If there is one concept or idea that seems to rear its head on a regular basis for me, it’s the idea of communication. Or better yet, the importance of “good” or “effective” communication. It’s something I talk about, and emphasize, with my teams at work. It’s something my wife and I stress the importance of to our two teenage boys and I pride myself on being an open, good and effective communicator. Good communication is like the elixir of life. It can cure most ills, ease most ailments and ultimately pave the way for a better world. Does this seem like a bold statement? On a daily basis, I think about how much better certain things might have been had there been better communication.
We recently had some work done on our house. The company we hired has a solid reputation and they were recommended by someone we greatly respect. Even better, our friend who made the referral, is highly respected in the building materials industry. Sadly, our experience with the company was marred by poor communication. There was a misunderstanding in the beginning about the types of material that would be used. Then there was an issue of poor communication that led to our being surprised by an added cost at the end of the project that would have been something we’d most likely have whole-heartedly approved, but because it came as a surprise after everything was said and done, made us feel uncomfortable. And then finally, a lack of communication about pickup times for things left behind at our house left us wondering how organized they really were.
Any of these things by themselves would have been no big deal. Together they were a bit more concerning. But all would have been significantly less impactful for us had there been good/effective communication right up front.
This past year I had a serious health concern that, in my opinion, was the result of poor communication. It was actually the result of arrogance on the part of a medical professional, but the result of this was their inability (or unwillingness) to hear our concerns, and ultimately, they missed the signs that something was seriously wrong, which led to hospitalization and a long string of complications. All this could have been avoided by an openness and willingness to have good communication.
Then there is the whole idea and concept of owning ones mistakes… although I think I’m saving that one for an upcoming post. SO… what do I leave you with today?
I really liked this this statement by writer and educator Rich Maggiani (found with a simple Google search): “Effective communications is:
- honest, clear, accurate, comprehensive, accessible, concise, correct, timely, well designed & builds goodwill.”
For more information on effective communication, here’s a link to another good article, that while not as concise as I would like, does a pretty good job at everything else.
And finally, from the great motivational speaker and writer Tony Robbins:
Will good and effective communication make the world a better place? Maybe, maybe not, but it sure would be a good start!