Wednesday, May 18, 2011

BIG's Blog: When Communication Gets Difficult

Recently, I was listening to a radio program on improving personal relationships using specific communication tactics. While doing so, I realized these same tactics could be applied to the work environment. The steps seem simple and logical, and are outlined below:

First step, identify the problem.

Anyone at any level of the organization can identify when something is not working – especially if it is affecting their job. This information may be brought to management to determine who should address the obstacle. But, the individual could use these same steps if this was an issue with a coworker.

Second, bring together those individuals, departments or vendors to discuss the obstacle.

It is important during these discussions that the group attack the problem and not the individual/s who are involved. Individuals typically take things personally and if you are attacking someone’s idea, project or department, emotions can block the success of solving the problem. If there is more than one issue breakdown, seperate the issues into separate discussions. If there are too many issues for one meeting, address those that could easily obtain agreement from those participating in the discussion.

Third, pay close attention to how and what you say during this process.

Present any positives to the issue/s first. Express appreciation for those things that are going well. When roadblocks occur during this process, someone (usually management, but not always) needs to act as the negotiator until the problem is resolved.

We all have a choice about what we say and how we say it. If you choose your words wisely, it will help to curb gossip, complaints and frustrations which should increase your organization’s productivity.


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