Communication and Communication and Communication!
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I am sure that everyone will agree that effective communication is challenging and leading an organization successfully, brings along such a challenge. Many things succeed because of good communication, while many failures are blamed on communication as well. The trick of the trade is whether the communication is “effective”.
Lately, I have been in several meetings with clients who wish to request for training, training and training. I always try to spend some time to understand their organizations and pitfalls as much as possible before accepting the deals. I do this is because sometimes training is not always the sole answer. In another angle, understanding the inside of the organization(s) will be a good support for the effective training.
The main issue of most organizations, - as we all know is- “effective communication” Especially in all growing companies or in companies that grew very big.
I think, in Thailand, the communication problems are also from cultural issues.
Many people like to say “your silence” will win the argument!
This is reminded and re-enforced especially when any couples or any group of people have different conflicting opinions and start to argue. In Thailand, whoever keeps silence, that person is viewed as calm and mature. Many Thai senior management members I have seen adopt the silent character in managing people and start NOT to communicate especially in difficult sensitive situations within the organization.
However, many times, I think, many people are just too lazy to talk, uninterested to listen, tired to stay focused on a problem and too bored to understand others, because we think it is not that necessary. In consequence, a symptom of “no communication” culture created within a community or an organization. This happens from a format of lover, family to company operations.
Now back to an organizational operation. I like to share with you some short procedure of effective organizational communication. Simply follow through the “5T’s” as follows:
Topic, Time, Talk, Tap, Trace
I will discuss more in details with short case studies / examples in future articles, but this time, I just wish to touch lightly on the followings:
1. Topic: Many times, many mangers don’t know what “topic”, what issue and what subject that they really need an official communication. Most of the times, I can see and hear only: “this is the new policy, new rule, new instruction, just issue a memo and done”.
2. Time: Many mangers do not give enough “time” or spend no time at all for communication. Effectiveness of communication depends on time investment we are willing to put in. Many managers often say: “I am busy; please make this staff meeting short”. This behavior is really a bad sign and I have seen so much of this.
3. Talk: Please find the right “talker”, the right communicator or the right translators. I have seen many good managers but it does not mean that they have good communicating skill. The way they deliver messages is not inspiring, not attractive, not caring. They usually make more than half of the staff in the meeting room fall asleep! I am certain that many people do have lots of funny example or stories of this.
4. Tap: The manager must be able to tap on important issues during a meeting or during any communication process, as some issue raised might cause failures, or are critical enough to cause failure in people management or organizational management. So, managers must have a tapping skill in communication mode.
5. Trace: Tracing thought either (good or bad), especially after you tap on the issues raised and ensure it is followed up, monitored and then well communicated again.
To me, the most significant “T” are the first three T(s)!. If managers are not capable to know what issues need communication, and having an attitude of “I am busy, please make the meeting short”, plus, the manager is emotionless in delivering any message, then there is no need to think about effectiveness of the last two T(s).
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
© Nate-tra Dhevabanchachai (2009), Honorary Advisor / Director, Mai-BS (THAILAND) http://mai-bs.com
© Nate-tra Dhevabanchachai (2009), Program Director at Travel Industry Management Division and Acting General Manager at Salaya Pavilion Hotel and Training Center at Mahidol University International College www.salayapavilion.com