I was in a meeting recently with some colleagues and the conversation gravitated towards what we could do as a group to improve our communications. At one point in the meeting, a lady raised her hand. “I know you don’t have time for this,” she said. “But I have a meeting with my boss at 8:30 and will be late and it’s going to be so frustrating.” “Really,” I remarked, “you could have had 8:30 at 11:40.” “Now,” her co-worker promptly retorted, “I just have a meeting later as a courtesy.” And then they all laughed. The validity of that statement directly linked to a value I have highlighted above. However, it was not too long before we started doing teambuilding activities and thinking about these real benefits.
1. Timely Communication
Even though it is evident that it’s not the most important activity for most companies, it can become an accepted way of doing business. Informal and formal, individually and as team new structures are being established with team members many times along the lines of, “We’re going to discuss our projected numbers on the board. We’re going to try to plan something inconsequential, but we’ll call each other after to see what happened.” Even we can describe this as meaning to “get the team out”, but that’s not always possible. The fact is that the value of “getting out” is often mistaken for a more productive conversation. So, everyone needs to be on the same page and talking less.
2. The Benefits of Better Communication
In addition to facilitating productivity, getting less waste, it also creates greater effectiveness and healthy productive relationships when people are allowed to speak without being interrupted, to invite others to add their input, and to to be more creative. The benefits of this are actually two fold. First for the individuals, who have the best ideas to create the most beneficial or sustainable ideas, not to mention having the most invested time and resources. And second, for the member of the team, who gets all the input they need, in a team fashion, at their own pace, without feeling rushed, and from a climate where there are no issues of over- or under-communicating. They can then use the available time to grow their “d refere grace”, put their best stuff forward, and share it with the organization. These benefits, in turn, increase the positive perception of the team member as a valued contributor – and as a person of trust that can be trusted, and respected.
When we talk about “communication” and “communicate” in a group setting, many people (including those in management positions) focus on their ability to “keep information” to themselves. The belief is that if one bullet point “explains” the new policy, a less effective performance statement, or a request, then the others can read it and accept it. However, if questions, suggestions, or resources are needed to understand the impacts of the policy or procedure and its supporting issues, this is “time to share.” And what a great place to save resources by sharing knowledge, experiences, and skills, for when they are needed. As you read the words on the screen, clearly, it’s easy to write down your own thoughts and experiences or extract coaching from others. However, getting enough done to put an “eye on the ball” is also key to being able to understand how that key information works across the team.
4. Sharing the Fun
In the same way, gets the people to participate together is an effective way to generate buy-in. And this is where it gets fun. And, again it depends a great deal on what type of culture is the culture that is meeting just the “paper goals.”
Imagine if leaders of the highest caliber, choosing their role’s best 800 words for a discussion premise. And then a half dozen suggestions from others that add to the “wow” factor. This is a daunting observation for many management classes, which encourage a kind of extensivedelusionbon~ bon.
As is the case with so many real progression steps, these ideas have been 150 years old. I know, because I’ve written them. And I’m sure you can point to examples where they have stood the test of time. Done the hard work to tie the attention of the people who need to stay on top of it? It’s been tried and tested in countless applications, including theParticipatory Development rodeo evenCheckalls doesno.