“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”– George Bernard Shaw
People are wired to be social; you would think that social media would make people more social. The age of social media has produced more anti-social behavior than ever before. Social media isn’t the problem; it’s the lack of connectivity between people that are driving the problem.
The next time you’re eating out, look around you for a second, chances are you’ll see cell phones on every table next to the table settings almost as if they’re one of the utensils. How can anyone give their undivided attention to people while holding texting conversations with others simultaneously?
Quality communication is only possible when each person involved is all in; without all parties engaging their undivided attention connecting is impossible. Anti-social behavior is dis-connective at best and compromises the best plans and efforts of any organization. Nothing brings people together like a good heart to heart communication.
Communication Increases Commitments and Strengthens Connections
No one disputes the importance of communication; it’s a fundamental building block of life, whether, among family members, friends, neighbors, or coworkers, you will not accomplish anything meaningful without it. Good communication enables us to connect with one another. The failure to connect with one another often stems from our failure to connect our mind with our heart. Healthy self-talk enables us to connect with ourselves.
It’s normal for communication within your organization to be ongoing; individuals talk to each other, employees with clients, executives with their teams, their teams among themselves. Since communication increases commitments and strengthens connections, the topic of those conversations is vitally important.
Shared thoughts produce feelings that generate more conversations forming a bond between like minded people, eventually creating the shared values that drive behavior; this is how your organization’s culture develops. The strongest bond between employees develop when the connections come from the heart.
Talk Isn’t cheap It’s Expensive
Having the right kind of talk that produces positive change requires an investment in people, the cost in time and money pays enormous dividends. The wrong type of conversation that produces negative change also requires an investment in people, this kind of cost in time and money depletes credibility productivity and profitability with compound interest.
I’ve learned through trial and error that clarity, consistency, connectivity, and collaboration are four keys that make us more effective in establishing quality communication and connectivity.
Clarity People cannot follow confusing or contradictory instructions; your team must understand what you’re asking. Be as direct, informative, and precise as possible. Asking the right questions along the way yields answers that tell you if your team understands you.
Consistency Developing a high-quality team is more important than delivering a high-quality product. Your deliverables are always dependent on the quality of your team. Understanding the power of consistency is priceless. Consistently communicating and mentoring your team is an investment of time that always produces better people.
Consistency is a learned habit; you never reach worthwhile objectives in three easy steps. Life-long learners know that establishing active lines of communication and successful team building comes from a journey of a thousand steps repetitively placing one foot in front of the other.
Connectivity If you want to make a difference in others and live a life of significance, you must tap into your “why” because success is temporary, significance is permanent.
Many leaders are so fixated on their bottom line that the bottom of their team relationships fall out from under them before they realize they have a problem. Successful teams connect with their leaders and with each other regularly.
Your most valuable asset to your team is you. Giving your best to your team and being transparent communicates value. Knowing yourself and what moves you enables you to understand how to connect with each member of your organization.
What do you cherish most? What fills you with joy, passion, enthusiasm? Your team members have the same desires; answering those questions will develop valuable connections with your team.
Collaboration Henry Wadsworth Longfellow write, “All your strength is in union, all your danger is in discord.” Collaboration is the result of ongoing positive communication with your people. The cooperation you get reflects your ability to work effectively with your people. Collaborative efforts come from people who do more than talk, they work with and value one another, they also value you because of the value you add to them. The collaborative efforts that come from clear, consistent communication positively increases employee commitments and strengthens connections.
“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.” – Jim Rohn
*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***