Do you realize that you have more options for communicating with others than ever before in history? Are those options connecting you more to others? The age-old challenge remains, how to improve communications with more resources at your fingertips.
How do you use and leverage those devices that are in your hand, on your lap, or on your desk to develop powerful networking relationships and partnerships?
Throughout my corporate career, there was a level of professionalism when it came to communications that were expected and reciprocated. In this age of having more ways to communicate than ever before with each other; my experience is that we actually communicate less.
There are glamorous excuses for not effectively communicating with others that go something like this: I do not have enough time, I am swamped with work, or I am avoiding an uncomfortable conversation.
The level of professionalism related to communication has sunk to an all-time low with countless emails going unanswered or in some cases taking weeks and months to receive a response. It seems acceptable in professional communication in the current environment, to ignore an email unless replying to it benefits the recipient in some big way. People are looking for instant gratification or the what’s in it for them.
A typical scenario might go something like this, I reach out to you and you don’t reply. I follow up and reach out to you again and you still don’t reply. The email that was sent had a question or two that goes unanswered.
I can’t help but wonder what opportunities might have been lost in this black hole of unanswered emails. What potential partnerships or deals might have been lost when there was no reply to an introduction or inquiry.
My communication ethics were influenced while I was in high school; I had 38 global penpals that I wrote regularly with letters, postcards or aerograms. We wrote to each other frequently, at great expense in those days, knowing the other would reply. It is how developed our relationship.
With all of the devices that we have at our disposal, that serve to increase and enhance our communications with others in the information age; we seem to have lost sight of the human decencies that come with being respectful, courteous, and esteeming of others. It comes with a massive impact on the culture of organizations of all sizes.
Communication is just one of the ways that moves work forward in business. Impeding the communication flow in any organization will ultimately have a negative impact on its workflow and service levels. This impact in extreme cases might lead to organizational chaos or worse, the business ceasing to exist in the marketplace.
It is essential to be mindful that the ramifications and outcomes of ineffective communication practices in an organization will drive unintended consequences that might prove to be quite disastrous. Leaders have accountability to shape and support their organization’s culture; communication is a key element of how they conduct business with each other and their clients.
Every great movement started with one small action, enhancing the effectiveness of communication is no exception. When people move from ignoring emails to responding to emails, the way in which business is carried out will change. It might change for the better, which will support more organizations overcoming the core challenge rather than spending time and money on solving the symptoms of ineffective communication practices.
Accountability will make or break the communication model in any organization, when leaders hold themselves and others accountable for professional communications, only then can the change begin to support more successful outcomes.
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