This is one of the most important aspects within any organisation, needless to say that the word “effective” communication must be part of such two way communication. Yes, you can “warra-warra” a lot and the meaning of this time wasting blabber has no financial value or outcome. It is imperative that the communicator, bearer of good or bad news - or instruction giving - or feedback giver, communicate clearly and effectively. All said and well, but the biggest killer of business is actually the LACK of Communication.
I have found that the Lack in Communication is one of the most poisonous attributes to any organisation. The reasons are very basic and very simple and it could be perceived as common knowledge, but you can think about it. Management needs to get to know all, what is happening on the ground and the workers must be informed on all information in conducting their task at hand to their best of their ability.
I can only speak as an owner of a Company and as Operations and Technical Director of a listed corporate Company, positions held in my previous life, and the common denominator and most frustration was the lack in communication, feedback and information sharing. I have seen this in Management meetings, Sales meetings and Technical meetings alike. The detail or content might be different, but the actions are exactly the same.
The branches that excelled the fastest and which was the most successful, was the Branch where the Manager communicated to the CEO the most effectively. This was a direct reflection into the communication in his branch. You can see that the feedback and communication is effective and all events, good and bad, can be dealt with effectively.
I have read the Art of War by Sun Tzu and the following was derived, and I quote:“If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.” The above is verified by the great leader Napoleon as well. Business is WAR and if the great leaders of the past have expressed themselves in: “The art of War is in communication”, how can we not adhere to such. I will only be but stupid, when I read such and experience such and not do anything about such.
Needless to say, the commanders must act accordingly and from this communication path, the most influential is the reporting. The lack of reporting can make a situation look perfect, but underneath the surface, there is a very different story. I have come across numerous truths, half-truths, lies and no reporting, and the most dangerous is the no reporting. As you have no idea on what is happening.
The most interesting aspects found, when I analyses was done on the “lack in communication”, is as follows:
nothing was done, therefore nothing to report
I do know what to do, but I did not do anything, lazy
there is a problem, and I do hope it will go away, by itself
I made a mistake and the outcome can get me fired
I do not care at all, today I am here, tomorrow somewhere else
I use this company as a “cash-cow” or stepping stone
I am helping others to sink this “ship”
I have a side-line job
It is for you, who gave the instruction, to get the reason why there is a lack in feedback! That is the art!
Evaluating the above, truths, half-truths and lies, you can get to the bottom of the feedback immediately, even more so when you do have the experience in this field and you have been groomed thru the ranks. Therefore, when people talk/report, you can get to the bottom of the issue.
It is when you hear nothing that you must get worried. It has been found, that when I have done my bit, on any instruction given, that I will report back, no matter what.
How is the feedback in your organisation? Be honest and investigate, you might be surprised.