Why Communications Can Be Hard
Over time different barriers to communication can grow both inside your company and with your customers. It may start with a simple, unintentional oversight on someone’s behalf because they were in a hurry or rushed to complete a task. Secondly, your customers can unintentionally present challenges to good communication. Silos of communications exist in all companies and your customers are no different. What about when a reliable customer contact moves on and it’s difficult to establish rapport with the new person? You have to go the extra mile. That requires communication training.
If communication on a project gets away from you, the result is like a snowball starting at the top of a mountain. Once the snowball starts rolling down the slippery slope, look out! It can grow out of proportion at a frightening rate and result in real damage to the customer’s village below, as well as your reputation. Even when efforts are made to repair a misunderstanding, the damage can often last for a while. What should you do about this situation?
Start by observing how your company communicates in the course of daily business. How much management or supervisor time is spent on resolving internal communication issues? Are the issues systemic and do they create drain time from more productive activities? Conduct departmental team sessions to discuss the key elements the department faces in doing its work more effectively. Ask people what the three most annoying things are in doing their jobs. Analyze the answers without bias and seek the real causes. Are they process driven, people driven or customer driven? Then bring the department heads together to discuss your findings and brainstorm possible solutions. Lastly, take your time because miscommunications don’t happen overnight and neither will your solutions.
Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Compliance (DISC) and other communication assessments can be beneficial in helping teams become self-aware of their strengths and weaknesses, which is often the first step in repairing SOCP. This approach is inexpensive and pays huge dividends.
Recognize your own communication snowballs and together we can stop the evil SOCP in its tracks.
Paul Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is principal of Canfield, Ohio-based Matterhorn Consulting
(matterhornconsulting.com). He has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience, and can be followed on Twitter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Convergence Channel by Paul Boucherle