Effective Communication and the Impact on Culture
Lack of communication is one of the top gripes I hear when meeting with staff members at client businesses. Is it that they operate in silos and there’s little interdepartmental interaction, or could it be something else? Perhaps it’s because people are not hearing what they want to hear, and they just tune-out everything. The challenge when trying to determine the underlying cause is that lack of communication can mean different things to different people. As a business leader, this should matter to you for a couple of reasons.
First, let me share that I’ve always viewed that the responsibility of effective communication lies with the communicator. Until the other person receives and acknowledges what you are trying to say, the onus is on you to keep trying, perhaps presenting your thoughts in different ways.
Most businesses are successful because they get the little things right. They understand the nuances of their customer requests and through their collective efforts, deliver an extraordinary experience to the customer. It’s the details that can make or break a project’s success, or retain a client.
Without effective communication you don’t stand a chance of making that client say “Wow, that was a great experience.” Just as important, without effective communication you won’t hear that staff member say, “Wow, this is a great place to work.” I think that communication, or lack of it, can affect your culture as well. Poor communication can sour the attitudes of your team and can lead to a lousy place to work. If you think that you have a culture issue, I’d begin by checking how well you communicate throughout the business.
Effective communicators are present when they interact with people. They connect with the other person, they aren’t scanning the room or looking at their phone while having a conversation, and they listen more than they speak. In the fast-paced world that we live in, it’s easy to take these things for granted.
Like many aspects of running a business, change starts at the top. If you suspect that you may have communication or culture issues within your organization, begin by taking a look in the mirror and assessing how well you communicate to your team. If it’s not where you want it to be, evaluate the areas you feel you need help with and begin an improvement program. Extend this effort to your senior team and managers. Make sure they understand the importance of effective communication in all their interactions as well. This is hard work. These are the soft issues in your business that can make a tremendous impact. Only you can decide if it’ll be a positive impact or not.
Making time to work on the business and helping your team members be the best they can be should be a top priority. Please add any comments or questions below. Good luck!
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.