Communication, what is it good for? Absolutely everything…
It turns out communication is pretty important. At work, it’s vital to the success of the business. But you already knew that. So why aren’t we doing it?
Communication is how we small talk, sing, order pizza, tell someone we love them, hate them, and everything else in between. It’s the cornerstone of almost every life form on Earth. Without it, we as humans would not have advanced to the space-dwelling, selfie-taking, pizookie eating species we are now. We are dependant on it and we need to practice it and cherish it, especially in the office.
Slack helped with direct messages. Loom is taking that to video. Twitter gave everyone a voice. Facebook made us all hate each other.
But how do we communicate effectively and efficiently while increasing ours and others productivity in a positive minded way?
We do what we’re already doing. Just more of it, more engaged, more direct, and more authentically. And I get it. It’s extremely hard nowadays with our devices/technology pulling us in a hundred different directions. But more avenues doesn’t have to come with more congestion.
As the crow flies, so do words. We’ve all played the game where you start a story, whisper to the person next to you and then wait to see how the story has changed by the last person. Think of communication that way. Waters get murky, vision becomes unclear, the focus becomes blurry. But if your focus on communicating with someone is direct the impact lands tenfold. I always think of this quote from Stephen R. Covey —
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”
In millennial terms that means don’t pull your phone out or start thinking about that email, you need to respond to. Don’t tell someone, to tell someone, to mention it to someone else. Go the direct route and then actively listen to them, actively engage with them. It doesn’t have to be hard, in fact, it should be easy. We all want to connect, communicate, and collaborate. It’s in our DNA.
To quote the late great Samuel Langhorne Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain —
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
Which means it takes more mental effort to push out a 100-word letter than it does a 1000-word letter. So here are five ways communication positively affects the workplace: