How we communicate plans, ideas, processes and other issues affects our business success in a significant way. There are common errors that we all make and being aware of these errors is the responsibility of a great leader. The following are eight errors that should be avoided at all costs.
1.“I know this, so everybody else should know it”
This is probably one of the most common mistakes that managers make. They assume that if they know something everyone else should know it. Managers have the responsibility of intentionally giving clear and relevant information or ensuring that everyone has the same understanding of the information. An extensive analysis of the importance of shared understanding will be explored in a later post.
2. “Putting things in writing is too bureaucratic and not necessary.”
When businesses grow they require more and more communications. If important communications are not in writing, operations, expectations or assumptions get confused creating chaos. Reliable and cohesive communications are essential.
3. “I think I told everybody.”
Sometimes, managers just assume that everybody knows. They are not fully aware of who they might have told. They just intended to tell everybody.
4. “They heard what I meant for them to hear.”
Our diverse workforce sees and interprets things differently. Everyone doesn’t think the way we do. (Sad to say.) Sometimes, we’re only aware of this situation when a big problem occurs because of confusion. More on this in a later post.
5. “We’re too busy to listen to each other.”
In this situation, there are frequent misunderstandings. They do what’s urgent rather than working toward strategic goals. This business is often found putting out fires.
6. “My job is to solve problems, not share information.”
Communications are bound to be a problem with this attitude.
7.“All I care about is efficiency or where did the money go?
We often generate lots of data concerning efficiency or economy that doesn’t relate to our overall strategic objectives.
8. “I think that employees should just do their jobs. They don’t need much information.”
Again, mistakes, confusion, wasted resources, unmotivated people and loss of customers could be the results of not communicating strategic missions, visions and values. Employees need to know how they contribute to the business with regular two-way communications and updates. Good management communications skills are essential for great businesses.
“Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.”
— James Thurber