Breathe In, Breathe Out Communication

One of the most important aspects of any business climate is communication. Most organizations do not communicate enough, nor do they necessarily communicate the “right” way. This creates frustration, and affects the overall morale and health of an organization. Some experts say that productivity can be improved by a factor of up to 2.5 times merely by changing to more effective communication techniques.

One of the keys to effective communication is to make sure that your message reaches the front line. All too often this is assumed, without evidence or feedback to ensure delivery. Just as with an individual, an organization is alive and needs to breathe. What happens if you stop breathing? You suffocate. An organization will do the same thing; it will suffocate if it does not breathe.

In order to communicate effectively, your organization must both inhale and exhale. Many organizations will only exhale – they will deliver the message to a group of people, and that is where communication stops. The key to effective communication is to inspire all of your managers and future leaders to communicate this message to their reports, to the point where everyone on the front line has been reached and has had an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

As managers and team leaders are addressing their direct reports, encourage criticism and be transparent. Use the “HOT” approach when communicating. H=Honest, O=Open, and T =Two Way. Address questions where you can, and seek support from superiors if necessary. Quickly addressing all questions lets team members know that their input is important and their voices are heard. A two-way dialogue will bring up some excellent ideas, many of which can be implemented in order to improve the organization. By communicating through all levels of an organization, workplaces can maximize their ability to improve productivity through open discussion.

Mark Fisher