personalities I offended with that statement.
Why does this matter? Effective communication avoids confusion. It provides purpose. It builds a positive company culture and it creates accountability.
I work closely with some of my clients to support them in achieving their goals. For some, this is working towards building a house, for others this means having the financial freedom to have another baby. At the start of our first coaching session we both sign a Mutual Commitment Statement. This is the guiding document for our working relationship. It may seem a bit serious but by clearly communicating the behaviour expectations that we have for ourselves and others, we can hold each other accountable to the standard that has been set. We can all participate in a positive manner for the benefit of their business. And that begins with effective communication.
If you are interested in learning more about aligning your management team towards a common vision and goals, or creating a forum where you can discuss burning issues with a trusted third party, contact one of our business advisors today.
We’ve been providing accounting services in the Bay of Islands for over 60 years and being part of the PKF Network gives us access to national and international specialist services. So if you’re looking for Chartered Accountants or Business Advisors, call PKF Kerikeri and talk to our experienced team!