I can’t tell you how many times no matter how big or small an organization is – lack of proper communication most always seems to be a hot topic. Effective communication is absolutely crucial to the success of any organization. Good, positive communication will motivate your staff. Whereas negative harsh communication and gossip or even worse no communication at all will eventually lead to breakdowns. As the leader of your organization, how well are you communicating?
As number five on ActionCOACH’s 14 Points of Culture, Communication means “I speak positively of my fellow team members, my clients and ActionCOACH in both public and private. I speak with good purpose using empowering and positive conversation. I never use or listen to sarcasm or gossip. I acknowledge what is being said as true for the speaker at that moment and I take responsibility for responses to my communication. I greet and farewell people using their name. I always apologize for any upsets first and then look for a solution. I only ever discuss concerns in private with the person involved.”
How can you create an environment of good, effective communication?
- Create a culture of open dialogue where everyone’s opinion is valued. In meetings, acknowledge speakers and validate their feelings. Survey your employees or set up a suggestion box so that staff can notify you of problems within the organization that you may not be aware of.
- Offering praise, randomly and frequently, will let your staff know that you care. Use positive language when speaking with staff. If you have to resolve a conflict with an employee, do so in private and offer constructive criticism, not negative, hurtful or personal insults.
- Ensure that job descriptions, projects and objectives are clear, concise and in writing so there is no miscommunication and expectations are being met. This is also a great way to measure performance for annual reviews or appraisals.
- Don’t partake in water cooler gossip and let it be known that there is no room in your organization for gossip. Nothing good can come from spreading rumors.
- Set an example of taking ownership, accountability and responsibility for actions and don’t place blame, make excuses, or live in denial. Your staff will respect your integrity and strive to live by the same model.
A company that exemplifies positive, effective communication translates into high morale and low turnover. As a result, customer satisfaction and loyalty is higher. Poor, negative or no communication creates a hostile work environment with higher turnover and lower customer satisfaction. Either situation is a reflection of the communication style of the owner and can make or break the business. What is your communication style?